SustainabilityXchange is the latest innovation in sustainable value chain development that facilitates interaction, knowledge and resource sharing among supply chain actors and technical assistance providers.
This free online platform was launched in London on 21 May, at the Global Sustainability Standards Conference, during the session “More than an Audit: Building Trust and Capacity through Certification”, hosted by ISEAL.
The idea was conceived by Hivos and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation. Additional donors were found in the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), UTZ Certified, 4C Association, and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH). A tender was published in 2013, which was won by the International Trade Centre Geneva (ITC), Fair Access to Quality (FAQ), Fair & Sustainable, and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, who together developed the infrastructure of the platform and provide a critical mass of its content.
This initiative fills an important need for knowledge-sharing on sustainable production and trade to move towards a greener and more equitable and environmentally sound global economy. It allows its users – trainers, businesses, standard organizations, SMEs, and NGOs – to promote their services proactively, exchange their views and experiences, search for experts, workshops and training material ask and answer questions from the community, and to stay connected with the latest news.
Ultimately, SustainabilityXchange empowers people and the sector as a whole to learn and share with each other. It helps strengthen competitiveness and sustainable economic development in developing countries.
The primary target group of the SustainabilityXchange platform are local service providers such as business development services, trainers, trade promotion organisations, businesses, consultants and NGOs that facilitate the development of sustainable supply chains.
SustainabilityXchange provides five services, making it the one-stop-shop for stakeholders working in the sectors of agriculture, forestry and aquaculture:
1) a library tailored to sustainability material and training material;
2) a calendar of upcoming training events;
3) a directory of trainers and consultants;
4) a discussion forum, and;
5) a newsroom collecting the latest news in the area of sustainable supply chain development.
The sharing of knowledge, together with the focus on transparency and accountability, is what has led Hivos to invest in this initiative. SustainabilityXchange can function as the ideal meeting point for governments, the private sector and international organisations to create a fertile environment for inclusive and sustainable development.