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A sneak peak into new sustainability standard ULE 880

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A new sustainability standard, dubbed ULE 880—Sustainability for Manufacturing Organizations, is in development. The initial public comment period for the standard, which was authored by UL Environment (a division of Underwriters Laboratories) and Greener World Media, was recently completed, and the comments are now being reviewed. A recent article in the Kinaxis Supply Chain Expert Community blog describes the components of this new standard, which is meant to synthesize “the wide variety of standards, guidelines and specifications for driving sustainability in organizations.” ULE 880 aims to provide organizations with a systematic and regimented way of “understanding, addressing, and communicating [their] environmental and social impacts,” and thus considering these variables in their core decision-making processes. Organizations will also be able to use ULE 880 “as a procurement tool [that allows] companies, public agencies and institutional buyers to assess the performance of their supply chains and trading partners.”

The article describes the five domains of sustainability covered by ULE 880 as:

  • Sustainability Governance: how an organization leads and manages itself in relation to its stakeholders, including its employees, investors, regulatory authorities, customers, and the communities in which it operates

  • Environment: an organization’s environmental footprint across its policies, operations, products and services, including its resource use and emissions

  • Workplace: issues related to employee working conditions, organization culture, and effectiveness

  • Customers and Suppliers: issues related to an organization’s policies and practices on product safety, quality, pricing, and marketing as well as its supply chain policies and practices

  • Social and Community Engagement: an organization’s impacts on its community in the areas of social equity, ethical conduct, and human rights

The next step for ULE 880 is a peer-reviewed response to feedback from 600+ commenters, followed by a trial period in which a small set of manufacturers will pilot the standard. You can read more about ULE 880 at and the Kinaxis Supply Chain Expert Community blog.

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