FSSC endorses IAF's joint statement on sustainability assurance

The International Accreditation Forum (IAF), alongside five additional signatory organizations, is pleased to announce a groundbreaking joint statement on sustainability assurance. This collaborative effort addresses urgent sustainability challenges by emphasizing the vital role of consensus-based standards and accredited conformity assessment in driving positive impact.

The six signatory organizations collaborating on the joint statement are the IAF, ISEAL, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Independent International Organisation for Certification (IIOC), IQNET Association – the International Certification Network (IQNET), and TIC Council.

They have pledged to work collaboratively, combining their expertise, networks, and resources to promptly, efficiently, and effectively implement the joint statement’s objectives. By fostering dialogue, conducting joint activities, and leveraging their networks, the signatory organizations aim to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices and deliver tangible impact to businesses and society.

Consensus-based standards and accredited conformity assessments are critical tools to establish trust, foster innovation, and drive improved sustainability performance. Accredited conformity assessment builds trust and confidence in sustainable products, practices, organizations, and services by providing independent, third-party verification. The transparency and consistency offered by consensus-based standards enable organizations to compare their performance, identify areas for improvement, and adopt sustainable practices.

The joint statement underscores the importance of global interoperability, recognizing the need for seamless integration of sustainability practices across borders. It also highlights the role of accredited conformity assessment in promoting international trade and cooperation and harmonizing evaluation outputs. Additionally, the statement emphasizes the major significance of competence, market-ready solutions, regulatory recognition, and scalability in achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs).

We believe that through collaborative efforts and robust conformity assessment activities, we can facilitate the transition to a more sustainable future. The joint statement serves as a testament to our commitment to addressing sustainability challenges and promoting credible sustainability assurance.
Mr. Emanuele Riva (IAF Chair)

A significant milestone in the collective journey toward sustainability assurance, this joint statement will assist in coordinating efforts between the signatory bodies and pave the way for organizations, governments, and businesses worldwide to measure, improve, and enhance their sustainability performance over time.

Foundation FSSC, a non-profit organization, has been an active member of IAF since 2017. Aldin Hilbrands, CEO of FSSC and Vice Chair of the IAF User Advisory Committee, focuses on the end users of accredited conformity assessment services. He is also the co-convenor of the IAF Working Group on Sustainability. As such, he has been actively developing the IAF Statement to align key stakeholders around a common approach to sustainability assurance.

FSSC, as a Scheme owner, advocates for contributing to and creating a better world and aligns the work of IAF with the organization’s mission: to provide trust and deliver impact within the consumer goods industry.

The recent launch of the FSSC 24000 Scheme for Social Sustainability extends the scope of FSSC to include a social management system Scheme that can assist organizations in meeting social sustainability and performance requirements.

Watch the video clip below to hear Aldin Hilbrands discuss the connection between IAF and FSSC and supporting sustainability assurance into the future.

FSSC Building Trust and Creating Impact in Conformity Assessment | CEO Aldin Hilbrands


About IAF

The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) is a global organization that brings together Conformity Assessment Accreditation Bodies and other interested entities in the field of conformity assessment. Its main goal is to establish a universal program of conformity assessment, reducing risks for businesses and customers by ensuring that accredited certificates are trustworthy.

Accreditation guarantees the competence and impartiality of the accredited bodies. The IAF has two primary purposes: to ensure the competency and impartiality of its accreditation body members and to establish Multilateral Recognition Arrangements (MLAs) that allow accredited certificates to be recognized worldwide.

By eliminating technical barriers to trade, the MLA contributes to the freedom of global trade. The ultimate objective is for the MLA to cover all Accreditation Bodies in all countries, eliminating the need for multiple certifications for products or services sold worldwide. The aim is for “certified once – accepted everywhere” to become a reality.


Read the original Press Release on the IAF Website here.

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