The Value of Sustainability

March 13, 2018 Judi Hess

The question always arises; can you deliver high performance as an organization and drive sustainability as well? Are these concepts at odds with one another, or are they inextricably linked? At Copperleaf™, we believe there’s a better way to answer this question. It comes down to understanding “what does your organization really value?” Some say: “What gets measured, gets done.” We say: “What gets valued, gets realized.”

Copperleaf helps organizations make informed decisions by quantifying value in terms of how every initiative drives the attainment of strategic goals. The Copperleaf Value Framework (CVF) uses a comprehensive set of quantitative measurements to evaluate the impacts of proposed investments and portfolios on sustainability, in conjunction with traditional financial measurements. The CVF captures the overall strategic management decision criteria for an organization, or put simply, defines “what an organization values” beyond just financial objectives. It encompasses factors related to service levels, risk categories, benefits, and financial impacts—including factors influencing stewardship and sustainability.

We’ve developed a library to capture the knowledge and models used to support sustainability in the decision-making process. The Copperleaf Value Model Libary is an extensive collection of best practice value models that have been proven and accepted by peer organizations and regulatory bodies. It is already in use, in various forms, with over 35 organizations worldwide, and is helping to inform approximately one third of a trillion dollars of investment in physical and digital infrastructure in the world today.

In terms of sustainability, the Library includes over 70 value models, which are informed by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the following areas:

  • Societal
  • Security
  • Economic Development
  • Environmental
  • Human Health and Happiness

To pay more than “lip service” to sustainability, organizations need to include the assessment of the impacts of these factors directly into their decision-making process in a quantifiable way. As well, to deliver on accountability, there needs to be a way to transparently understand how the portfolios of investments being made will deliver on an organization’s societal and environmental objectives. Copperleaf provides a platform to do just that, tailored to the needs and objectives of the organization.

I will be speaking on this topic at the Globe 2018 Conference being held in Vancouver this week, alongside:

  • Christyne Tremblay, Deputy Minister, Natural Resources Canada
  • Roxanna Benoit, Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications, Enbridge
  • Janet Drysdale, Vice-President Corporate Development and Sustainability, CN,
  • Charlene Wall-Warren, Director of Sustainability, BASF Corporation
  • Marie-Hélène Labrie, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Communications, Enerkem Inc.

Please contact me to learn more, or download our white paper on driving sustainability with decision analytics.


About the Author

Judi Hess

Judi has been the CEO of Copperleaf since 2009. She recently won the BC CEO Award, was named BC Tech Person of the Year, and was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women.

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