Clara Brandi, Clara Brandi, Senior Researcher at the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) is co-author of the new report Linking Voluntary Standards to Sustainable Development Goals, which was launched during the Good Trade Summit 2020 of the International Trade Center (ITC). For the first time, the report systematically analyses to what extent voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) can make supply chains more sustainable by contributing to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The authors from the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), the European University Institute (EUI), the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS) and the University of Amsterdam have examined the linkages between more than 230 sustainability standards and the targets of the 2030 Agenda.
The analysis shows that 16 of the 17 SDGs are covered by sustainability standards and can thus contribute to their achievement. SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 12 (Sustainable Production and Consumption) and SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) are particularly relevant from the perspective of sustainability standards, but also SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) and SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being). The results of the ITC report also show in which countries and sectors the potential contribution of voluntary standards is particularly large. The report was presented at the World Trade Forum, the Geneva Trade Week, the World Sustainability Forum and the Global Goals Symposium. By identifying which SDG targets are covered by which VSS, the report shows how the private sector but also consumers can make use of synergies between VSS and SDGs and which gaps remain to be addressed by decision-makers in the public sector as well as by standard bodies.