ISEAL’s new revised Code of Good Practice will support sustainability standards and similar systems to play a more prominent role within corporate due diligence processes.
LONDON, 18 July: From human rights to deforestation, businesses are increasingly expected to demonstrate that they have taken reasonable steps to address sustainability risks within their supply chains. And as new legislation and international frameworks demand further corporate due diligence, voluntary sustainability standards and similar systems have an important role to play.
ISEAL has recognised this in its draft Code of Good Practice, which provides a global reference for credible, effective sustainability systems. The revised Code aims to help these schemes put in place the processes they need, including to support, facilitate and strengthen due diligence processes.
While voluntary standards and other third-party sustainability systems are not a substitute for corporate due diligence, they provide useful tools to support effective, fair and impactful due diligence processes. Credible systems offer reliable data and information on supply chains, and can support companies in areas such as identifying risks, defining mitigation and improvement pathways, developing grievance and remediation processes, and improving inclusion of smallholders, SMEs and other stakeholders.
Sustainability systems can support companies that want to go beyond mandatory minimum standards. They provide a common framework that supports collective action and promotes sector-wide consistency and transparency.
In addition, sustainability systems must implement responsible business conduct within their own operations in order to achieve integrity and credibility.
The revised Code – which updates and integrates ISEAL’s existing Codes of Good Practice on Assurance, Impacts and Standard-Setting – addresses due diligence in a number of areas. Several clauses make direct reference to due diligence, and defining due diligence responsibilities is positioned as a key part of strategy development.
ISEAL’s Executive Director Karin Kreider said: “Through the revised Code of Good Practice, we want to make sure sustainability systems can help businesses to meet their due diligence responsibilities and other sustainability challenges within their supply chains. We’re keen to hear your views on the revised Code to ensure it meets your needs.”
Businesses and other interested stakeholders are invited to have their say by taking part in the consultation, which is open until 30 July. Find out how you can get involved by visiting https://www.isealalliance.org/iseal-code-consultation.