Anyone who’s ever used an old-fashioned hand drill knows what a boon it is to reach into the toolbox and pull out a shiny new, high-torque power drill, and do in a few minutes what might have taken hours otherwise.
Yet over the years, when working hard to drill down on sustainability, we’d reach into the toolbox…but the right tools weren’t there.
Again and again, companies thumped up against barriers, and the lack of proper tools reduced their ability to move critical sustainability projects forward or even to engage at all. Watching as we all reinvented the wheel on every project was painful.
Fortunately the sustainability space has matured and has begun to address this issue. However, there are still many fewer arrows in sustainability’s quiver than needed. Accordingly, over four years ago, Valutus set out to create tools that were scalable and could be applied to almost any company’s sustainability work, to help them drill powerfully through those barriers.
Here, in brief, are four of the most common issues and the tools we’ve developed to resolve them.
- Knowing where to focus for the most useful impact
Materiality was created with this in mind. Yet as we noted a few months back, materiality — as practiced — is broken. (See article here.) We have overhauled it and now offer Three Dimensional Materiality, a tool that helps create a truly powerful, more in-depth, and far-reaching materiality assessment — and does it faster. Once that is done we complete the strategy with our Catalytic Strategy Process— something we call Who / What / Wall / Way. (See what we did there? Catchy, right?)
- Lack of time, budget, and capacity for all available sustainability initiatives
There’s never enough of these for everything sustainability practitioners want to do but our sheaf of tools for setting and tracking targets, quantifying value — valuation tools for customer behavior, for talent and for risk — along with our Materiality Squared tool, are designed to make important tasks faster and easier. And by faster we mean a couple of weeks instead of several months
- Lack of leadership support
Buy-in from the rest of the business is critical: for securing funding, assistance, data, etc. Companies often don’t see the value sustainability creates and therefore don’t support it strongly. Our valuation tools and consulting are designed to show sustainability’s true value including ‘submerged value’ — secondary and tertiary value usually unseen before the fact but averaging around 80% of sustainability’s true business value. Our Submerged Value Tool (read about it here) is designed to raise this value to the surface and, when the true value of this initiative is understood, funding and buy-in may follow
- Insufficient metrics for proving impact, thereby preventing companies from improving it
It is a truism that, ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.’ Conversely, if you can measure it…
But measuring is often easier said than done. How do you connect metrics to strategy? How do you design a full metrics system? And how do you integrate information from different sources and different definitions? Our Metrics Tool Kit and Metrics Development Process are designed to help with these challenges
And all of our target tools — for carbon, for waste, and for water — can take just a few days to calculate your target rather than the standard of several months.
Just as no self-respecting mechanic would work without the right tools, there is now a wide array of such to choose from for sustainability. A box full of shiny new tools can help you build strong, integrated, and impactful sustainability programs.