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Working and general living conditions are important social criteria that play a crucial role for the assessment of sustainability risks. Examples for social indices are poverty, infant mortality, forced labor, child labor or corruption.

Social Indices

GRAS collects available social data from reputable sources that is relevant for sustainability certification of agricultural and forestry products. Social indices may deal with social and health equity, human rights, labor rights, social responsibility and human adaptation.

GRAS identified a couple of indexes that cover important issues such as hunger and nutrition, governance, availability of water etc. E.g. GRAS implemented index values from the Global Hunger Index (GHI), Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI), Global Slavery Index (GSI), Human Development Index (HDI), Environmental Performance Index (EPI) and the UNICEF database. Please learn more about the assessment and selection process of social issue databases in Methodology. GRAS took strong efforts and will further on conduct thorough research for the identification of appropriate social indexes that help to assess social sustainability issues.

All social indexes from varying sources on national level get comprised in an overall social factor that is valid for the whole country. The overall social factor can be displayed as a global ranking of relevant social sustainability risks in countries.

In some countries important social criteria can already be displayed on sub-administrative units, e.g. poverty can be determined for single provinces in Argentina. Hence for the time being such data has only informative character and is not included in the overall calculation of social sustainability as the availability and quality of social sub-administrative data is at present too heterogeneous.


GRAS actively supports the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nation:

Through globally conducted sustainability risk analyses on different stakeholder levels, GRAS works towards deforestation-free supply chains and the conservation of HCV and HCS areas to protect the world’s biodiversity, leading to improvements of living standards of local communities, reduction of poverty, and more equality.

Further, specific goals of the SDGs are recognized within the social components of the GRAS Index through relevant indicators:

  • The integrated HDI is based on the dimensions of health, education and standard of living
  • Human well-being and nutrition are reflected through the GHI which is part of the GRAS Social Index
  • The WGI displays political stability and absence of violence and is integrated in the GRAS Social Index
  • By integrating the UNICEF database, GRAS also provides information related to drinking water and sanitation
  • The integrated EPI is a good indicator for the quality of life below water and life on land