From Sustainable Raw Materials to Sustainable Products: ISCC PLUS for Food, Feed, Packaging and Chemistry

Constanze Illner CSR & Responsible Sourcing, Environment, Food Safety & Hygiene

Any company that wishes to highlight the sustainability of its products will need to assume responsibility for its entire supply chain, all the way back to the raw materials. ISCC Plus is a rapidly growing certification scheme that enables companies to ensure that raw materials are sourced responsibly and to trace them back to their origin. The scheme focuses not only on plant-based materials, but also on renewable raw materials, such as circular plastics.  

Increasing deforestation, declining biodiversity, violations of human rights and alarming reports about plastics in our oceans: the need to ensure that raw materials are sourced responsibly is greater than ever. Suppliers of plant-based products are under increasing pressure from their clients to provide full accountability for the sustainability impact of their raw materials, such as soy, palm, cereals, sugarcane, cotton and wood. 

But what does it mean for a raw material to be sustainable? The ISCC Plus certification scheme demands compliance with six main principles:

  1. Zero Deforestation
  2. Good Agricultural Practice
  3. Safe Working Conditions
  4. Compliance with Human Rights, Labour Rights 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 processers and traders, can be certified, provided they have an effective system to trace the certified raw materials. 

Use cases of ISCC Plus

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

  • Food: Upon request of one of the world’s leading brands of softdrinks, Hungrana Ltd. has sought ISCC PLUS certification for its sweeteners, which are based on corn. The corn, which is grown in accordance with the six ISCC PLUS principles, goes into a variety of products for the food and feed industry. (source)
  • Packaging: Norwegian manufacturer of cartons Elopak has achieved certification for their renewable, biobased PE. The raw materials are derived from by-products and waste, thereby reducing the carbon footprint of the product. (source)
  • Chemistry: SABIC, a Saudi company active in the chemical industry, has obtained ISCC PLUS certification for circular polymers. Their raw material is not an agricultural product, but plastic waste. The waste is converted into a liquid and then mixed with traditional feedstock. This gives plastic waste an economic value and prevents it from ending up in our oceans. (source)

DQS – Your Partner for ISCC PLUS Certification

With experienced auditors across the globe, DQS is your partner for ISCC PLUS certification. Contact us to discuss your projects or sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.


Constanze Illner Administrator
Constanze Illner is Research & Communication Officer at DQS CFS GmbH
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Constanze Illner Administrator
Constanze Illner is Research & Communication Officer at DQS CFS GmbH
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