Has your organization had its Annual Sustainability Audit? If not, now is the time.

Memphis, Tennessee – November, 18 2013 – 3BL Media – The end of the year is the perfect time for an organization to conduct a sustainability audit.  Completing an audit at this time of the year provides an organization an opportunity to both reflect on the accomplishments of the current year as well as think about and begin planning goals and initiatives for the coming year.Why a Sustainability Audit?

A sustainability audit takes an inventory of all of the policies, procedures and practices of an organization and compares these to industry best practices.  An audit is both a ‘gap analysis’ and a ‘maturity analysis’ of the sustainability practices of an organization. In other words, it documents ‘what practices are in place’ and ‘to what extent these practices are implemented’ across a wide range of sustainability categories.<pastedGraphic.png>

Below is a list of some of the main functions of a sustainability audit.

1. Compares policies, procedures and practices to Industry Best Practices – This is one of the most important functions of a sustainability audit.  An audit should clearly show where an organization exceeds, meets and does not meet industry best practices across a wide range a sustainability categories.

2. Improves Planning, Structure and Accountability – A sustainability audit helps identify key initiatives and provides a means for accounting for these within a sustainability program.  This assists planning and accountability for sustainability activities across an organization.

3. Identifies New Sustainability Initiatives – A sustainability audit will quickly identify sustainability activities that have either never been considered or have yet to be implemented. 

4. Facilitates ‘Period to Period’ and ‘Business to Business’ Tracking – Once a sustainability audit has been conducted, an organization will have a comprehensive snapshot of all green activities.  If an organization has multiple locations, you now have a tool to compare these using exactly the same criteria.  The same is true about comparing operations from period-to-period.

5. Helps Improves Sustainability Performance – A sustainability audit can help an organization improve its sustainability performance.  It provides critical information that will improve planning, execution and follow-through for a range of initiatives. 

What a Sustainability Audit is Not

A sustainability audit is not an exercise in counting carbon or tallying the financial implications of sustainability initiatives. It is also not an in-depth examination of any specific program of work.  These are all tasks that need to take place after an audit has been conducted.  Only then will it be clear what practices will most benefit an organization.

Benefits of a Sustainability Audit

An organization can expect some great benefits from a sustainability audit.  Below are a list of just a few.

  • Lowers Cost – A sustainability audit helps identify ways to reduce consumption (raw materials, energy) and increase operational efficiency and effectiveness. This results in lower costs.
  • Improves Compliance – The number and complexity of international, national and regional regulations that address the environmental impact of products, services and business activities is increasing. An audit raises awareness of regulations that affect an organization.
  • Helps Lower Reputation Risk – Reputation Risk is defined as any action, event or situation that could adversely or beneficially impact an organization’s reputation. Behind financial and litigation risk, reputation risk in the global marketplace represents the greatest risk to an organization’s long-term success. Being aware of sustainability performance can significantly lower this risk.
  • Provides Competitive Advantage – Sustainable practices can provide an organization significant competitive advantages in the form of improved reputation, lower costs, better compliance, greater levels of innovation and many others.
  • Encourages Innovation – A sustainability audit requires an organization to take a fresh look at how their business is conducted, what resources are used to create their products and services, and how their products and services affect the environment and society once they are sold.  The process of reexamination results in the creation of new ideas and innovations to improve current and future practices.

The CurrentState Sustainability Audit

CurrentState™ is the leading sustainability audit in the market. Based on the Three Tiers of Sustainability™ framework, CurrentState™ is both very comprehensive and easy to use.   The Three Tiers framework organizes sustainability into 3 main categories: Green IT, Business and Facilities. It then further divides these categories into 28 additional sub-categories.  This ensures that no area of sustainability is left unexamined.Difficulty and Expense

CurrentState™ requires the submission of an easy-to-complete survey.  The survey has been specifically designed to be concise yet comprehensive.  CurrentState™ does not require the submission of detailed records or metrics, such as electricity bills, KPI data or carbon counting.  This means that the time needed to submit a survey and receive a Findings Report can take ‘days’, not weeks or months.  This not only saves an organization valuable time, but also significantly lowers costs.  CurrentState™ can provide an organization unsurpassed intelligence on an organization’s sustainability performance at a fraction of the cost of other evaluations.

CurrentState™ Findings Report

The CurrentState™ Findings Report defines in specific terms exactly what tasks an organization needs to complete (Quick Wins) and what policies and procedures an organization needs to consider (Recommendations) in order to improve sustainability performance. In addition, the report contains analysis of each main sustainability category and each sub-category as well as comparison charts and graphs.

A Findings Report can be used as:

  • a blueprint to develop a sustainability program;
  • a way to demonstrate to management, a board or the public an organization’s sustainability progress;
  • a method to identify gaps in an current green efforts;
  • a way to document and track sustainability performance from period to period;
  • a way to determine current sustainability compliance with major international standards and certifications.

Find Out More

To find out more about CurrentState™, please check out our product page.  Alternatively give us a call (901) 766-0880 or send an email to Mary Singer (msinger@crgss.com).  You could be filling out a CurrentState™ survey within minutes! 

CurrentState Product Page -> http://crgss.snack.ws/currentstate.html
Sample CurrentState Findings Report -> http://www.flipsnack.com/559DD986AED/ftm0b9mn
CurrentState Testimonials -> http://www.photosnack.com/559DD986AED/phc5eknkContact Information

Mary Singer – CEO

CRG Sustainable Solutions
Telephone: +1 901 766-0880

Email: msinger@crgss.com
Website: http://www.crgss.comAnthony Gilbreath – Sustainability SME

CRG Sustainable Solutions
Telephone: +1 901 766-0880

Email: tgilbreath@crgss.com
Website: http://www.crgss.com

Can “Sustainable Solutions” Really Sustain a Company’s Business?

“Sustainable Solutions” — Real Biz?

Tough question: Are “sustainable solutions” real business?…or just buzzwords?
We’ve all heard biz-school jargon. Years ago, everyone stopped talking, started “interfacing.” Later, people stopped selling products and services, started offering “solutions.”

Lately, we’ve seen “green” everywhere. We’ve been hearing “Six Sigma” for a decade and a half.
In any business or non-profit, when a new term comes along, you’ll sooner or later hear: Is this just another ‘flavor of the week’?
From that cynical start, let’s look at “Sustainable Solutions”—at practical concepts and methods that affect the 3BL, or “triple bottom line.” Continue reading

Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development: Beyond Buzz

Sustainable development isn’t just a buzzword, it’s a revolution. It’s a revolution in design, thought, and efficiency. Through sustainable development, a company can prove to be of benefit to the local community, the environment, and the economy.

Sustainable Development, Sustainable Building

Baptist Health Care Systems earns LEED for Sustainable Development, Building

One aspect of sustainable development, sustainable building, refers to a process that is both responsible to the surrounding environment and ensures that the building does not waste resources during its life-cycle.

This includes not only when the building is in use, but also during its planning and construction phase. Indeed, much of the environmental damage caused by a building is done during its construction phase. Continue reading

When Should You Go Green?

Deciding To “Go Green”?

The idea of being sustainable and “green” has now been around long enough that it is no longer a matter of why but instead a matter of when everyone will “Go Green.”

When Freiburg Decided To Go Green…Then Greener

The German city Freiburg, which might be the greenest city in the world, does so primarily through the harnessing of a high amount of solar energy. Freiburg, before the Chernobyl explosion, had plans for a new nuclear power station in the area. Once the plans fell through Freiburg started to work on developing a safer, solar power program. This decision was the beginning of their movement towards sustainable solar power and soon afterwards they looked at generating different ideas that would give the citizens an incentive to live ecologically and economically sustainable.  Due to an advanced public transportation system, there are many areas of Freiburg where the majority of people don’t own or need to own a vehicle. Residents decided to Go Green, and they are able to be “greener” because of the planning and development efforts of the city to ensure a efficient and effective public transportation system. As in most German cities those people are also able to use their bikes because of the advancements in bikes lanes and driver awareness.
One might say for Freiburg it was easier because they were forced to reconsider their energy supply and there were few other option left besides renewable energy. But one must look at our times. Seriously, this the time we should all “Go Green.”

As A Company, Why Should You “Go Green”?

What can you do to set you apart from your competition? Could your company benefit from the decision to “Go Green” and pursue the prize of sustainability as a goal driver?

Don’t wait for the perfect invention to “Go Green.” Due to the ever-changing market of technology, it is best to look seriously at participating in the process NOW! Begin now with a decision to invest in a few ideas and in time those investments will provide long-lasting benefits, not only for your company but for everyone. Just do it; there’s never been a better time than now to “Go Green.”