Any company that wants to emphasize the sustainability of its products is encouraged to take responsibility for its entire supply chain, right down to the raw materials. ISCC Plus is a fast-growing certification system that ensures raw materials are responsibly sourced and traceable to their origin. This includes not only plant-based materials, but also renewable raw materials such as circular plastics.

Increasing deforestation, dwindling biodiversity, human rights abuses and alarming reports of plastics in our oceans: the need to ensure responsible raw material extraction is greater than ever. Suppliers of plant-based products are under increasing pressure from their customers to take full responsibility for the sustainability impacts of their raw materials, such as soy, palm, grain, sugarcane, cotton and wood.

But what does it mean for a raw material to be sustainable? The ISCC Plus certification system requires compliance with the following six key principles:

  1. No deforestation
  2. Good agricultural practices
  3. Safe working conditions
  4. Compliance with human rights, labor and land rights
  5. Compliance with laws and international treaties
  6. Good management practices and continuous improvement

All actors along the supply chain, from farms and plantations to processors and traders, can be certified as long as they have an effective system in place to track certified raw materials.

Application scenarios for ISCC PLUS

Corn-based sweeteners, bioplastics, certified cotton, milk cartons: the list of potential applications is long and varied. To give you an idea of the possibilities, here are some examples of ISCC PLUS certifications:

  • Food: At the request of one of the world's leading soft drink brands, Hungrana AG has applied for ISCC PLUS certification for its corn-based sweeteners. The corn, which is grown according to the six ISCC PLUS principles, is used in a variety of products for the food and feed industries. (Source)
  • Packaging: Norwegian cardboard manufacturer Elopak has achieved certification of its renewable, bio-based polyethylene. The raw materials are derived from by-products and waste, reducing the product's carbon footprint.
  • Chemical: SABIC, a Saudi company operating in the chemical industry, has obtained ISCC PLUS certification for circular polymers. Rather than an agricultural product, plastic waste is used as the source material. The waste is converted into a liquid and then mixed with traditional raw materials. This gives plastic waste economic value and prevents it from entering our oceans. (Source)
Constanze Illner

Constanze Illner (she/her) is Research and Communications Officer in the area of sustainability and food safety. In this position, she keeps an eye on all important developments in this context and informs our clientele in a monthly newsletter. She also moderates the annual Sustainability Heroes conference.


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