Why the SSI Matters

There are now more than 400 voluntary sustainability standards operating across the planet. As demand and supply of standard compliant products grows, so does the need to understand how voluntary sustainability standards are developing overtime, both in terms of the systems they deploy and the market impacts they have.

The State of Sustainability Initiatives exists in recognition of this need. It is our hope that when the ensuing data and analysis is read in conjunction with the growing body of field-level impact data, that supply chain decision makers can strengthen their own strategic decision-making processes in ways that provide optimal sustainable development impact.

The project is currently funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).



Over the last two decades, a growing number of voluntary sustainability initiatives and other multistakeholder alliances have emerged to improve the livelihoods of the millions of commodity-dependent producers and manufacturers around the world. The multiplicity of these initiatives makes it increasingly challenging for stakeholders to stay informed on their utility, performance and best practices.

The State of Sustainability Initiatives (SSI) project is a product of multi-stakeholder meetings (2003-2006) on sustainable commodities production and trade, facilitated by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the International Institute for Sustainable Development, under the auspices of the Sustainable Commodity Initiative (SCI). Building on requests for improved information on the impacts and opportunities associated with voluntary sustainability initiatives, the SCI, through a special partnership with the International Institute for Environment and Development and Aid environment, launched the SSI project in 2008.

Our Experts

200f2-ottawa-headshot-photographer-IISD Cristina Larrea 18 Mar 201946335-Web
Cristina Larrea

Cristina leads the Sustainability Standards Workstream for the Economic Law and ...

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Christopher Wunderlich

Christopher is the Advisory Services Coordinator with SSI and IISD. He has worke...

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Vivek Voora

Vivek Voora works with the Economic Law & Policy and Water programs at IIS...

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Gabriel Huppe
Gabriel Huppe

Gabriel has been involved with the SSI since 2011, and has played a key role in ...

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Laura Turley

Laura has been working with IISD's Economic Law and Policy program since 2012, f...

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Steffany Bermúdez

Steffany Bermudez is the Data Collection and Analysis Specialist for the SSI-SID...

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Supporting Partners