VSS(s) is always a standard that describes the

VSS(s) are advanced market-based strategies to
endorse sustainable production and business practices. VSS systems are the
proposals from non-government organisations that aim to push the sustainable
production and consumption by generating the market demands for sustainable
products and also a supply to meet those demands. These approaches help buyers
(both consumers and businesses) in recognising the sustainably-made products
and they also lead producers, mine and tourism operators, forest managers, and
others in selecting sustainable practices. VSS systems are a very significant
market instrument for driving sustainability, and the world of standards is
increasingly revolutionising and progressing. In any sustainable standard
system present in an industry, there is always a standard that describes the
good social and environmental practices or performances.  However,
that standard alone would not be enough to build a market for sustainable
products. The market mechanism behind standards depends on 4 other significant
factors of a system which are assurance, labels & claims, traceability and capacity
building. Talking about the traceability here, it’s a system that traces the
‘chain of custody’ of products, from where the products were produced, through
the complete supply chain to give proof of the source of the product that has a
label or a claim. VSS systems feed incentives for various actors to upkeep and
apply more sustainable practices. Consumers trust on these standard systems to
recognise products that were made using such practices which they value and
willing to back up.  For validation of sustainability claims, most of
the standard systems get engaged itself in some form of traceability, which
sometimes also termed as ‘chain of custody’. The most strictly controlled form
of traceability is the ‘Identity preservations’, but this might need a lot of
work as it needs products to be 100% traceable and that too from certified
origins. The selection of a traceability system can have significant use for
total functioning and impact of the standard system, for example; RED
(Renewable Energies Directive) of EU commission. RED has made that mass balance
approach to traceability is tolerable for their necessities to show trustworthy
sourcing of biofuels but specific stakeholders are arguing that this could lead
to falsely claiming to be made. For that, online traceability is perceived a
good replacement for traceability systems and it would also reduce on-site
audit time and cost.