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Sustainability standards and global trade

Sustainability standards play a central role in global trade, and greatly contribute to the improvement of  environmental and social compliance in supply chains. They represent guidelines used by producers, manufacturers, traders, retailers, and service providers to develop good environmental, social, ethical, and food safety practices.

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If you want to know more about what standards are, the different types that exist, how firms can approach voluntary sustainability standards, how to get your business certified and the main potential advantages and disadvantages linked to certification, you cannot miss these materials made by the International Trade Centre (ITC).


Lecture 1: What are Standards

Standards are production and trade guidelines that provide consistent ‘protocols’ designed to reduce uncertainty, mange reputation ,enhance market reach, control quality and fuel innovation. If you want to know how they can be used or why are they important, don’t miss this lecture!


Lecture 2: The World of Standards

During the second lecture you will learn which mandatory, voluntary or company specific standards exist, you will better understand the differences between the various types of standards and you will get to know how they may impact your business. Start learning now!


Lecture 3: Voluntary sustainability standards

This course will focus on voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) and the various ways in which enterprises can approach them. We will offer you several examples of the different issues and problems tackled by sustainability standards, grouped under fiver overarching sustainability areas (quality, ethics & integrity, environmental, social and, economic & management).


Lecture 4: How does certification work?

This paper will introduce you to the main terminology and steps involved in getting your business certified. Whether you are in doubt about the purpose of a certificate, who certifies or how, or even which are the steps in the process to become certified, do not miss this lecture. We will guide you through these steps.


Lecture 5: The benefits and costs of certification

In this last lecture you will discover the main potential advantages and disadvantages linked to certification. We will analyze the benefits and costs of certification, considering four dimensions: financial, management, quality, and sustainability.

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