Five Key Questions for Advancing Sustainability

Conservation Value Solutions collaborates with companies to answer “Five Key Questions” for advancing sustainability of their supply chains and/or procurement programs:

Key Question 1:What’s the Problem?” What are the environmental and other (e.g., health, economic) impacts (and associated risks) of producing, using, and disposing of the product? (i.e., evaluating its production impacts, use impacts, and re-use potential)

Key Question 2: “What are solutions?” For each impact and associated suite of risks (e.g., stream-side habitats are degraded and water is polluted), we first identify alternative desired outcomes (e.g., stream-side habitats are healthy and water quality is clean”). We then document options of production, use, and re-use practices that scientists recommend for achieving each desired outcome (thus mitigating each sustainability risk).

Key Question 3: “How can you prove it?”

  • How can institutional buyers verify that their procurement choices have minimized impacts/risks and achieved desired outcomes?
  • How can sustainability executives distinguish suppliers that have minimized impacts/risks and achieved desired outcomes?

The most credible means of proof is often an independent third-party certification program that meets The ISEAL Credibility Principles.

Key Question 4: “How do you DO it?”

  • How do procurement initiatives use certification and other verification programs to find and purchase credibly more sustainable products?
  • How do supply chain sustainability initiatives use these programs to:
    • identify suppliers who minimize impacts (and associated risks) and reward them with more business, and
    • require suppliers to meet (and/or improve toward) independent third-party sustainability standards?

Key Question 5: “What else do we need to do?” What are key barriers to sustainability in the sector, and what are options of solutions to each barrier?

We use results to develop recommendations on how to: (a) design and implement supply chain sustainability and green procurement programs that generate positive impacts, and (b) communicate about these impacts in an accurate, transparent, and verifiable manner.

Selected Applications:

  • Beef Supply Chain Sustainability: Click here for series landing page.
  • The Quest for a Sustainable Mattress: Click here for series conclusion (with links to additional posts)