Scientific American: The Sustainability Consortium is set to radically change the world

Gepubliceerd op
19 december 2012

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) - jointly coordinated by Wageningen UR - has been ranked in the top ten 'World Changing Ideas 2012' by the renowned journal Scientific American. These 'World Changing Ideas' relate to ‘innovations that are radical enough to change our lives.' In cooperation with a large number of businesses, universities, and NGOs, TSC standardises methods for measuring the sustainability of consumer products in a scientifically responsible manner. The initiative is seen by Scientific American as an outstanding measurement and reporting system, partly thanks to its coordinating and comprehensive approach.

More and more companies use the TSC standard.  The American supermarket Wal-Mart - along with several European retailers - pilot the TSC products in practice. They do so by asking their suppliers to fill in the questionnaires developed by TSC. In this way, the sustainability of all products can be compared and discussions can be held with suppliers in order to bring about improvements. The suppliers taking part in Walmart's pilot scheme all accounted for a turnover greater than the total Dutch supermarket turnover. In the next few months, new pilot schemes are due to take place, both in the USA and in various European countries.

In addition, The Sustainability Consortium is spreading its wings in Asia, in particular in China. China is a major producer of various goods such as electronics and toys, and is consuming increasing amounts of agricultural raw materials. This means an even greater influence on achieving global sustainability objectives. TSC wants to bring its work to the attention of the Chinese companies, too, and to further extend it.

Dutch members of TSC include Ahold, Unilever, DSM, and the World Wildlife Fund. The initiative was launched a few years ago in North America. There are also branches in South America and Europe. Wageningen UR coordinates the European activities.

The Sustainability Consortium is an organization of diverse global participants working to make the world more sustainable through better products, services and consumption. Around 100 companies are member.