“Why should I use a sustainability standard?” It’s a question we’re often asked by companies. An Aidenvironment report commissioned by the ISEAL Alliance, the sustainability standards membership group, in 2017 has set out the clear benefits of certification for businesses.

ISEAL Alliance logoThe report, which analyzed 40 previous independent research studies, surveying over a hundred business leaders across four sectors, found a range of benefits – from improved market access, profitability and production to enhanced reputation and reduced risk for certified businesses.

Strengthening business value

For example, 85% of studies showed improved market access while 78% showed operational benefits, such as improved efficiency and reduced risk. In procurement, the benefits included better supply chain risk management and improved transparency and traceability (70% of studies). Almost all sources (98%) referred to sales and marketing related benefits.

Reputation and relationships were also shown to benefit from certification with 60% of studies indicating a reputational benefit and 50% demonstrating improvements to stakeholder engagement, such as better relationships with the financial sector, public sector and NGOs.

The review concludes that “standards offer a wide range of early benefits to businesses along the supply chain which can materialize at business, supply chain and sector level… The early benefits of using standards can significantly strengthen business value and sustainability impacts. Sustainability impact can also support the business value of companies along the supply chain.”

Want to find out more?

The full report and a summary version are both available from the ISEAL website, as well as a handy infographic which summarizes the key findings.

 If you’d like to hear first-hand about the benefits of certification, read why Nestlé, Julius Meinl and Cargill have chosen to work with UTZ. Or you can get in touch with one of our team to discuss the benefits of sustainable sourcing for your business and how to join UTZ.