Photo by Johnny Briggs / Unsplash
All modern businesses face the difficult challenge of capacity. Puzzling out how to accomplish much more with much less ain’t easy and there’s rarely a genius around when you need one. These days, there’s so much more to sustainability work – reporting, goal setting, project management, benchmarking, valuation, to name a few – that brilliant solutions for increasing capacity are badly needed.
Edison, a genius at increasing human capacity, invented incandescent bulbs, improved telephony, made better batteries, the phonograph, and many more such solutions. Yet, if the great inventor is to be believed, genius is mainly a function of hard work and sweat.
We hope so because Valutus has been sweating to increase sustainability’s capacity for almost 30 years: gathering data, ciphering ‘impossible’ metrics, and inventing tools and processes. In short, we’ve been stockpiling data, metrics, and tools (DMT) to help companies and ESG professionals Do More Today. Compared to other ways of raising performance – internal resources, consultants, etc. – using DMT will accelerate progress with less investment, so you can Do More Today with the same resources.
Castlepoint Lighthouse, North Island, New Zealand. Photo by Tanya Halliday
To give you a taste, we’ve previously described our souped-up materiality process, one which – though far more comprehensive and useful than the standard, can take as little as two months instead of six. But that was just for starters.
VIEWS and E3Evolution
More recently, we’ve sweated over what we call the Valutus Issues Early Warning System (VIEWS). Without knowing which issues are rapidly gaining importance, and how expectations of your company’s priorities are evolving in the public sphere, your goals and plans might be built on shaky ground. Our VIEWS™ and E3Evolution™ data products address both needs. VIEWS gives you foresight into what issues are headed your way so you can be prepared, while E3Evolution tells you how expectations are evolving so you don’t fall behind. ESG professionals need time to scour news, even hire consultants, to glean which issues are rising in importance and which are falling. E3Evolution cuts that time dramatically.
As one cautionary example, last year a client of ours set a carbon target that was – then – in the top quartile for their industry. A year later, that same target is near the bottom, and their commitment is behind the times and no longer credible. They needed to know then where the targets were going but, unfortunately, they didn’t have E3 Evolution. Approving such targets takes a long time, a lot of effort, and a good deal of money: having to reset so soon is a disaster.
Incidentally, Valutus also has the fast-and-easy CT Viz™ tool that takes the nail-biting – and the majority of the required time – out of setting such targets.
Another perspiration-worthy tool slashes the time-devouring work of selecting, crafting, and updating policies. ESG professionals burn critical hours on these tasks both because they’re important reflections of purpose, and because requirements, regulations, and expectations are changing constantly. And let’s face it, if policies are a rabbit hole for major corporations, and a huge bother for mid-sized firms, for startups and small companies they represent a nightmare. Small companies require the same suite of policies as multinationals but lack their vast regulatory, research, and legal capacity.
Photo by Sear Greyson / Unsplash
That problem got Valutus sweating over the Sustainability Policy Engine Editor and Document System (SPEED System™), which solves all those problems. By surveying the policy portfolios of numerous major sustainability leaders, we collected those most critical, and most common to the majority, into an adaptable, ready-to-implement policy suite. Of course, policies need to periodically be nipped, tucked, and updated, or even scrapped and replaced. SPEED does all of that too, so you don’t have to. Whether animal welfare, sustainable real estate requirements, privacy, carbon footprint, or DEI policies, a 21st-century company must keep up with rapid expectations and regulations. Though policies will need to be adapted and approved, SPEED cuts the time and effort needed dramatically, adding capacity for other critical tasks.
Valutus 5P Heatmap™
Finally, there’s a critical data set that sustainability professionals need to gather and update annually: the necessity of measuring your efforts and results against those of competitors and sustainability leaders. Accomplishing this in useful form every single year is grueling and – wait for it – there’s this little issue of capacity. To save you all that time, and often, a good deal of consulting, we’ve created the 5P Heatmap™, which renders – in a simple visual display – benchmarking for:
- Policies & Procedures
- Performance (e.g., CO2 intensity)
- Progress (e.g., reduced CO2 intensity over last year)
In Part 2 of D.M.T. we’ll bring you more from our inventor’s bench. We’ll focus on two specific programs:
- Our Total Carbon Ownership Optimization tool (TCO2), which models various approaches to carbon management quickly and at-a-glance. TCO2 can enhance client offerings by providing complete carbon decision-making options, quickly and at-a-glance
- The InVEST™ tool which quantifies, in the dollars-and-cents language of business, the value a sustainable initiative – or overall corporate sustainability leadership – will reap, including submerged value. There’s enormous power in demonstrating to decision makers not only that there is extant value in sustainability, but just how much value is waiting to be harvested
Customized InVEST™ Output
We may not be Edison, but we’ve followed his formula and put in the hard work inventing a broad portfolio of Data, Metrics, and Tools that sustainability professionals can use to increase capacity for their companies and clients. In short, we’ve given them the means to Do More Today.
 Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration. Quote attributed to Thomas Alva Edison