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Has your organization had its annual Sustainability Audit?

A sustainability audit is an indispensable management tool for CSOs and sustainability managers. A sustainability audit provides a snapshot of an organization’s current sustainability performance. It also provides specific recommendations how to improve performance and what additional initiatives should be considered.

What is a Sustainability Audit?

A sustainability audit takes an inventory 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.

A sustainability audit has many functions.  Here is a list of some of the most important ones:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Identifies New Sustainability Initiatives – A sustainability audit will quickly identify sustainability activities that have either never been considered or have yet to be implemented.
  • 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, it will now have a tool to compare these using exactly the same criteria.  The same is true about comparing operations from period-to-period.
  • 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.


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Why your company should have a Sustainability Audit

currentstate sustainability audit

What is a Sustainability Audit?

A sustainability audit is a powerful tool.  A sustainability audit takes an inventory of all of the policies, procedures and practices of an organization and compares these to the best practices in their industry.  In essence, an audit is a gap analysis and a maturity analysis of the sustainability practices of an organization. It is meant to document ‘what you are doing’ and ‘to what extent’ across a wide range of categories.  By doing so, and organization can better know where to concentrate is efforts and resources to get the maximum impact.

What it is Not

The objective of an audit is to provide a ‘snapshot’ of current policies, procedures and practices.  Therefore it is not an exercise in counting carbon or tallying the financial implications of sustainability initiatives.  Nor is a audit an in-depth examination of any specific program of work.

Why should your company get one?

Having an audit is ideal for any company.  Whether your organization has a mature sustainability program in place or whether it is just beginning, the information an audit provides will be very useful.

If you have a program in place, the audit will let you know what things you are doing well and (perhaps more importantly) what items you should consider doing.  Sustainability touches all corners of an organization – from Green IT to Facilities to business practices.  Therefore it is quite probable that even sophisticated programs have overlooked many potential area to green operations.

For an organization that is just beginning its journey, an audit will provide a detailed roadmap on what programs and practices should be put into place.  It will also provide ‘quick win’ initiative that take little effort and resources, but can have a significant impact and help jump-start your program.

Benefits of a implementing initiatives

The benefits of sustainability are well documented and numerous.  Companies that have meaningful and successful sustainability programs in place perform better financially.   Recently the Wall Street Journal and many other publications have writing stories about the correlation between sustainability and the stock and financial performance of companies.  What they have found is that because sustainability focusses on increasing efficiencies, reducing waste and risk and improving compliance and reputation, business that have initiatives in these areas make more money – for themselves and their shareholders.

For information about the CurrentState Sustainability Audit, Click HERE.


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