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Frequently Asked Questions

Watch these guidance videos on the GSES Platform:

The CSR pillar from GSE-Standard is based on the international guideline for Social Responsibility of Organizations: ISO 26000:2011.

The GSE-Standard Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) pillar encompasses all major United Nations standards of conduct. The international CSR guideline has strong connections with the other pillars of GSE-Standard and other instruments such as the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines and the Integrated Reporting Framework.

This CSR pillar gives organizations and their supply chains insight into their CSR performance. It’s measured at the organizational and process level.

The Sustainable Procurement (SP) or Socially Responsible Procurement (SRP) pillar from GSE-Standard is based on the ISO 20400. SP is a theme that plays a prominent role in organizations that develop and implement a sustainable strategy.

The ISO 20400 guideline offers a practical and highly professional approach to help achieve a sustainable strategy on the one hand and to make supply chains more sustainable on the other.

The GSE-Standard’s CO2 pillar of GSE-Standard is for the most part based on ISO 14064-1:2019 and ISO 50001:2018.

The GSES CO2 pillar standard further contains specific requirements for reporting and verification of the organization’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Each organization is responsible for a certain amount of greenhouse gas emissions (either direct or indirect). And each organization will be affected by climate change in some way. There are implications for organizations in terms of 1) minimizing their own GHG emissions (limitation) and 2) planning to prepare for a changing climate (adaptation).

With a growing world population and general increase in prosperity, the risk of a further increase in CO2 emissions is big. The Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2015; this set the goal of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. To reach this goal it is pivotal that we look at our energy consumption, means of transport, eating habits and (business) traveling – to name a few.

In absence of an ISO standard for Circular Economy, the Circular Economy pillar of GSE Standard is based on the BS 8001:2017 ‘Framework for implementing the principles of the circular economy in organizations – Guide, British Standards Institution (BSI), 2017’.

There are various areas of interest for the circular economy:

● Raw materials, materials and components: by reusing (raw) materials and components that come back from the own or other value chain(s) as much as possible, the use of ‘virgin’ materials and thus the depletion of scarce raw materials can be greatly reduced.

● Waste: waste from own production processes or from other organizations, with new collaborations or innovations, can often be used for recycling (be it down-cycling, or upcycling). This prevents exhaustion or possible burning of raw materials.

● Production processes: optimizing production processes can contribute to reducing the use of (raw) materials. The more efficient the processes, the less failure and waste. Using a method like Lean Six Sigma could help the organization to optimize its processes.

● Packaging: an important point of attention in many business models for the circular economy is the handling of packaging.

● Business models: various business models have now been developed to help the organization determine its strategy.

The GSE-Standard Health & Safety (HS) pillar is based on the international standard ISO 45001:2018 ‘Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use’.

An organization is responsible for creating safe and healthy working conditions for its employees – and for others who may be affected by a company’s activities. This responsibility includes promoting and protecting physical and mental health.

The introduction of a management system for safe and healthy working conditions aims to prevent work-related injuries and health problems and continuously improve its Health & Safety performance.

The Health & Safety pillar of GSE-Standard also integrates aspects of health and safety as employee welfare. The pillar does not address topics such as product safety, material damage or environmental impact – aside from the health and safety risks these topics might expose employees and relevant stakeholders to.

The GSE Meta Standard (Global Sustainable Metastandard) is an overarching standard that benchmarks over 550 existing certifications and ecolabels enabling the only scalable way to verified Sustainability and ESG data driven decision making.

The GSE Standard (Global Sustainable Enterprise Standard) is the benchmark of the GSE Metastandard (Global Sustainable Metastandard), based on the research our experts and partners did on what and how the 550+ ecolabels and certifications that are already existing in the world measure and how they are verified. The market identified 6 main topics of sustainability relating to the 6 pillars in the GSE Metastandard and the GSE Standard.
Every pillar of the GSE Standard and GSE Metastandard is linked to an ISO, UNDP guideline created globally to enable sustainability reporting on different topics. Like this:

• CSR pillar = based on the ISO 26000 and the outcome after verification of the online assessment = GSES Corporate Social Responsibility certificate ISO 26000 compliance

• Sustainable Procurement pillar = based on the ISO 20400 and the outcome after verification of the online assessment = GSES Sustainable Procurement certificate ISO 20400 compliance

• Carbon reduction = based on ISO 50001, ISO 14064-1 and the outcome after verification of the online assessment = GSES Carbon reduction certificate based on ISO 50001 and ISO 14064-1

• Biodiversity = based on the BS 8683 and the outcome after verification of the online assessment = GSES Biodiversity certification

• Health & Safety = based on the ISO 45001 and the outcome after verification of the online assessment = GSES Health and Safety certification based on ISO 45001

• Circular Economy = based on the BS 8001 and the outcome after verification of the online assessment = GSES Circular Economy certification BS 8001 based on BS 8001

Here you see that every pillar of the GSE Standard as well as the GSE Metastandard are based on internationally accepted standards and guidelines acknowledged by governments and cross sectoral industries. We digitised this standard into an online platform.

The OECD has developed Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct, which provides practical support to enterprises on the implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. These are guidelines for companies on how to deal with issues such as supply chain responsibility, human rights, child labor, the environment and corruption.

GSES applies the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct to its six pillars and supply chain approach.

The NDI and SGS Search co-developed the Circular Footprint (CF), part of the overarching Sustainable Footprint. End users of products and projects can see exactly how circular their end product is by scanning a QR code or NFC tag.

The CF is generic, workable, scalable and based on existing standards such as Cradle to Cradle (C2C) and EMF of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Differences between CF and EMF include:

The distinction between product components in the supply chain and the product itself makes it possible to determine the index in complex chains. The CPF index can be determined for a (product) component. This index can be passed on in the chain, so that ultimately the total CF index for the product can be determined. This provides a scalable CF index determination, which can be calculated in this way for complex systems. This is not possible with the EMF and C2C standard;
The CF takes production waste / loss into consideration;
In another comparison with EMF: CF includes recyclable and compostable material;
In contrast to EMF, CF does not take the lifespan into account, because claims regarding the lifetime are difficult to prove. Moreover, they are highly dependent on the use and user. The NDI is currently working to include the time element in its CFs.

The CO2 pillar in the GSES System is based on ISO 14064-1: 2012 Guidance at the organization level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals. This ISO standard contains requirements for design, development, management, reporting and verification of the greenhouse gas emissions ‘accounting’ of the organization.

Organizations that already have a valid CO2 Prestatieladder certificate also automatically receive points on the GSES CO2 pillar and, depending on the level of the certificate, even an exemption on the GSES CO2 pillar.

The CSR pillar in the GSES System is based on ISO 26000 guidelines, the HLS, GRI and OECD guidelines. Because the MVO Prestatieladder offers a practical addition to the ISO 26000 guideline, the CSR performance ladder is included as an exemption in the GSES System.

The MVO prestatieladder is included in the Sustainable Meta Standard that is integrated into the GSES System. Therefore organizations that already have a valid MVO Prestatieladder certificate automatically receive points (and even exemptions) for the score on the GSES CSR pillar, depending on the level of the certificate.

Yes, the GSES system can be used as a procurement tool. The supplier functionality on the online GSES platform offers participants the opportunity to invite and rank their suppliers on standardized and internationally accepted sustainability themes such as CSR, Sustainable Procurement, CO2 Reduction, Circular Economy, Health & Safety and Chain transparency and collaboration.

After the suppliers publish their scores of the themes of your choice in the form of a validated assessment, a ranking of suppliers appears on your supplier dashboard.

How does NDI want to change the rules of existing economies that are not sustainable enough?

Change can be only achieved through collaboration and joining forces, both locally, nationally and internationally. One willing organization (unless very large) does not have the ability to change the rules on its own. The NDI has a multi-stakeholder approach and organizes multi-stakeholder consultations.
The NDI is active in creating a Coalition of the Willing.

The strength of the GSES system is that it stimulates and influences stakeholders inside and outside the value chain. Furthermore, change will come by involving consumers, who can scan QR codes to view the sustainability performance of organizations and products on the GSES Score Card.

By enabling sustainable entrepreneurs to measure and visualize their performance on the various themes of sustainability, we are offering them the tools to increase their market share and impact – in the B2B and B2C markets. This way, we are constantly expanding the new economy on both a national and an international level.

GSES will provide the customer with a product that is continuously developed further with new functions, improvements and legal amendments. This product is called GSES System Platform and is made available as standard through the GSES online system. This section contains information about development, version management, system requirements, product support.

Services and responsibilities

GSES develops and delivers the software (GSES System Platform) and can, in most cases, take care of the implementation of this software at its customers. Customers are themselves responsible for the correct configuration of the application. If the application requires adjustment because of performance or security issues, GSES will contact the customer to implement the required adjustment. This service is included.

GSES ensures a correct delivery of applicable legislation in the software, for example, in relation to taxation matters and collective bargaining agreements (also known as collective labour agreements). The customer is responsible for correct application.

GSES is not responsible for the correct operation of links of additional software packages or additional services of third parties.

Property rights

The intellectual property right of the products is vested and will continue to be vested on GSES. If a third party should claim that the intellectual property right of the software is vested on him or her, the customer shall indemnify the customer. A condition in relation to this is, however, that the customer informs GSES as soon as possible, cooperates with the investigation and leaves the settlement of the issue completely to GSES from this point on.

The property right with regard to the entered data and the data generated by the application is vested on the customer. GSES may not and shall not appropriate customer data.

A licence does not entitle the customer to what is commonly referred to as the source code. A separate agreement can be concluded for an escrow agreement.

Development and version management

The software is continuously developed further and supplied with new functions, improvements and legal amendments. The delivery policy can be found on the customer portal.

Broadly speaking, GSES uses the following delivery schedule:

– Version: 2-3 times a year;
– Patch: On a daily basis if applicable.

Every version comes with release notes. They describe which components have been changed.

The migration date will be made definitive at least five days in advance. The total migration duration of the version is six to eight weeks. The data will not be available temporarily with regard to the migration from one version to the next.

The time

during which the data will not be available is very dependent on a number of factors such as data conversion, size of the database and the quantity of records to be changed. Experience has shown that the maximum time is between 5 minutes and 2.5 hours. These activities are performed as much as possible outside office hours (Monday to Friday: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and customers are notified well in advance.

Every report made to the Support Centre is referred to as an ‘incident’. An incident can be an error, fault, preference, set-up issue or user question.

Customers may be referred to Service Management with regard to set-up issues (for more information, see Service Management).

The administrator of the customer portal can determine who may contact the Support Centre on be- half of their organization through the “employee” or “administrator” authorization role. The support employee will check whether the contact has been given authorization with regard to this with regard to each incident. If a user is not a contact with the organization, support is not given by the support employee. GSES expects that the customer maintains this issue because the customer is best placed to determine who are authorized.

If the Help Centre does not offer a solution, the customer can submit an incident to the Support Centre. The customer can contact the Support Centre immediately with regard to an immediate problem situation after registering the incident on the customer portal. After entering the incident number on the telephone, the customer will be connected directly with the support employee who is processing the incident.

The customer can follow the settlement of the incident through the customer portal. The customer will receive an update by email every time the status changes. The customer will be involved in the settlement of the incident and can add his or her response and other additional information. The re- store time with regard to a problem will depend on the seriousness and duration of the situation and the degree in which GSES depends on third parties for the performance of restore or repair activities.

The priority of the issue determines the response time. Most incidents are about issues that are related to knowledge about the product. These issues are often resolved the same day. If the issue is related to functionality that does not yet exist, that is, a preference, this is submitted to Product Management. It cannot always be indicated when and whether the preference will be fulfilled.

Every incident will be assigned a priority. It will be assigned by the support employee who processes the incident. The guidelines that we use for this are as follows:

– Priority 3: Informative issues/preferences: In 90% of cases, the same or the next day (if it is ex- ceptionally busy, the customer will be informed about this).

– Priority 2: Problems that do not disrupt production: Restore time/workaround within one month insofar as this is possible.

– Priority 1: Production-disrupting problems: Restore time/workaround within five working days in- so far as this is possible. A restore time/workaround within one working days insofar as this is possible applies with regard to production-disrupting problems for First Class customers.

The Help Centre can always be consulted through the customer portal that will provide an answer to the asked questions in 90% of cases. If the Help Centre does not offer a solution, an incident can be submitted through the customer portal. The Support Centre will answer these questions from Monday to Thursday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. and on Fridays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. unless specified otherwise on the customer portal. The Support Centre can also be reached by telephone during these hours.

In addition, we offer an emergency service every working day from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. On Fridays, the emergency service is available from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. as well as in the early morning. Emergencies can be submitted through the Support Centre where the person who submitted the emergency incident will be contacted within the hour.

GSES Platform is hosted on systems of professional Dutch data centres. These top-tier data centres have a network availability of 99.9%. The availability and performance of GSES Platform are monitored continuously.
GSES Platform may not be available in the following situations:

– Preventive maintenance;
– When a new version of GSES Platform is installed;
– When faults are resolved with regard to the software that fall under the responsibility of the customer;
– Maintenance that has been discussed and agreed with the customer;
– Emergencies or disasters as a result of natural disasters and other force majeure situations.

The customer shall be informed at least five days in advance if it is possible that GSES Platform may not be available. The activities will be performed between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. or during weekends. Incidental patches and hot fixes are implemented automatically and without prenotification at night.

A backup is created four times a day of the entire production environment:

– The day backup is deleted after one day.
– The night backup is kept for 30 days and can be restored upon request. The average length of time
required to restore an environment is four hours.
If required, a backup of the environment can be requested through an incident for local use or archiving. GSES has a fair use policy with regard to these requests to prevent large data streams.

Systems, processes and users are monitored continuously on GSES Platform in the own Cyber Operations Centre where the objective is the following:
– Prevent interruptions and faults or resolve them at an early stage. Monitoring focuses on the timely discovery of faults and unwanted behaviour. An GSES employee is always available to re- solve faults and other emergencies immediately even at night. Checking on abuse is part of the (daily) standard monitoring activities.
– Collecting general user statistics such as response times. This information is analyzed and may be discussed with the customer for improvement purposes.
– Collection of anonymous statistics from the customer environment to improve our products and services.

GSES Platform has emergency procedures to prevent the loss of data through the system being down, physical destruction or some other way and to promote restoring this data. Every customer is assigned a data centre. The data centres have redundant technologies so that some servers or storage being down will not lead immediately to an emergency. If required, contingency measures to use another data centre are in place.

If a data centre should be down completely, computer resources are no longer available. This would then affect half of customers roughly. At that moment, additional computer capacity will be made available in the other data centre. The RPO (recovery point objective) is the maximum time that data loss can occur when a system goes down fully. RTO = max. 12 hours. The RTO (recovery time objective) is the time that is required to make the available backup available. The time that is required for this is not known. The different failures and faults have their own solutions and therefore also their own RPO and RTO.

Liability issues in Europe shall run through GSES Management. (no platform or software owner/manager/developer) based in the Netherlands. GSES cannot rely on liability restrictions if intent and/or wilful recklessness in its actions or of its employees or the third parties that it engages are involved.

GSES excludes its liability with regard to any form of consequential losses such as lost sales or profits and missed opportunities. The liability of GSES is also excluded if the customer or third parties engaged by the customer have made changes to the GSES products that are not allowed.

GSES and the customer are not liable with regard to each other if force majeure is involved. Force majeure is deemed to mean the following: Force majeure in the sense of the law including at suppliers of parties, unsound fulfilment of supplier obligations that are prescribed by the customer to GSES, interruptions to the electrical grid and faults or interruptions that impede data traffic insofar as the cause thereof cannot be blamed on the parties themselves.

GSES has combined professional and business liability insurance for exceptional emergencies that GSES cannot or does not wish to cover. This insurance is appropriate. For more information about the content and scope of this insurance, please request information.

GSES requires that the customer reports a complaint or claim as soon as possible to GSES. Not only can GSES then immediately work with the customer on a solution, but GSES must also report a claim to its insurer. For that matter, it continues to apply that GSES shall aim to find a suitable solution in consultation with the customer regardless of this complaint and/or claim.

If GSES should not meet a delivery period, the customer must first give GSES notice of default and give GSES a reasonable period any way to comply with its obligations.

GSES is fully aware that the information that the customer shares with GSES and saves within GSES Platform is confidential and is of a business-sensitive nature. All GSES employees must keep any data of the customer strictly confidential contractually

Only GSES Platform system administrators have full access to customer data for:

• Installing a new version;
• Implementing patches and hot fixes;
• Creating a backup;
• Moving data within the GSES Platform domain.

Consultants, Support Assistants and other GSES employees only have access to customer data if they have received permission for this from the customer and for as long as they have permission of the customer. Customers are themselves responsible for this through their own authorization tool within the application.

GSES shall process the customer data in data centers of TransIP and it is therefore a subprocessor. The data centers that GSES uses are only located in the Netherlands (Schiphol Rijk and Haarlem) and fall under the legislation and regulations of the Netherlands and comply with strict Dutch and European legislation with regard to logical and physical access security and continuity. The data centers are at least ISO 27001 certified.

GSES shall not have new subprocessors process data without informing the customer about this in a timely manner. The customer can inform GSES that the customer objects about the subprocessor. GSES shall settle these objections on a management level. If GSES should want to have data processed by the new objected subprocessor, the customer shall have the opportunity to terminate the agreement.

The customer is responsible for the entered data of data subjects and therefore for informing and assisting with regard to the rights of data subjects. GSES shall never respond to requests from data subjects and shall always refer them to the data controller. GSES shall cooperate insofar as this is possible within the application with the customer so that the customer can comply with the customer’s legal obligations in the case that a data subject exercises his or her rights based on the GDPR or other applicable regulations regarding the processing of personal data.

GSES shall continue to inform the customer about the progress and measures that are being taken. In any case, GSES shall keep the customer informed with regard to any change in the situation, when further information becomes known and about the measures that are taken.

GSES shall remove all customer data after the agreement has ended as described in “Termination of the agreement”. If the customer should wish the data to be removed before, a request for this can be submitted. GSES undertakes to comply with this.

Log in with your GSES credentials on

– Your Username is the email address where you will receive this email.
– Or one of your colleagues has created a GSES Membership on behalf of your organization and acts as a contact person between you and GSES System.
– Request and create a new Password:

If your organization is listed in the GSES Database, this can be easily found via:

You can inquire about this internally with your organization or contact us by e-mail via

Please note; If you contact us, you must do this with an email account from your organization. This is for security reasons

After successfully logging in, click on ‘Meta-Standard’ and you can upload all your obtained certificates and/or reports and have them exempted on the ‘GSES Metastandard’. The standard that covers many hundreds of certificates and reports such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001, EcoVadis, etc. Your certificates and/or reports are validated and therefore checked by Verifying and/or Certifying Institutions.

More information about the GSES Metastandard:

– GSES Metastandard |
o Easy to benchmark your own organization and rate on the current situation of
certificates and reports in accordance with the GSES Metastandard.
o Easy to benchmark your supplier(s) / supply chain and rate them on their current
situation of certificates and reports in accordance with the GSES Metastandard. And
to engage in risk monitoring and chain responsibility.

– GSES Standard
o Easy in use to improve your own organization on one or more pillars on
organizational level in accordance with the GSES Standard.
o Easy in use to improve your supplier(s) / supply chain on one or more pillars on
organizational level in accordance with the GSES Standard. And to engage in risk
monitoring and chain responsibility.

– GSES Footprint 
o Measure your products and projects on the Circular, Health and Environmental
Footprints and distinguish your products on these footprints from other products and

Of course that is possible! If you have recently obtained (new) certificates and/or reports, you can
have these exempted by validation via the GSES Metastandard validation.

You can also run and audit the GSES Standard assessments.
The Global Sustainable Enterprise Standard is measuring organizations on organization level on all
facets of sustainability. The Standard is based on GRI and ISO High Level Structure and compliance
with UN Global Compact, OECD Guidelines and Responsible Business Alliance. The GSES Standard
is suitable for SMEs & Corporates. The GSES Standard measures the following levels and pillars:

– Levels:
o Organizational Level
o Supply Chain Level
– Pillars:
o CSR | Corporate Social Responsibility
o SP | Social Procurement
o CO2 | CO2 Reduction
o CE | Circular Economy
o H&S | Health & Safety
o BD | Biodiversity

You will receive a separate score for each individual assessment, each of which will count proportionally in the GSES Overall score.
So you can also have your supplier(s) / supply chain measured.
The assessments are verified by independent Verification / Certifying Institutions.

Not with the Desk Audit capability of GSES System! The GSES Standard audits are assigned by an audit intermediary to one of the Verification / Certifying Institutions, which perform the audit remotely and provide feedback on the results. And currently costs €250 excluding VAT per pillar – per assessment in 2021.

Still an ‘old-fashioned’ on-site audit?! That too is possible! The prices are available on request. To complete the GSES Standard Questionnaires you need a GSES Pro Membership. More information about this:

You are of course free to obtain (also) other certificates and reports and to exempt them through the GSES Metastandard validation. The GSES Standards are the only generic and overarching standards worldwide and can therefore be used for every sector and every company size.

The 3 types of GSES Membership, to help you and measure sustainability at an organizational level, each have their own functionalities on the GSES System platform.

– Limited Membership
– Pro Membership
– Full Membership

More information, pricing and functionalities:

Your organization’s GSES ScoreCard will be and/or published in our public GSES Database. It is therefore transparent and accessible to many.
Your GSES ScoreCard can also be linked to their ‘Procurement Dashboards’ by one or more GSES Full Members. Partly because of this, these GSES Full Member organizations also buy in sustainability. Or use it at RFP / Tenders. And there are many more possibilities

We are happy to give you a demo on the GSES System without any obligation and free of charge. You can request a demo here:
Do you as a GSES Member just have a question:

Play Video


Sustainability at the organisational level

Watch how to measure sustainability of your organisation!

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Measuring Circular economy

Watch the circular economy pillar covering the 6 principles of innovation, stewardship, corporation, value optimisation, and transparency.

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Measuring CSR with GSES

Watch how CSR pillar can be used to measure the impact your organisation has on society and environment. 

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Measuring Sustainable Procurement with GSES

Watch how your purchasing can lead to positive impacts on the environment, society, and the economy. 

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Measuring CO2 Reduction with GSES

Monitor and reduce your carbon footprint with ease using the comprehensive GSES platform’s Carbon Footprint Dashboard.

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Measuring Biodiversity with GSES

Watch how GSES platform is also able to measure the biodiversity pillar and play a key role in conserving nature. 

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Measuring Health & Safety with GSES

Watch how HS pillar contributes in wellness of your organisation and map out health and safety aspects. 

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CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive)

Watch how the GSES platform provides a clear roadmap of necessary next steps within CSRD reporting efforts.

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Measuring your product's sustainability with GSES

Watch how you can score your products based on Health footprint, Circular footprint, and Environmental footprint. 

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Impact Mapping and Projects on Data for Good

Watch how the Data for Good module on the GSES platform help agents to map their projects, track and verify their impacts. 

Explainer video's

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