There are many sustainability standards and public-sector initiatives that promote sustainability within commodity sectors. Despite their proliferation, however, important gaps remain, which challenge the collective ability of these programs to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on a global scale.
Private companies—especially those that market directly to consumers—are under increasing pressure to demonstrate the impact of their sourcing practices. While the current approach of assessing product life cycles can help to highlight environmental improvements, it fails to take into account the social or economic impacts of responsible sourcing decisions. Companies need measurable metrics and tools to assess and report on their progress toward publicly communicated sustainability commitments.