What Does It Look Like in Practice To Credibly Manage Sustainability Claims?

ISEAL’s revised Code of Good Practice looks to support trustworthy sustainability claims, and businesses are invited to have their say.
Dec 8, 2022 2:00 PM ET
Green seedling in tree trunk

December 8, 2022 /3BL Media/ - With businesses increasingly seeking to use their green and ethical credentials as a selling point, sustainability claims are coming under renewed scrutiny. In Europe, new regulations are being introduced to prevent greenwashing, while high-profile cases have seen companies censured for making misleading claims.

Sustainability standards and similar systems can enable businesses to communicate their sustainability efforts, but it’s critical that these claims are trustworthy. To help sustainability systems and their stakeholders better navigate this tricky area, ISEAL is incorporating claims management into its revised Code of Good Practice – a global reference for credible, effective sustainability systems.

As part of its consultation on the draft Code of Good Practice, ISEAL recently hosted a webinar on claims management. The workshop looked at how the Code aims to ensure that schemes can be relied upon to manage claims, and that claims made are clear, accurate and relevant. It sought feedback from sustainability systems, businesses, NGOs and other stakeholders.

The draft Code contains a new chapter on claims management, which outlines the policies and processes that sustainability systems should have in place to maintain the integrity of any claims made and to make sure that any claims are being backed up with evidence. 

The draft Code – which also updates and integrates ISEAL’s existing Codes of Good Practice on Assurance, Impacts and Standard-Setting – establishes strong links between claims and other areas of good practice. For example, a strong assurance system and clear approach to traceability is essential for connecting customer-facing claims to performance on the ground, while monitoring, evaluation and learning systems help sustainability schemes to substantiate claims with evidence.  

ISEAL Innovations Director, Patrick Mallet, said: “Credible sustainability claims depend on credible systems. We believe the revised Code of Good Practice will help sustainability systems and the businesses that use them to stand out from the crowd with clear, honest claims about their impact. We’re keen to hear what you think, so please send us your feedback.”

Businesses are invited to have their say on the draft by taking part in our consultation, which is open until 16 December. Find out how you can get involved by visiting the Code consultation webpage.

Watch the claims workshop here