What is a sustainability audit?
A sustainability audit is an excellent way to create an effective sustainability strategy for your company. Many businesses perform sustainability audits to promote a good corporate image. They are making sustainability a priority in strategic management because sustainability provides a competitive advantage on the market, now that people are increasingly concerned with their impact on the environment.
Today’s consumers care more about sustainability and green products are in demand. But more importantly, sustainability incorporates community welfare, good working conditions, and regulatory requirements to protect the earth.
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What should a sustainability audit checklist include?
Conducting a sustainability audit shows you how your company is performing regarding sustainable processes, services and products. Sustainability best practices are still being developed, improved, and refined, which is why a sustainability audit checklist should be updated consistently. Since sustainability isn’t always quantifiable, it can be difficult to measure success.
However, there are still ways to optimize your sustainable=le business practices. Start by asking questions like
- Is your position on climate change, child labor, corruption, equality, and the wage gap clear?
- Do you work on projects related to environmental or social sustainability issues?
If your answer to the above questions was no, consider defining what sustainability means to your company, setting smart goals, and finally, creating a strategy following a sustainability audit.
One of the most common ways to measure sustainability efforts is the so-called triple bottom line concept. The triple bottom line is a business concept which asserts that businesses must be concerned with their social and environmental impact, not only financial performance. It encourages firms to focus on the “three Ps”: profit, people, planet.
Financial performance is a key indicator of business success. Generating profit keeps shareholders happy. Success means making smart business decisions that maximize profits and minimize costs.
Apart from shareholders, firms must also make sure they are having a positive impact on people. Make sure you’re creating value for the people affected by their business decisions. This includes employees, customers, and community members.
The third and final component of the triple bottom line concept involves ensuring a positive impact on the environment.
Businesses, especially big, multinational firms, have been the biggest contributors to climate change, which is why they also have the power to eventually drive positive changes. Fortunately, many businesses have accepted this responsibility with building pressure and awareness.
But the effort must not lie on the shoulders of big corporations. Any business has the power to act in a way that helps reduce its carbon footprint. Some ways businesses can make a positive impact on the planet is by using ethically sourced raw materials, reducing their energy consumption, and simplifying their shipping processes.
Why are sustainability audit checklists important?
Environmentalism and sustainable practices are being adopted by companies all over the world. Today, businesses are publishing sustainability reports and environmental risk assessments to show the impact of their policies. But there are still many issues to tackle, and many businesses still need a sustainability strategy.
Sustainability audits make sure businesses are considering making environmental protection a strategic priority, since many business operations come with heavy social and environmental costs.
Sustainability impacts business viability, financial performance, and market size. Businesses need to be able to prove that they are following sustainability best practices by publishing sustainability audit reports.
These audits are useful internally as well, because they identify areas for improvement.
There are 4 main benefits of an effective sustainability strategy:
- Your sustainability strategy will help you avoid legal consequences from any destructive actions. When the government and your consumers decide your business operations are a threat to the environment, you could have your business license revoked.
- A UK study reveals that about one out of three consumers have abandoned brands because of sustainability-related concerns. There is a growing share of the market willing to pay higher prices for services or products that are more environmentally friendly. But many businesses are not truly sustainable, make inaccurate claims, or practice greenwashing. Insincere promises of sustainability can damage your business’ reputation.
- An effective sustainability strategy is essential if you’re looking to do business globally. You need to implement and follow sustainable practices that comply with regulations wherever in the world you are.
A digital solution for sustainability audit checklists
Improving sustainability efforts in your business is easier when you use a digital solution like Lumiform. Lumiform’s mobile app allows you to create sustainability audit checklists that you can adjust at any time. Since environmental regulations change, and the world is relying more on sustainable practices, your sustainability audit checklist needs to be adaptable in just a few clicks.
Every step of the audit can be completed via tablet or smartphone, either online or offline. You can use Lumiform’s desktop software to create checklists and then progress through them on the mobile app.
Abandoning paper in favor of digital checklists supports the environment as well, since it means you’re going paperless.
Other benefits of using Lumiform for your sustainability audit checklist include:
- A large template library that you can use to start inspecting and go digital immediately.
- Accommodating any company-specific requirements to create a unique sustainability audit checklist, using theflexible checklist maker.
- Assigning necessary corrective actions to responsible staff withinthe mobile app.
- Regular, automatic analyses so you always know the state of your sustainability efforts.
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