The capacity for international trade to precipitate and perpetuate distant environmental impacts has eclipsed the potential of societies to govern those impacts. Efforts are being made to bridge this gap, through a range of product-specific initiatives to govern the impacts of trade in (eg.) tropical timber, palm oil, soya, beef and bluefin tuna.
These initiatives are deployed by major global corporations (Unilever, Kraft etc.) in the form of sourcing policies, by governments through public procurement policies (Netherlands, Belgium) and prohibitions on illegally-logged timber (US, EU, Australia), and collectively through multi-stakeholder forums (FSC, MSC, RSPO). I am investigating these initiatives from a 'macro' perspective, exploring the synergies and tensions between them and ultimately hoping to illuminate their collective potential and limitations to address distant environmental impacts.