The ISEAL Innovations Fund supports ISEAL members to join forces in exploring new, ambitious solutions to key sustainability challenges. Eight new projects are being supported by the Fund to address barriers to innovation or to build on learning from previous projects.
Earlier this year, the Innovations Fund opened a funding opportunity for the ISEAL community, which continues until 2026 with renewed support from our principal donor, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO.
Eight new initiatives will either build on projects previously supported by the Fund, or enable organisations to unblock barriers to innovation. This diverse portfolio of work is being implemented across multiple geographies and sectors.
All eight projects will explore important themes of interest for the sustainability community, ranging from improving livelihoods, to addressing climate change, to tackling human rights abuses.
Tackling climate change
- Promoting robust greenhouse gas accounting, reporting, claims and incentives: approaches for agricultural commodity supply chain
Lead: Better Cotton
Measuring and reporting on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – particularly Scope 3 emissions – for farms in complex supply chains is a shared challenge for many agricultural sustainability systems. This project will look at existing principles for GHG data collection, accounting and reporting in agricultural commodity production and how this can be applied inter-operably and inclusively. It will also take lessons from past projects and seek to promote and advocate, with partners, for the role of agricultural commodity standards in GHG accounting, reporting, claims and farmer incentives.
Strengthening knowledge on insetting practices
Lead: Climate Neutral Group
Insetting is a relatively new practice for achieving significant greenhouse gas emission reductions and removals, yet its uptake is challenged by a lack of guidance and uncertainty around the topic. This project will consolidate the knowledge from others on insetting practices and explore new approaches to feed into Climate Neutral Group’s standard and beyond, before testing this on the ground to strengthen the knowledge base of this practice for other sustainability systems to learn from.
Improving smallholder livelihoods
- Artisanal and small-scale copper mining in Peru
Lead: The Copper Mark
This project will provide a better understanding of the current landscape, opportunities and challenges faced by the artisanal and small-scale copper mining sector in Peru. Participatory research methods will be used to inform an open dialogue and recommendations about the future sustainable development of this sector.
- Smart assurance: Validating compliance through combining satellite-based monitoring and AI-driven insight generation
Lead: Assurance Services International (ASI)
This project will focus on developing an innovative method of analysing certified areas to rapidly identify and confirm areas at high risk of deforestation. Building on learning from a previous project, the innovative approach will combine satellite data, modern artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and verification on the ground supported by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
Protecting human rights
- Enhancing access to remedy for human rights violations in the botanicals sector
Lead: Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT)
Building on previous learning, this project will assess and address human rights risks and impacts in the botanicals sector. It will jumpstart the development of scheme-level improvements at UEBT, testing these in a country where potential human rights impacts have been recently identified, as well as sharing lessons learned with other multi-stakeholder initiatives.
- Detecting forced labour in supply chains: Effective assessment methodologies
Lead: GoodWeave International
With forced labour a prevalent issue across the world, there is an increasing need for effective tools to assess, identify, and address risks at the production level. Through this project, a framework that was previously developed for rapidly detecting forced and bonded labour within supply chains will be refined and adapted to the ready-made garment sector in Bangladesh using a risk-based approach and new data sources. The improved risk-based methodologies for detection resulting from this project will be shared with other scheme owners that include forced labour criteria in their standards.
- Evaluation of environmental impacts and compliance barriers in the MarinTrust Programme: A focus on Improver Programme factories
The MarinTrust Improver Programme supports marine ingredient production factories which are not ready for MarinTrust certification to improve their practices towards this. The Fund will support MarinTrust to evaluate the main drivers and challenges that these factories face in improving their environmental performance.
- Expansion of Blueprint sustainability assessment to build a common territorial agenda
Lead: Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN)
This project will continue the development of a tool to assess the current state of a specific landscape where agricultural production threatens rural communities and sustainable landscapes. The assessment tool will combine Geographic Information System (GIS) data and the perspectives of a range of local stakeholders to give a better local understanding of the condition of a particular landscape, and support deforestation-free and climate-friendly supply chains.