Privacy Policy

Effective Date:  May 25, 2018

We recently changed our Privacy Policy to, among other things, reflect compliance with our obligations under the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  The following is a summary of key changes: 

  • Transparency: We’ve provided additional clarity regarding the information we collect from Visitors and Business Contacts and how we process this information. We’ve also explained the choices and control individuals have over their information.
  • Data Control: We’ve described how individuals can (i) access, correct or delete their personal data from our systems; and (ii) provide or withdraw consent, as appropriate.
  • Readability: We’ve updated our Privacy Policy to make it easier to understand by re-organizing it and using plain English. 

We respect your privacy 

The U.S. Sustainability Alliance (“USSA”) respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your privacy in connection with the collection, retention, use, transfer, and other processing (“processing”) of your Personal Information which may occur through our website, https://thesustainabilityalliance.us/.  The content provided on our Site is for informational purposes only.  This Privacy Statement contains important information regarding USSA’s information handling practices and the choices it offers individuals with respect to the processing of their personal information.  If you choose to use the Site, you are telling us you have read, fully understand, and accept the information handling practices summarized in this Privacy Statement and consent to all actions that are consistent with this Privacy Statement.

We encourage you to read this Privacy Statement in full to understand USSA’s privacy practices before using the Site or submitting any Personal Information thereon.

This Privacy Statement applies to our processing of the Personal Information that we obtain from your visit to the Site.  When we use the term “Personal Information” in this Privacy Statement, we mean personal information or data we receive and record in the United States that is processed from your visit to the Site and that identifies, or can be used by us or on our behalf to identify, an individual.  This can be contact information, such as your name, home or other physical address, email address, telephone number, fax number, organization name, and/or job title.  Personal Information does not include encoded information, aggregate information, anonymized information, or information that is publicly available and not combined with non-public Personal Information.  USSA has no other entities or subsidiaries to which the scope of this Privacy Statement applies.

We adhere to the Privacy Shield Principles (“Principles”), as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework (“Privacy Shield Framework”) regarding the processing of Personal Information from the EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.  We have certified that we adhere to the Principles of notice, choice, accountability for onward transfer, security, data integrity and purpose limitation, access, and recourse, enforcement, and liability.  For more information about the Privacy Shield Framework, the Principles, and the requirements for participating companies and organizations, such as USSA, please visit https://www.privacyshield.gov/Program-Overview.

We do gather data in order to enhance your experience

We may collect Personal Information from you on the Site, including:

Personal Information You Voluntarily Provide.  If you voluntarily provide us with Personal Information, we may collect this Personal Information.  You may voluntarily provide this information to us in a variety of ways, including by subscribing to receive news updates, event information, and useful content that you have requested.

Personal Information We May Automatically Collect.  We may use various technologies to collect information about you when you visit the Site.  These technologies may include:

  • Cookies. We do not use cookies and/or similar technologies to analyze customer behavior, administer the website, track users’ movements, or to collect information about users.  Other third parties associated with the Site may use cookies in connection with the services and website to which the Site links. We do not control these cookies.  We use Google Analytics to measure traffic on our website. Google has their own Privacy Policy which you can review here. If you’d like to opt out of tracking by Google Analytics, visit the Google Analytics opt-out page.
  • Internet Protocol Addresses. The Site may use Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses.  An IP address is a number assigned to your computer when you connect to the Internet.  As part of the protocol of the Internet, web servers can identify your computer by its IP address.  In addition, web servers may be able to identify the type of browser and/or type of computer you are using.  We log IP addresses and related information for the purposes of system administration, to assess the traffic on the Site, and to maintain and make improvements to the Site.  We do not link IP addresses to your Personal Information, but we can and will use IP addresses to identify a user when we feel it is necessary to enforce compliance with this Privacy Statement, to protect the Site, customers, or others, or to comply with applicable laws.
  • Web Beacons. Web beacons are small files that communicate with third parties and are embedded in web pages, ads, or in emails. We may use web beacons to count users who have visited a web page, to understand usage patterns or other third-party functionality. We also may use web beacons to learn if emails have been opened, acted on, or forwarded. We also may include web beacons in newsletters, brochures, and flyers that we send to subscribers in order to count how many newsletters, brochures, and flyers have been opened or read. You can disable the ability of Web beacons to store information by declining cookies. Our web beacons do not collect, gather, monitor, or share any Personal Information about visitors to our Site. They are merely designed to compile anonymous, aggregated information about collective usage of the Site.
  • Other Technologies. Examples of other technologies we may use to provide better service to you when visiting the Site include:
  • Web Session Variables. Information that is passed from one web URL to another as you browse.
  • Browser plug-ins/add-ons. Additional web components that may need to be installed to enable certain web features on the Site.  You have the option not to install these components.

Our site may include links to third party sites

The Site may contain links to websites operated by third parties whose information handling practices are different from USSA’s.  This Privacy Statement does not apply to any information collected from you through such links or that you may provide on the website you reach by utilizing those links.  USSA is not responsible for the content or privacy practices of websites linked to the Site or any other websites that are not designed and developed by USSA.  You are encouraged to use common sense when using our Site and review the privacy practices of each website you elect to visit before submitting your Personal Information.

Your personal data is used thoughtfully

We may use your Personal Information to:

  • Operate the Site and deliver information to you;
  • Analyze and improve performance of the Site;
  • Learn what new information interests you;
  • Respond to your requests;
  • Conduct research about your opinion of USSA and its members;
  • Provide marketing materials to you and determine the effectiveness of the same;
  • Perform customer service; and
  • Otherwise manage our operations.

Your personal data will not be sold, rented or leased

While we do not sell, rent, or lease any Personal Information collected through the Site to third parties, USSA may disclose information about you to its members as well as agents, such as vendors and service providers, acting on behalf of or in partnership with USSA under instructions for the limited and specific purpose of assisting USSA with its operations.  In no event will that purpose be inconsistent with this Privacy Statement.

Sometimes a law, court order, or other judicial or administrative process requires us to provide Personal Information to a government authority or party to a private lawsuit.  While USSA will only provide such information that we in good faith believe is required to comply with the law, order, or other legal process, we may disclose certain Personal Information if:

  • The U.S. Commerce Department requests it;
  • National security or law enforcement requirements mandate it;
  • In response to a valid subpoena;
  • We are required to bring, or defend against, litigation or any regulatory proceeding between, or relating to, you and us; and
  • We have reason to believe that disclosing such information is necessary to identify, contact, or bring legal action against someone who may be causing injury to or interference with (either intentionally or unintentionally) our rights or property, other users of the Site, or anyone else who could be harmed by such activities.

You have choices

When you provide Personal Information to us, you consent to our using that Personal Information in a manner consistent with this Privacy Statement.  You have choices about whether we use your Personal Information to communicate with you and, if we do communicate with you, what form that communication takes.  We will use your Personal Information as described in the “Notice of Use of Information” section of this Privacy Statement.  If you wish for us to stop using your Personal Information for any of the uses described, you can write to us at the address provided in our Contact Information or contact our Privacy Manager at info@thesustainabilityalliance.us and tell us that you no longer consent to such use (that is, you “opt-out” of such use).  We will not disclose your Personal Information to any third party for uses other than those described in this Privacy Statement without first providing you with notice and a clear choice to “opt-out” of such disclosure.

In addition, you have the right to withdraw any given consent for Processing of your Personal Data, using our Privacy Tools.

We do not seek, nor do we knowingly process, so-called “sensitive” Personal Information.  This category of Personal Information is more sensitive and relates to, for example, an individual’s race, sexual orientation, criminal allegations or offenses, their mental or physical health, or their biometric information.  We have no intention of disclosing such Personal Information, but if for any reason USSA needs to disclose “sensitive” Personal Information to any third party for uses other than those described in this Privacy Statement and except as required by law, it will first provide you with notice and seek your affirmative express (“opt-in”) consent prior to such disclosure, except in a very limited set of exceptional circumstances.

We do not share your Personal Information with any third party for the purpose of marketing or sending you advertisements not affiliated with USSA.  Prior to making any disclosures to third-party agents, we will attempt to ascertain that such third parties are providing at least the same level of privacy protection as is required by the Principles and will take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure that and third-party agent is processing Personal Information in a manner consistent with our obligations under the Principles.  We will require any third-party agents to notify the organization if that agent determines it is unable to provide the same level of privacy protection as is required by the Principles.  To the extent that we are made aware of the unauthorized processing of your Personal Information, we will take reasonable and appropriate steps to stop and remediate the unauthorized processing.

Your data is secure

We are concerned with the security of your Personal Information and consider the protection of Personal Information we receive from visitors to our Site as critical to our organization’s mission of promoting the sustainability of U.S. agriculture, forestry and fisheries worldwide.  We deploy a combination of reasonable and appropriate physical, technological, and administrative safeguards to protect against the loss, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction of any Personal Information we receive from you.  We follow generally accepted security standards in our operations to protect the security of your Personal Information, both internally and from outsiders, and to ensure the integrity of the Personal Information we process, taking into account the relative risks involved and the nature of the Personal Information in question.  Unfortunately, with any transmission over the Internet, there is always some element of risk involved in submitting Personal Information.  If you have any questions about the security of your Personal Information, you can contact USSA at info@thesustainabilityalliance.us.  We will respond in a timely manner to your request.

We commit to integrity, purpose limitation, and access

We will not process Personal Information in a way that is incompatible with the purposes detailed in this Privacy Statement and will take all reasonable steps necessary to ensure that your Personal Information is reliable, accurate, complete, and current.  If you believe that the Personal Information you have voluntarily provided to us is, or has become, unreliable, inaccurate, incomplete, or untimely, you may review, revise, correct, or update any of the Personal Information we may have about you, except where the burden or expense of providing access to such review, revision, correction, or update would be disproportionate to the risk to your privacy, where the rights of persons other than you would be violated, where the organization’s confidential commercial information would be compromised, where it would interfere with the execution or enforcement of the law or with a private cause of action, or where it would breach a legal or other professional privilege or obligation.  If you have any questions about access to your Personal Information, you can contact our Privacy Manager at info@thesustainabilityalliance.us. We will respond in a timely manner to your request.

You can remove yourself from our subscriber list

If you do not want us to use or continue using your Personal Information to communicate with you, you may request that we not do so (“opt-out”) by following the procedures described below.

  • Opting-Out of Further Communications: Please send your opt-out request to USSA at info@thesustainabilityalliance.us. Place the word “UNSUBSCRIBE” in your request to us.  We will respond in a timely manner to your request.  You can also stop receiving promotional email messages from us by following the instructions provided in any such message you receive.

We will retain your Personal Information for as long as needed to meet the uses described in the “Notice of Use of Information” section of this Privacy Statement.  In addition, even if you opt-out, we will retain your Personal Information for internal use only, such as for statistical analytics and legal compliance.

We do have a process for handling complaints

We are committed to ensuring that complaints concerning your Personal Information are investigated and resolved.  For this reason, we have developed a complaint handling procedure.  It is our intention to resolve all privacy-related complaints through this procedure.  We respect your privacy and if you submit a concern to USSA, we are committed to investigating and taking the necessary steps to resolve your concerns.  If you have any questions, please send an email to USSA at info@thesustainabilityalliance.us.

Our site is not directed at children

The Site is not directed to children under the age of 13, and we do not seek, nor do we knowingly process, Personal Information from children under the age of thirteen (13).  If you think that we have processed Personal Information from a child under the age of thirteen (13), please contact USSA at info@thesustainabilityalliance.us.

 We may make changes to this Privacy Statement

We may revise or update our privacy policies and this Privacy Statement at any time.  The “Effective Date” at the top of this Privacy Statement reflects the date of the most recent revisions.  The most current version of the Privacy Statement can be reviewed by clicking on the “Privacy Policy” link located at the bottom of each of our pages associated with the Site.  We encourage you to periodically review this link for the latest information on our privacy practices.

For more information, contact us

If you have questions about USSA’s Privacy Statement, our information handling practices, or any other aspect of privacy and security of your Personal Information, please send an email to USSA at info@thesustainabilityalliance.us, or use our convenient Contact Us form, or fax your question to 1-540-687-4631.  You may also write us at The U.S. Sustainability Alliance, 36052 Snickersville Turnpike, Purcellville, VA 20132, USA.

Terms of Use

PLEASE READ THESE TERMS OF USE CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THIS WEBSITE. BY ACCESSING THE WEBSITE, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS BELOW.

Website Purpose

This website is designed primarily as an informational resource. Permission to reprint information in whole or in part contained on this website is granted, provided customary credit is given.

Third party websites

We may from time to time, recommend and link to the websites of partner networks or organizations, to and from the websites of third parties and to and from links to any social media platforms. If you follow a link to any of these websites or social media platforms, please note that these websites and social media platforms should have their own privacy policies, which will govern their use of the information that you provide to them and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. It is your responsibility to check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites or social media platforms.

Although we will make reasonable efforts to ensure that information contained on our website is as accurate and up-to-date as possible we do not make any representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that information on our website or accessible from it is accurate, complete or up-to-date and on this basis, we accept no liability for any inaccuracy on our website, nor for any loss or damage caused by inaccurate information. If you discover any inaccurate information on our website please let us know, and we will try to correct it as soon as possible.

We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content of websites linked to from our website; these links are provided for your information only. Such links should not be interpreted as an endorsement by us of those linked websites and we will not be liable for any loss or damage that may arise from your use of them.