Regulators, shareholders, investors, etc., and the Administration, are becoming increasingly insistent that sustainability should be included as an essential area of business strategy.
The calculation of the environmental footprint has been identified as a key factor in the development of sustainable products and, above all, in ensuring that a company’s environmental policy is truly strategic in its approach.
The best way of calculating an environmental footprint is through a Life Cycle Analysis or LCA. Yet such an analysis is often partial in its approach, focusing on a single environmental aspect or phase of the life cycle, lacking an appropriate methodology, and failing to take into account the organisation’s strategy. The result can be an incomplete environmental footprint, which is not sufficient to afford the company any competitive advantage.
The calculation of the environmental footprint cannot be based on a formal knowledge of sustainability trends alone. It needs to take into consideration factors which are essential to the company, such as its own strategy, internal and value-chain processes, and risks or possible implications from the legal, tax and regulatory perspectives. It is also essential that it be combined with a proven methodology which is easily applied and concordant with the norms established by ISO standard 14040 and European Commission guidelines, this being the key to making the environmental footprint a fundamental element of an organisation’s strategy.