Data and Tools

The Sustainable Sourcing Platform will eventually exist as a freestanding interactive web platform. Currently, individual pieces are under development, some of which are available for users to explore. The following tools are all prototypes and feedback on them is welcome. Please e-mail questions and comments to:

Sustainable Sourcing Platform tools include:

Sustainable Sourcing Wiki Platform




The Sustainable Sourcing Platform hosts the wealth of data our team has been collecting and manages the network of relationships among this data via semantic web linkages—which means that this information is readily accessible across the web. It has been designed as a wiki using Semantic MediaWiki and enables us to easily add new components to the platform as they are developed.

As we build out its capacity further, we will open up the wiki to the broader research community to enable seamless linkages to data,models, and tools from a broad network of reputable sources as sustainability science and knowledge advances.

The tools outlined below all reside, or will eventually be nested, within the Sustainable Sourcing Platform.

Process to define and measure sustainability

Our group has developed a sustainability decision process we call the “Checklist Generator”. An important part of this process focuses on the identification of relevant sustainability issues coupled with building the minimum set of indicators that can adequately inform across all the relevant issues for a given question or need.

Currently, the issue and indicator selection process is managed via our prototype stand-alone optimization tool, which is built on R-software using the network of 44 integrated issues, 320 component issues, and 2000+ indicators that are managed in the Sustainable Sourcing Wiki.  Eventually, the tool will be web-based and pull data directly from the wiki.

Corporate Communications Database


The Sustainable Sourcing Platform includes a database of food manufacturing corporation communications on sustainable sourcing – a tool to quickly and easily find categorized information about how corporations are publicly communicating their values, goals, progress, and partnerships related to sustainability issues.

The database features:

  • Corporations: The database focuses on 15 of the world's largest food manufacturing corporations that together comprise 17% of the total global market share for packaged foods.
  • Sustainability Issues: The sustainability efforts of individual corporations are categorized according to the 44 sustainability issues identified in the Sustainable Sourcing Project for future integration into the platform.
  • Communication Types:  The database tracks the level of commitment these corporations have made to various sustainability issues. The database tracks whether they have acknowledged an issue in their communication materials, have made a commitment to addressing the issue in sourcing practices, or have shown how their efforts have directly impacted a sustainability issue. 
  • Alliance Organizations: Many corporations partner with other organizations and institutions to help drive their efforts.  The database highlights these alliances according to different sustainability issue.  
  • Example Quotations: The database is organized according to the public communications efforts from corporations and provides example quotations from these documents for a snapshot of what these influential companies are doing and saying about agricultural sustainability.

Linkage Visualization

A prototype that allows for exploration of links between indicators and issues. Users can determine which issues are of interest, visualize linkages to other issues, and identify relevant indicators.