Commodities Benchmarking Tool
Most buyers would like to source commodities that are produced in sustainable ways. The lack of accepted standards for some commodities, and the proliferation of certification and labeling schemes for other commodities, makes purchasing decisions difficult.
The Responsible Commodity Initiative (RCI) team's diverse membership includes members of the currently active and pioneering Commodity Roundtables (soy, sugar, oil palm, shrimp and salmon aquaculture). In addition, it includes members of financial institutions that are looking at investment risks and opportunities.
This team has carried out a comparative analysis of current certification and labeling schemes to establish a common understanding of the scope, objectives, and processes that underpin existing systems across a range of commodities. On the basis of this analysis, the team drafted a Benchmarking Tool.
The Benchmarking Tool calls for simple, targeted, and strategic production standards and for measurement of the few key environmental and social indicators that matter most. The goal was a standard that:
- works across a range of commodities;
- is manageable at large scale;
- is less expensive to implement than other models;
- is demonstrably more effective at achieving sustainability goals; and
- motivates continuous improvement in practices, rather than setting minimum requirements which create disincentives to continuous improvement.
In addition to these benefits, a streamlined set of sustainability criteria will also be useful to the financial industry. Banks, commodity financiers, and shareholder activists would use a simple formulation of agricultural standards as conditions on loans and investments, similar to or in conjunction with the Equator Principles (a framework for financial institutions to manage environmental and social issues in project financing).
Last Updated (Thursday, 04 March 2010 16:09)