ISEAL value change programme

Value Chains account for over 70% of all global emissions and decarbonizing them is key to accelerating the global transition. Commodities purchased, processed, transported, and packaged by corporates are a major part of value chain emissions. With the advent of Science-Based Targets, the growing number of companies setting value chain mitigation targets, and increasing efforts to achieve them, certified commodities have a key role to play.

The ISEAL Programme seeks to define common practices to quantify carbon emission reductions in certified commodities in a way that corporate purchasers can report against their Science-Based Targets or other climate performance objectives.

Objective & outcome

The objectives of the Programme are to explore how to capture the emissions attributes and assumed carbon benefits of participating ISEAL Standard’s certified commodities within the suite of mechanisms and targets around which companies can align.

The outcome is a Guidance document to assist ISEAL members and their stakeholders to design and implement robust climate accounting, reporting and disclosure strategies within their schemes. It aims to support ISEAL member standards in creating, implementing and continually improving a “Greenhouse Gas Reporting System” (GHG-RS) to:

  • Identify the needs and capacities of stakeholders in order to inform a credible, robust, accessible and equitable system
  • Create accounting approaches that are comprehensive, credible and appropriate to the member’s context and sector
  • Attribute emissions qualities to certified goods such that corporates in the appropriate chain of custody and in recognition of traceability and safeguarding issues, including making good use of the definitions and practices of allocation of supply and chain of custody in the ISEAL community
  • Quantify and monitor energy process and land management emissions associated with their certified commodities generally AND
  • Allow room for producers to take action to improve their emissions profile in order, for example, to seek beneficial pricing or preferential procurement

Approach & timeline

The Programme started in September 2020 with the participation of ISEAL members – including FSC, Better Cotton Initiative, Textile Exchange, MSC, RSB and Fairtrade – as well as the Landscape Finance Lab.

In August 2021, a draft Guidance was published and opened for public consultation (see here). Pilots to test the application of the guidance are currently underway with FSC, the Better Cotton Initiative and the support of five corporates representing different sectors.

Feedback from the public consultation and pilots will be integrated in a final Guidance, which is expected to be published around May 2022.


The ISEAL Programme is made possible thanks to a grant from the ISEAL Innovations Fund, which is supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO.

The ISEAL Innovations Fund is supported by: