Newport Consulting Group, LLC Our Point of View – Corporate Sustainability Planning and Outreach Newport Consulting Group believes that Corporate Sustainability is an outgrowth of an organization’s strategy — one that allows the organization to embrace its mission and vision within the context of sustainable principles. We follow the “triple bottom line” approach of economic, environmental, and social components of the corporate sustainability framework: 1. Economic. How does the organization pursue its strategy in the economic interest of its stakeholders, by reducing material consumption and reducing environmental impact, while creating economic value? 2. Environmental. How does the organization comply with various marketplace standards and government regulations to reduce, report, and even eliminate hazardous substances from its operations? 3. Social. How does the organization create a safe environment for its employees and stakeholders to conduct business, and what initiatives does it pursue to create a standard of living in the communities and regions in which it operates? Our firm has worked with many organizations, both commercial and not-for-profit, to develop sustainable strategies that can be programmatized and monitored. While we find that often one area may drive a sustainability conversation, the need to address all areas of corporate sustainability lends itself to a discussion regarding viable versus feasible options. Feasible Options are options which are possible given the strategic direction and orientation of the organization and its stakeholders. Viable Options are feasible options which are implementable given the time, resource, and financial constraints. While many strategies are feasible, only through discussion, facilitation, and consensus can the organization arrive at viable options which have limited risk and which may be implemented. We engage in many parts of the corporate sustainability process, as shown in the adjacent diagram. We believe the core to full realization of a sustainable strategy is the ability to articulate the components of sustainability in a program plan, to assure the plan meets the objectives of the organization’s strategy, and to monitor the plan over time and make adjustments as events, context, and resources change. Our work in the area of corporate sustainability may be traced back to 1998 through the early work of our principals in the area of social Figure 1: Corporate Sustainability Programs accountability. Since then, our firm has provided Programs must address all three aspects to some degree assistance to commercial organizations in the areas of environmental compliance (including reduction of hazardous substances (RoHS) and greenhouse gas emissions), developed economic models that create sustainable enterprise performance management (EPM) strategies, and provided our opinion and perspective with several enabling organizations (both services and products) to educate members and customers on the elements and benefits of corporate Newport Consulting Group, LLC sustainability programs. Our corporate sustainability approaches to date have been largely based on compliance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI3) standard for corporate sustainability. Newport Consulting is pleased to maintain the following association and client relationships which support the development of our corporate sustainability practice: Social Accountability International (SAI; www.sa-intl.org). SAI serves as the governing not-for-profit body for the Social Accountability standard (SA 8000). Our principals are trained and familiar with its structure, requirements, and guidelines and work with SAI to create supplier development programs for commercial enterprises. SAP America (www.sap.com/usa/index.epx). SAP is the second largest enterprise software company in the world, and both an exemplar and enabler of corporate sustainability. In 2009, SAP received a GRI3 corporate sustainability score of “A+” and was recently awarded LEED certification on its US-based operations. Our firm serves SAP as members of the office of CFO (oCFO) marketing program in the areas of enterprise performance management (EPM), governance risk and compliance (GRC), and corporate sustainability reporting (CSR) approaches and programs, and serves as a member of the Sustainability Executive Advisory Council for SAP customers. University of Oregon Sustainability Leadership Program (sustain.uoregon.edu). Newport Consulting has partnered with the University of Oregon and its Sustainability Leadership Program as an element of our continued education in the field of corporate sustainability. Our principals participate in annual and quarterly training sessions in pursuit of attaining a professional certificate in corporate sustainability. Project Management Institute (PMI; www.pmi.org/Pages/default.aspx). Our firm engages with PMI in the development of benchmark information aligned with strategic performance, including areas of corporate sustainability. Our principals and staff are certified Project Management Professionals (PMP) and trained consultants in the Organizational Program Management Maturity Model (OPM3) which aligns program management with business performance. Generally speaking, corporate sustainability programs do not operate in a vacuum. Successful programs engage the corporate and community environments in which they operate to create teams which can implement action plans at their local area and span of control. As such Corporate and Community Outreach is an essential component to any sustainability initiative. Corporate and Community Outreach We believe that Community Outreach is essential to the creation and deployment of a successful sustainability initiative. The purpose of Corporate and Community Outreach will be to enable the corporate sustainability teams to “engage” communities, suppliers, special stakeholders, and interest groups to ensure that they have the opportunity to participate in the decision making process as the initiative matures. Newport Consulting Group, LLC The Corporate and Community Outreach Process has a wide spectrum of involvement and like the “Ladder of Empowerment” (shown in Figure 2 at right), it ranges from an outward communication of decisions on the bottom rung to group involvement in decision making at the top of the ladder. It is important to engage the community and corporate partners (such as suppliers) in a meaningful way so they feel they are truly part of the process. No matter where the focus, it is important to distinguish clearly where decisions will be made throughout the course of a sustainability initiative. Roles typically vary throughout the project, but it is key that roles be defined so that expectations can be managed and even fulfilled. 6 Self-Managed Groups Groups Implement Solutions 4 Groups Clarify Problems & Solutions Groups Work to Seek Solutions 2 5 3 Seeks Views Decides and Informs 1 Figure 2: Ladder of Empowerment Community and corporate members can be engaged with varying levels of responsibility Newport Consulting’s approach to Community Outreach embraces proactive involvement of the public in both new and ongoing projects. Ultimately, the benefits to this approach are: Improved understanding of the overall project scope, timeframe and final product Increased trust in the process Support for the plan Enhanced working relationships across public groups Increased public/governmental collaboration Better and more creative solutions to problem-solving In order to realize these benefits, we use several key methods with our clients to achieve a high degree of consensus, effectiveness, and performance. We would be pleased to share these methods, including our governance approaches, to sustainability initiatives.
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