Senior consultant Joost Gorter attended the first edition of the Trade for Sustainable Development (T4SD) Forum in Geneva the first weekend of October, hosted by the International Trade Centre (ITC). NewForesight previously worked on an assignment with ITC to create transparency in sustainability standards.

The forum brought together key private sector actors with representatives from sustainability standard organizations. Spanning two days, the forum was dedicated to exploring the current landscape of sustainability standards, distinctive codes of conduct, and their varying methodologies and tools as to identify new opportunities for collaborations between the different standards.

The event was centered on the issue of creating greater transparency for standards, in what they are and what they can achieve. Standard setting organizations are set on building a flexible approach. Within the sector there are various tools emerging that facilitate interaction between standards and generate a better understanding of how standards can work together to deliver sustainability.

ITC’s Standards Map, which was beta tested by NewForesight, is an example of one of these tools. The Standards Map enables comparison of standard requirements at various levels of analysis. The standards included in the map are applicable in over 180 countries and cover over 60 sectors and product groups.