The added benefits of environmental assessments
Yesterday we had a meeting with one of our newest clients about the Sustainability Strategy we are developing for/with them. Step 1 is to carry out a carbon footprint and my colleague Anna-Lisa Mills talked the client through all the decisions and data required in that footprinting process. Our client said they’d need to take a paracetamol or two afterwards as the questioning was so detailed. Simply by answering the questions (or committing to getting answers later), they were shining a harsh light across the organisation itself.
I’ve seen this effect many times before. The process of gathering data for a carbon footprint, or a life cycle assessment or a GRI-compliant report, really forces those involved to take a comprehensive look at what they actually do (with an implicit ‘why?’ as an addendum). This understanding is valuable way beyond the scope of the assessment as they make the implicit explicit giving a true picture of what really happens in the organisation.
This added benefit can be used to sell the process to the powers that be.