This paper reviews the literature on the drivers of voluntary social and environmental standards-setting, their relationship with the multilateral trading system, the link with national public authorities, as well as suggesting implications for the roles of public sector actors in corporate social responsibility.
Overall the paper uses a ‘governance framing’ which takes account of the relationship between voluntary social and environmental standards and public governance, building the analytical foundation for guidelines for standards-setters. It ends by proposing an initial set of Principles on voluntary social and environmental standards and public policy to be used by standards-setters.
Halina Ward and Mai-Lan Ha
Pacific Institute and FDSD, September 2012