To get an idea of how you can work with sustainability both internally and externally, you should as a first step make a current situation analysis of the value chain and stakeholders. The analysis will then form the basis for your continued sustainability work. In this step, you must identify development opportunities that can lead to a stronger attractiveness and an increase in profitability.
You must also identify risks and possible misconduct that may conflict with international guidelines and that may lead to criminal liability and in the long run damage the brand and have negative financial consequences.
If you are to be considered sustainable, the entire value chain must live up to the same standard. Lack of sustainability work in one of the links affects all players in the chain in a negative way. In order for you to know what measures you should take to become a sustainable business, it is therefore important that in the current situation analysis you identify the value chain and make an analysis of the risks and opportunities of all players in the chain.
In addition to your value chain, there are other players who have opinions on how you should run your company from a sustainability perspective, you should therefore also analyze your other stakeholders to find out what requirements they place on you. What you arrive at in the current situation analysis, together with your goals and guidelines, must be included in a prioritization matrix so that you can more easily identify your focus areas in your continued sustainability work.
Once you have identified your value chain and other stakeholders and seen what risks and opportunities exist for you, you should find out which areas you should prioritize. In step two, when you have developed values, you must make your final priority, but it can be good to already in step one create an idea of what is important to you. You should choose the areas that are most acute and give the greatest effect.
The consequences can be both positive and negative and they can have a direct impact on your brand and profitability. It is important that you also calculate the financial consequences of taking or refraining from taking certain measures and examine what effort is required of you to achieve the desired effect.
Once the opportunities and risks have been identified and you have considered priority areas, you are ready for step two. In step two, you decide how you should position your business strategically in terms of sustainability in order to achieve its desired future picture. You are responsible for complying with international guidelines and laws, and sustainability work is therefore ultimately your responsibility.
Develop and reflect on VALUES
The values are the soft values that then form the basis of your policy and your guidelines and in some cases can only consist of value words. Examples of values are equality, diversity, transparency, environment and care. The values are about creating an identity, that is, what you want your company and brand to stand for. In this step, you will focus on what is important to you as a company and how you want to be perceived by your stakeholders.
You should keep in mind the identified risks and opportunities that you analyzed during step one. The values can look different for different companies and industries, for some companies the environmental issues are most important and for others, for example, staff and working conditions are the most important.