Strengthening assurance to manage risk

To be trusted, sustainability standards need to show that they can effectively identify and address the real issues that businesses, governments and consumers care about.

Standards verify that those involved in producing goods and services around the world comply with good practices detailed in their standard. Traditionally, this process has relied on an auditor who visits each operation to gather the information needed to make a compliance assessment, potentially leading to a certificate being issued.

Today, new technologies and the increased availability of data to support this process are transforming audits and increasing the reliability and efficiency of certification. Assurance innovations that standards are experimenting with include:

  • the use of new sources of data, from satellite imagery to worker hotlines
  • better use of data to detect high risk sustainability issues, such as forced labour
  • development of new assurance services such as performance dashboards for certified enterprises.


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