Standards & Regulations

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Standards and related certification and labelling schemes are key features of products and services in a sustainable supply chain. The number of “green” schemes available has grown exponentially in the last few years and includes over 400 eco-labels alone (UNECE, 2015). However, standards and eco-labels can constitute barriers for small and developing-country producers who may lack the resources required to prove compliance, or for whom the standards are inappropriate.

Nevertheless, standards and regulations are powerful instruments for driving the green growth policy framework and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), because they provide incentives to improve energy efficiency, emissions standards, product market competition, resource use, trade and foreign direct investment, and private sector voluntary initiatives. By informing consumers about products and production processes and providinge clear policy signals to businesses, these tools can be effective in achieving environmental objectives and facilitate best practices in sustainable goods and services markets.

Best Practices

Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED)
Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Green Growth Best Practice (GGBP)

Learning Products

United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC)
Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR), World Resources Institute (WRI), World Bank Group


Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Natural Capital Coalition