Justifying the standardization of sustainability impact

Allison Marie Loconto, (forthcoming)

To be published in: Constance, D., Konefal, J., and M. Hatanaka (eds) Contested Sustainabilities. New York: Routledge.

Abstract. Sustainability standards are increasingly being used to encourage, measure and prove the adoption of sustainable practices. Yet it is unclear what measures have been developed to ‘prove’ the ‘responsibility’ of standards development organizations in ‘impacting’ sustainable practices. By drawing upon the French school of pragmatic sociology, I argue that the ISEAL Impacts Code is a ‘good’ form of meta-governance that enables the use of sustainability standards to prove the responsibility of corporations to make sustainability impacts. However, the ‘goodness’ of this form appeals to multiple orders of worth, which illustrates that there are aspects of sustainability impact, particularly its forms, that remain contested.

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