George Watene at the Global Sustainability Standards Conference
“Sustainability standards need to be able to measure and prove their impact”, Thomas Vellacott, Chief Executive Officer at WWF Switzerland, said at the opening ceremony of the Global Sustainability Standards Conference, meeting on 27th June in Zurich.
GCP was present at the conference and took part in the opening activation session. We presented the lessons we have learned on the journey towards a common measurement framework for coffee to a range of global sustainability experts.
The need for detailed information on progress has never been more pressing, and as coffee is one of the very first commodities to tackle sustainability it is also well positioned to share experiences on facilitating a common language in the change that the sector is undergoing towards common global sustainability goals.
Lessons from the coffee sector
There are several key lessons, including the importance of stakeholders analysing which areas they have the greatest capacity to effectively change and then looking at common ways to measure and collectively report on these areas. A common measurement framework also enables individuals to self-scrutinize and improve by comparing and sharing knowledge with peers.
Furthermore, by confirming what works and what does not, a robust measurement framework ensures scarce investments are used most effectively for greater returns and sustainability of the sector.
Earlier in June participants at the World of Coffee Conference in Budapest, took part in an afternoon workshop on the process with many of the participants reiterating that it is essential to measure the issues identified by the working group volunteers.
Plans are now underway to iron out the technical parts of this suggestions for presentation to stakeholders as a concrete proposal, so stay tuned this month for updates on the Sustainability Progress Framework.