During my past five years at PRé, I’ve observed how companies approach different issues. I’m very interested in social impact assessment, and I experienced that companies have wildly different approaches for assessing the social impacts of their products and services, and for managing product social sustainability.
Starting From Different Places
Each company has a different agenda and priorities, and operates in different regions and sectors. In addition, companies have different levels of maturity when it comes to sustainability. Even within a single company, the level of knowledge and buy-in across departments is not always the same, not even when different departments have the same goals. Aligning on sustainability takes a lot of work, from embedding it into the vision and mission of the company, to defining methodology for impact assessment and targets, and beyond. And all these things can be done in different ways.
How To Meet Everyone’s Needs?
Companies have different, specific needs in product social sustainability, and I noticed that no programme exists to support companies that wanted to take the next step, whatever step that is. With this in mind, I developed an incremental programme for companies that want to start to measure, manage and communicate the social footprint of their products or services. The Social Footprinting Programme is intended to help your company develop and share knowledge of product social sustainability and embed social sustainability into your organisation.
Customise The Programme Yourself
The Social Footprinting Programme encompasses a series of building blocks towards a social sustainability programme. These are services that you can select in any order that is appropriate for your situation. This way, you can tailor the Social Footprinting Programme to match the needs of your company and its level of maturity in terms of social footprinting.
You could choose to revisit your company’s vision on social sustainability and take a good look at how the social impacts of your products are measured at the moment. Or you could improve the way your social footprinting results are measured and communicated. Alternatively, you could train your team or your suppliers, or to set targets to drive improvement.
Where Do You Go From Here?
The program does not propose that there is only one way forward. You may want to focus on one part of your social sustainability goal, or execute it in small cycles. There is no need for you to take all the steps either. Instead, the Social Footprinting Programme invites you to check what is most relevant for you now, where you are and where you want to go.