The verification of sustainability is far more complex. The verification not only concerns a full range of sustainability issues, but also needs to include the full life cycle of the product, from cradle to grave or from the source of all raw materials to the its disposal.
Full verification of a this complex system seems virtually impossible and far too expensive.
However a standard without verification is doomed to be untrustworthy.
We are developing feasible certification or verification systems, which will be a “risk based verification”, possibly consisting of a combination following systems:
- The common accredited certification systems.
- A system of transfer of unsustainability within the supply chain with the Eco Social Cost Unit (ESCU) in an equal way as costs are transferred with prices (Financial Cost Units).
- The start of most supply chains is at raw materials. Though we know an endless amount of products, these probably consist of a limited amount of major raw materials, the commodities. The Oiconomy Foundation investigates if this statement is true and will determine the typical ESCU’s for these raw materials and create a start for the major part of most products.
- A hot spot database needs to be developed, consisting of combinations of locations, issues and products/companies. This hotspot database will be a great help to assess the sustainability risks and the issues which either or not need to be verified.
Thie idea is a “risk based verification system”, in which only those issue/location/organization combinations are verified that represent a risk.