The last few years have seen the emergence of new standards. Although these standards are considered as soft law and were not produced in an intergovernmental framework, they play an important role because they are the result of contractual agreements between the main actors within the same industrial sector. Among the examples which are given below, we can distinguish the standards in which states participate in the governance and those in which they are absent.
1) States participating in governance:
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)
Launched in 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, supported by many governments and the World Bank, the EITI organizes a transparency process for payments resulting of the exploitation of natural resources by extractive industries. The EITI aims to strengthen governance by improving transparency and accountability through its methodology and its tripartite management (states, companies and NGOs). Thirty extractive countries belong to this initiative which has inspired legislative developments in U.S. and Europe.
Kimberley Process – Diamond (KP)
The result of discussions that began in May 2000 in Kimberley, South Africa, the Process is an international certification scheme for rough diamonds which brings together governments and the diamond industry in order to prevent the marketing of diamonds mined in favour of rebel movements and financing their military activities. The process has 48 members representing 74 countries.
2) States absent from governance
Fair labour association (FLA)
Founded in 1999 as a non-profit organization that defends the rights of workers and is committed to improve working conditions by promoting compliance with national and international labor laws, the FLA brings together universities, companies and civil society. It is the source of standards set in the textile and clothing sector, declined thereafter to other production lines.
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)
Organization resulting of a partnership between WWF and industrials of the food chain, RSPO brings together since 2004, producers, distributors and associations for the protection of the environment. RSPO proposes a certification which aims at promoting a sustainable production of palm oil through legal management and operation practices that are economically viable, environmentally respectful and socially positive.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
This eco-label established in 1993 ensures that the production of wood and wood-based products has complied procedures compatible with the sustainable management of forests. Governance is provided by three bodies that deal with issues of quality and environmental, social and economic performance.
Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP)
Program launched in 2006 by distributors with the support of the International Human Rights Federation (FIDH). The GSCP aims to establish a shared, coherent and comprehensive approach in the effort to improve working conditions throughout the supply chain, including pooling supplier audits. The Policy Board includes NGOs, trade unions and a UN agency.
Updated on: 15.04.13