Related Information

Assessments are the starting point for creating a profitable green strategy. Here we include links to several sources that can frame an assessments project. For supply chain management consider the Walmart Sustainability Assessment for their suppliers. When thinking about the role of CSR and Sustainability you might find this report from IBM insightful and this Triple-Pundit article on the fading role of carbon offsets in mitigating GHGs as an indicator of a shift in focus. On a smaller scale this Minnesota report highlights just what an energy assessment includes for your business. And the EPA offers a large number of publications related to Green Building. On a larger eco-systems scale, integrated ecosystem assessments are more likely to surface solutions that don’t fall into the trap of ‘unintended consequences’ in more complex assessment challenges.

 

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Sustainability Assessments

 

Assessments identify what you are doing well and what you need to work on. They uncover opportunities and low hanging fruit to save money, reduce waste, appeal to customers, and to differentiate.

 

We provide assessments, akin to an annual checkup. It gives you a snapshot of how healthy or sustainable your organizational practices are across a continuum. No organization is fully sustainable. But there will be areas where you have started or are well along or other areas where you are at square one. Assessments will often reveal opportunities for significant expense reduction and/or revenue increase. You may also recognize that you cannot continue with some process, practice or product without eventually compromising the organization’s future ability to thrive.

Organizations considering an assessment are asking the following questions:

  • Do we know to what extent we are implementing sustainable business practices?
  • What are we doing well and what practices need improvement?
  • What do we work on next?
  • Could we benefit from an educational tool to understand what sustainability means for some of our functions (e.g. marketing, finance, HR, office operations)?
  • How do we compare with others in our sector who are implementing sustainability?
  • Do we have measures in place to monitor and minimize water use?
  • What steps are we taking to keep your energy expenditures down?
  • What kind of recycling programs, if any, have we implemented?
  • Have we looked into ways to transform your waste into usable resources?


SCORE Assessments
We use a well-proven SCORETM methodology that delivers report card scoring on as many as 70 operational functions including:

  • Senior Management
  • Product design/development
  • Manufacturing/production
  • Sustainability Director/ Coordinator
  • Facilities
  • Purchasing
  • Human Resources
  • Environmental Affairs
  • Office Operations
  • Information Technology
  • Marketing/Public Relations
  • Finance/Accounting


What’s special about SCORE?

  • It was developed with our business partners, AXIS Performance Advisors in conjunction with the International Sustainable Development Foundation and the Zero Waste Alliance.
  • SCORE includes nearly 100 practices and is organized by functions that practically all organizations have, making it easy to assign responsibility. It helps departments understand what they are supposed to do.
  • For each practice, it provides three levels of benchmarks so you can see where you are now and where you need to go in the long-term.
  • There are special assessments for various industries and sectors, such as professional services, government, and manufacturing which provide special opportunities for each sector.
  • It dovetails with The Business Guide to Sustainability, winner of the American Library Association’s award for ‘best academic titles for 2007,’ that can provide frameworks, tools and strategies for improving your sustainability performance.
  • It can supplement emerging sustainability rating systems and award programs.



Assessment Options

Assessment levels can vary depending on your organizational needs, complexity and phase of sustainable practices adoption.

Full sustainability assessment with stakeholder feedback.  We can conduct a full-scale sustainability assessment, of which SCORE is only one part. Through stakeholder impact evaluations and mapping, interviews, site visits, facilitated meetings, and a review of publicly available information, we can provide you a clear snapshot of your strengths and areas for improvement..  This often includes an evaluation of your buildings, waste streams, energy and greenhouse gases, chemical inventory, and environmental management system.

Water Efficiency Assessments.  We analyze all of your available water sources and how you are using them, and provide you with practical recommendations that will help reduce consumption throughout your organization and save you money.  Improvements such as low-flow faucets and toilets, durable landscaping and water-saving measures in employee cafeterias can have a tremendous impact on your overall water spend.

Energy Audits and Efficiency Assessments.   Provides energy management solutions that reduce your expenditures without requiring excessive capital outlays.  We will identify “quick wins” that can deliver immediate returns, such as the use of energy efficient lighting, computer equipment, and Energy Star® appliances.

Waste Assessments.  We can turn your waste into usable resources. By identifying alternative disposal opportunities that divert waste from landfills, we can help you implement solutions that lower your overall waste, provide sensible material purchase alternatives, and create promising new revenue streams.

We customize the approach to each client, but the milestones usually include the following:

  • Initial meeting to identify needs and scope the assessment
  • Data gathering (e.g., review of policies, website, etc.)
  • Onsite assessment (e.g., meetings, interviews, site visits, etc.)
  • Report (includes written report and management meeting to review the results)

 

SCORE as a stand-alone assessment. We can also come in to your organization, conduct SCORE assessments with appropriate personnel and then facilitate a discussion about the results. SCORE as a stand-alone service includes the following:

Scoping:  An initial meeting to clarify your goals and choose the portions
of the assessment you will take. We help you decide the appropriate participants in the survey.

Facilitation:  We visit your organization to administer the assessment, 
tabulate the results, and build an action plan based on the results. This can
be done in two 2-hour meetings (one to take the assessment and a second
to discuss the recommendations) or in one half-day session.

Report:  We produce a detailed report with recommendations. (You get an
Excel file with your data, a Word or PDF report, a PowerPoint file
summarizing the report findings and a copy of the companion book.)

This includes benchmarking your performance against the complete database, those in your specific sector (manufacturing, government, services) or sustainability leaders.


Follow-Up: We recommend setting up a follow-up meeting 6-12 months
later to check on progress and make course corrections. (Optional)


Walmart Supplier Sustainability Assessment-15 questions
Starting in 2009, Walmart will score the attractiveness of suppliers based on 15 questions relative to how sustainable their business practices are. For many organizations, answering these questions in a positive way and showing a commitment to a sustainability roadmap will go a long way in successfully selling to Walmart as well as provide “best practices” in working with other large retailers. Sustainametrics can help your organization answer these questions and put in place the plans and programs so that the your relationship with Walmart is secure, based on successful sustainability practices.

See Walmart's 15 question Supplier Sustainamility Assessment