Why footprint measurement is the key to targeted business innovation [5-step plan]

Why footprint measurement is the key to targeted business innovation [5-step plan]

Now that the EU aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55% by 2030, companies should take sustainability measurement seriously. Because soon, reporting on your sustainability efforts will no longer be a choice but a legal requirement: the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) will take effect on January 1, 2023, impacting more than 50,000 businesses across the EU.

That means you’ll need to lay a solid foundation for measuring detailed and transparent information on how sustainability issues affect your business (an outside-in perspective) and how your company impacts people and the planet (an inside-out perspective). This is also referred to as a double materiality perspective, as it reflects a company’s inward and outward impacts.

How to go about it? Start with a solid footprint measurement, which helps you determine environmental causes, your baseline, and your ultimate goal.

Business benefits of footprint measurement

If you want to grow your business sustainably and create value for the company, people, and the environment, continuous innovation is key. To effectively drive change, you should have your facts straight. That’s why footprint measurement is crucial. It provides you with clear, in-depth information on your impact on the world, making it tangible and manageable. Not only will you spot opportunities for improvement, but you will also learn how to improve. Why? Because abstract concepts will become concrete.

For example, you might discover that your CO2 impact is caused by deforestation, certain raw materials, electricity consumption, transportation, or your product’s manufacturing process — or, mainly in the use phase of your products. That’s information you can work with. It helps you create common targets and KPIs, aligning your people. And by aligning people, you encourage them to speak the same language. You can also connect more easily with crucial stakeholders, like customers and suppliers.

Once you’ve completed these preliminary tasks, it’s time to make a solid plan to achieve your goals and start innovating. If, for example, you know that the manufacturing of your food products causes 30% waste in the value chain, you can implement changes to minimize food waste and even reuse it. Avoiding it altogether might be impossible — but if you use it as a source for new products (in other words, if you upcycle it), you will solve a big part of the problem and create a new value stream. This type of innovation benefits the environment and your business.

Where to start: a 5-step plan

Impacting Today’s partner Ecochain provides the footprint measurement practices businesses need as a foundation for innovation. Our partnership is built on the powerful combination of effective measurement methods, analytical insights, and a solution-oriented approach.

When working with customers, we go through a five-step plan:

  1. Using Ecochain’s tools and methods — both GHG footprint and lifecycle analyses (LCA) — we perform a baseline measurement to lay your foundation.
  2. We set clear goals, based on which we draft scenarios and solutions that help reach your objectives.
  3. To ensure you put your money where your mouth is, we help you select Triple Win© solutions — those with the highest impact for your business, your customers, and the planet.
  4. We co-create innovation plans with clear milestones so you can get to work.
  5. Throughout the process, we help you set up the tools and apps required to monitor progress, which you need to include in your sustainability report later on.

Ready to get serious about sustainability measurement?

Whether you grow seeds or run a grocery store, footprint measurement will benefit your business. With 2023 approaching, it’s high time to get serious about sustainability impact and the great innovative opportunities it offers to your company.

Want to know what Impacting Today and Ecochain can do for you? Request a free demo to see how the method works and how it’s helped other companies innovate.