T4SD: Advisory Services
T4SD has become a go-to source of information on voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) that is widely recognized and cannot be found elsewhere with the same level of detail and user-friendly action oriented tools. VSS will continue to be the primary vehicle underpinning the shift towards sustainable value chains for private sector players, and the new sustainability regulation and legislative actions planned by governments will inevitably include these existing VSS/private initiatives. In line with the 2021-2025 T4SD strategy, the programme is therefore moving towards enhancing its advisory services, in addition to the provision of impartial, credible and freely accessible global public goods and country-specific field interventions.
Based on the increasing demand for such projects, coming from both the private and public sector, T4SD plans on scaling up these activities substantially in 2021-2025, with special emphasis on support to the development of sustainable value chains, and newly to the advice for policy-makers. In doing so, T4SD will use its deep understanding of requirements, processes, and substantive areas covered by sustainability standards, to create efficiencies in application of sustainability frameworks in GVCs.
Between November 2021 and December 2025, and fully in line with the new medium-term T4SD strategy, the project will aim to deliver the following types of activities:
a) driving and enabling benchmarking, convergence and/or harmonization on VSS and related sustainability frameworks;
b) supporting research on sustainable sourcing and procurement efforts as well as alignment of lead firms in various sectors;
c) providing VSS insights and delivering customized sustainability assessment tools, training and capacity building to private and public organizations;
d) facilitating international efforts on convergence between voluntary and mandatory standards and provide input to policy-makers on incorporating VSS into related efforts;
e) supporting individual (human rights & environmental) due diligence efforts via benchmarking and advice on relevant sustainability-related regulations.
The efforts that will be supported via this project are currently fragmented and not coordinated at a global level. As such, it is expected that smaller-scale requests of varying sizes will be part of this project, subject to demand and specific agreements with the individual donors. T4SD, with its global repository of knowledge on sustainability standards is poised to play a central role in unifying these efforts and build on its cooperation with other ITC’s technical programmes, in particular with ITC Alliances for Action (A4A) and its sector perspective also focusing on mandatory due diligence and related sustainability frameworks.