Friday, September 12, 2014

New Sustainability Metrics from KoAnn Skrzyniarz

Businesses are extending their metrics beyond the measurement of profit to other forms of value of creation. The new sustainability imperatives demands that we include new metrics. In response to both consumers and supply chain pressures businesses are under pressure to provide metrics that measure their sustainability efforts. While these metrics measure more than just profit, they are closely tied to financial performance and creating a competitive advantage.

Here are five new metrics from KoAnn Skrzyniarz. She is the originator of sustainable brands and Sustainable Life Media. She is one of the world's leading innovators in sustainability metrics. She explores ways of measuring new forms of environmental and social value.

Sustainable Life Media measures what they call a “wellbeing economy” -- or "WeFirst" capitalism, an economy whose measures of success would support and encourage rather than impede business innovation that generates broader societal benefit and the creation of shared value.

Such value can be understood as poverty elimination, collaboration, and environmental restoration and maintenance. Their efforts are premised on the goal of finding ways to grow revenues from sustainable activities that decouple growth from impact and deliver shared benefit to society in all sorts of creative ways.

As explored in a Forbes article by Sarah McKinney, Skrzyniarz champions better collaboration, and standardization through the use of key metrics as a way to help companies on their sustainability journeys.

Here are five new metrics:

1. Life Cycle Assessment is a technique used to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product’s life from-cradle-to-grave (i.e., from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling).

2. ISO 14000 is a family of standards related to environmental management that exists to help organizations (a) minimize how their operations negatively affect the environment (i.e., cause adverse changes to air, water, or land), (b) comply with applicable laws, regulations, and other environmentally oriented requirements, and (c) continually improve in the above.

3. The Higg Index is an apparel and footwear industry self-assessment standard for assessing environmental and social sustainability throughout the supply chain. Launched in 2012, it was developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

4. B Corporation Certification is a private certification issued to for-profit companies by B Lab, a United States-based non-profit organization. To be granted and to preserve certification, companies must receive a minimum score on an online assessment for “social and environmental performance”, satisfy the requirement that the company integrate B Lab commitments to stakeholders into company governing documents, and pay an annual fee.

5. STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance, created by the organization AASHE.

Sustainability metrics are still young and we can expect a whole range of new measurements of value going forward. This will include measurements that gauge replenishing our natural resources, supporting the economic stability of local economies and encouraging the health and wellness of society.

Sustainability Development Metrics: Indices, Approaches and Frameworks
e-book - Metrics for Environmental Health and Sustainability
KoAnn Skrzyniarz: A Leader in Sustainable Brand Innovation
White Paper - Redefining Value: The New Metrics of Sustainable Business
Evolving Metrics for Corporate Sustainability: Beyond Waste, Water and Energy
Is Sustainability Still Possible?
Ten Sources of Green Supply Chain Information
PPR Home's Sustainability Journey: Innovative Metrics Shed Light

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