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18:00 - 19:00 20 January 2015

Competition and Cooperation in the Market of Voluntary Sustainability Standards


G6 Lecture Theatre - Institute of Archaeology | UCL Institute of Archaeology (link Map)
31–34 Gordon Square | London | WC1 | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Axel Marx, Deputy Director, Leuven Centre for Global Governance (Belgium)

Voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) have proliferated over the last two decades. Currently there are at least more than 400 schemes operating internationally. The lecture will start with a description of the emergence, proliferation and global diffusion of VSS. It subsequently focuses on the diversity between systems in the wider group of VSS. What emerges is a diverse and growing (both on the supply and demand side) market of VSS. This proliferation and diversification of VSS is creating problems such as a credibility gap, increased costs to gain certification by multiple VSS systems and a potential race to the bottom of systems. These problems point to the need for increased cooperation between VSS systems. Next, the lecture introduces and discusses two mechanisms which can facilitate more cooperation, mutual recognition and meta-regulation.


Monica Barbone
+44 (0)20 3108 9289 | m.barbone@ucl.ac.uk