Introduction:

Our Sustainability Risk Management Checklist has been designed for you to employ tools for environmental risk reduction.

Sustainability Risk Management is a business strategy that aligns profit goals and a company's environmental and social policies. It is about meeting the economic needs of business alongside environmental and social needs.

The Global 2020 Risk Report announced the top threats to our economy are environmental. The main threats include weather extremes, climate action failure, and biodiversity loss.

The WWF's Living Planet Index 2018 observed that nature underpins all economic activity, presently worth an estimated $125 million. There is, therefore, a substantiated amount of wealth at risk here.

Managing this risk specifies a balance between environmental, economic and social business, requiring holistic and systematic integration of ecological, socioeconomic and corporate risk factors. This checklist has been produced from Yilmaz and Flouris' work titled: Managing corporate sustainability: Risk Management process-based perspective.

This Sustainability Risk Management Checklist has been designed as a conceptual process, consisting of five main phases:

  1. Phase 1: Strategic plan and orientation
  2. Phase 2: Management and organization: infrastructural organization
  3. Phase 3: Set process step: framework orientation
  4. Phase 4: Report and monitor: internal control orientation
  5. Phase 5: Corporate sustainability check: corporate sustainability orientation

This process has been designed to help the following subjects mainly:

  • Improve awareness of the necessity for sustainability risk management.
  • Identify sustainability risks and opportunities.
  • Promote innovation and operational efficiency.
  • Develop a company-specific sustainability risk management model, policy and guidelines.
  • Integrate sustainability considerations into the decision-making process and practices.
  • Manage sustainability funds.
  • Proactively manage risks to obtain a competitive advantage.
  • Increase value and innovative capacities.
  • Move towards sustainable business practices.
  • Promote corporate social investment, citizenship, and social responsibility.
  • Increase financial, social and environmental contributions.
  • Improve corporate reputation.

The main benefits of following this Sustainability Risk Management Checklist are as follows:

  • Achievement of a balanced and integrated economical, social and environmental performance.
  • Full integration of sustainability based topics into business strategy, management, and organization as all levels.
  • Corporate value optimization.
  • Reasonable assurance to the achievement of the corporate objectives in a triple bottom line concept.
  • Corporate resource optimization.
  • Effective and proactive management of the sustainability-based risk.

How to use this checklist

At the beginning of this checklist, you will be presented with a set of specialized questions that are given as a form field. You are required to populate each form field with your data.

At the end of each phase (1,2,3,4,5), your supervisor/manager will review your work using Process Street's approvals feature. Other features used in this template include: 

  • Stop tasks - to ensure task order
  • Dynamic due dates - To make sure your initiative is reviewed on time
  • Role assignment - to delegate tasks within your tea, ensuring your supervisors is appropriately assigned to the review tasks
  • Approvals - tasks can be accepted, rejected and rejected with comments.

Record checklist details

In this Sustainability Risk Management Checklist, you will be presented with the following form fields for which you are required to populate with your specific data. More information for each form field type is provided via linkage to our help pages:

Let's start by recording your business details, your details and the details of your supervisor or manager.

This is a stop task, meaning you cannot progress in this template until the required form fields are populated.

Business details
Your details
Details of Manager/Supervisor
Checklist details

Phase 1 - Strategic plan and orientation:

Objective and Related Activities: Establishment of Strategic Orientation for proactive use of the Sustainability Risk Management model.

Set a strategic sustainability strategy

First, you need to plan your Sustainability Risk Management strategy. This involves looking for a strategic sustainability strategy, to determining economical, social and environmental related objectives of this strategy.

The below subtasks guide you through this process. Check off each task when you have completed that step.

  • 1
    Set a strategic sustainability strategy
  • 2
    Consider the related objectives for this strategy that are economically related
  • 3
    Consider the related objectives for this strategy that are socially related
  • 4
    Consider the related objectives for this strategy that are environmentally related

Considering economical, social and environmental objectives together caters to the triple bottom line concept, and supports the sustainable business model.

For your sustainability risk management strategy plan, you need to consider economic, social and environmental business objectives. The objective should balance the demands of these three business counterparts.

You can record these objectives in the long text form field below.

Define business objectives in terms of sustainability

Next, you need to define the business objectives in terms of sustainability. That is, how will your objectives make your business more sustainable? What sustainability objectives does each economic, social and environmental objective support?

Use the long-text form field below to define and make note of your sustainability objectives.

Demonstrate leadership

For effective implementation of a Sustainability Risk Management Checklist, leadership needs to be demonstrated.

For instance, here are 10 ways you can demonstrate leadership, defined by Capella University:

  • Be a thought leader: Make sure you know your stuff so you can lead with knowledge.
  • Join a professional association:  Join a professional association in your industry by attending meetings, networking with members, and perhaps serving the board.
  • Look at the big picture: Don't look at things from the limited view of your position. Take a larger lens when considering your company, fo you to make better decisions and understand difficult changes.
  • Think positively and proactively: When processes do not go as planned, think proactively on how to solve the problem, without dwelling on what went wrong.
  • Listen and learn from others: Listening to and observing others is a great way to obtain perspective. This means listening to your co-workers, your boss, your peers, your customers, and the overall marketplace.
  • Network with purpose: By networking, you can find opportunities and advance and hone your leadership skills. Attend conferences, join associations, etc as a means to find ways to meet people in your industry.
  • Find a mentor: A mentor is a more experienced professional you can share knowledge and experiences with you.
  • Embrace diversity: Good leaders understand that diversity goes beyond age, gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Diversity can include a diversity of personalities, ideas, and approaches.
  • Master your job: Do your work on time, be aplomb whilst getting involved in your industry and building your leadership credibility.
  • Understand and build upon your strengths: Many companies use personality assessments like Myers-Briggs and StrengthsFinder.  These tools are extremely helpful to understand how you approach problems and interact with others.

Use the long-text form field below to summarize how you intend to demonstrate leadership for your Sustainability Risk Management process.

Analyze stakeholders

Stakeholder analysis is about identifying stakeholders and stakeholder expectations. This section is about summarizing your findings from this analysis.

Begin the stakeholder analysis by identifying stakeholders. Use the long-text form field below to detail the stakeholders identified.

Next, identify the expectations of the stakeholders. Use the long-text form field below to detail the stakeholder's expectations. 

Use the stakeholder analysis to meet the needs of all interested parties.

Stakeholders are specific people or groups that have a stake or an interest in the outcome of a project.

Define your strategy, target, and plans

Consider your sustainability targets. Use this space to define those targets.

To meet your identified sustainability targets, you need to strategize a means of reaching those targets.

  • Consider how you are going to get there?
  • What obstacles could you face?
  • Consider impacts on all stakeholders, employees, and departments

Your defined strategy and plans can be incorporated into an online document such as a Google Docs sheet, the link for which can be uploaded using the website form field below. Alternatively, you can upload the file containing your detailed strategy and plan using our file upload form field.

Define your company's policies

Determine your environmental, social, and economic policies in the form fields below.

As sets of ideas and plans, policies formulate a basis for making decisions. These policies have to be considered for any decision made in this Sustainability Rish Management process.

Search competitive advantage fields

Use this time to detail fields where you currently have a competitive advantage over others. There may be fields where you could grasp a competitive advantage by being more sustainable not yet considered. Detail these latent competitive advantage fields.

Setting your business up to be more sustainable can give you a competitive advantage over less-sustainably minded companies.

For instance, more sustainable companies cater to sustainable conscious consumers (88% of consumers). The needs of this type of consumer are not met by non-sustainable companies, heightening your position for you to gain a competitive advantage.

Effective management of environmental risk means company assets, attributes, or abilities that are difficult to duplicate or exceed can provide a superior or favorable long-term position over competitors.

Types and examples of sustainable competitive advantages include:

  1. Low-cost provider/low pricing due to economies of scale and efficient operations.

  2. Market or pricing power without loss of market share.

  3. Powerful brands with the majority of consumers preferring sustainable brands over competitors.

  4. Product differentiation with a unique product or service that builds customer loyalty, reducing the likelihood of market share loss.

Look to create innovation

Defining ways to be more sustainable allows for innovative thinking. Use the form fields below to define your innovative ideas on how you can become more sustainable.

The quest for sustainability is starting to transform the competitive landscape, forcing companies to change the way they think about products, technologies, processes and business models. The key to progress in this changing landscape is to innovate.

Examine current strategies and operations from a sustainability perspective

Deep-dive into your current business operations with the question of sustainability.

To make this section easier, it is good to document your business processes, something you can do in Process Street. For more information on how to create and edit checklists, read Basics of creating and using templates.

Use the subtask form fields below to guide you through the process of analyzing your business operations against sustainability needs.

Documenting every business operation as a process such as this Sustainability Risk Management process, increases the transparency of your operations, making it easier to target key areas that can be adapted for greater overall business sustainability.

  • 1
    Your business operations have been successfully documented
  • 2
    You have analyzed your business strategies with a sustainability perspective
  • 3
    You have analyzed your business operations with a sustainability perspective

Examine current risk culture from a sustainability perspective

Risk culture is the system of values and behaviors present in an organization shaping the risk decisions of management and employees. For instance, one element of risk culture is a common understanding of an organization and its business processes.

You need to make sure you analyze the risk culture landscape for your business. Strong risk culture in a company means employees know what the company stands for, the boundaries within which the company can operate, and they can openly discuss which risks should be taken in order to achieve the company's long-term objectives.

The subtasks below guide you through the process of analyzing risk culture-shaping your company. Check off the tasks on completion.

  • 1
    Examine the culture of upper management and leadership
  • 2
    Examine the risk culture of middle management
  • 3
    Analyze decisions considering the company's official risk policies
  • 4
    Ensure there is effective communication around ethics and risk
  • 5
    Ensure you are constantly and consistently messaging employees that managing risk is a key part of their everyday duty
  • 6
    Make sure risk information is shared out in the business
  • 7
    Enforce ethical behavior
  • 8
    Employees should be incentivized to do the right thing, and incentive programs should be aligned to reward long-term prudent conduct
  • 9
    Make sure there is a formal process to consider risk during the decision making process
  • 10
    Risk culture should extend outside the organization to third party suppliers and partners, ensuring third parties are examining risks within the guidelines and meeting thier own standards
  • 11
    During hiring, assess candidates fit to the risk culture

Improve the strategic, business and operational plan in terms of sustainability risks

You have a strategic plan (from task 8). Use this time to improve on this plan. Plan improvement begins with identifying key sustainability risks, to then contemplating sustainability issues.

Then look to your business and operational plans. Consider how these can be improved based on key sustainability risks.

A sustainability risk refers to the uncertainty in being able to sustain the growth of a corporation because of uncertain practices that have negative externalities which can result in the dilapidation of the value chain of the system over a period of time.

  • 1
    Use your identified sustainability risks to improve your strategic plan
  • 1
    Improve business plan in terms of sustainability issues
  • 2
    Improve operational plan in terms of sustainability issues

Approval: Phase 1 approval

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Set a strategic sustainability strategy
    Will be submitted
  • Define business objectives in terms of sustainability
    Will be submitted
  • Demonstrate leadership
    Will be submitted
  • Analyze stakeholders
    Will be submitted
  • Define your strategy, target, and plans
    Will be submitted
  • Define your company's policies
    Will be submitted
  • Search competitive advantage fields
    Will be submitted
  • Look to create innovation
    Will be submitted
  • Examine current strategies and operations from a sustainability perspective
    Will be submitted
  • Examine current risk culture from a sustainability perspective
    Will be submitted
  • Improve the strategic, business and operational plan in terms of sustainability risks
    Will be submitted
  • Link up with like-minded companies
    Will be submitted

Phase 2 - management and organization, infrastructural orientation:

Objective and related activities: Integration of related Sustainability Risk Management into key corporate activities and functions: Sustainability-based approach.

Check infrastructural situation

Use the below subtask form fields to check over your company's infrastructural situation concerning corporate resources. Each step in the subtask probes into what process types need to be considered.

When checking over your company's infrastructural situation, you are considering the sustainability of this infrastructure, with the question of how can I make this process more sustainable in mind.

  • 1
    Financial processes
  • 2
    Social processes
  • 3
    Operational processes

Again, checking your company's infrastructural situation concerning the above processes is easier when your processes are documented. You can document your processes in a Process Street checklist like this one.

Mobilize corporate resources

Resource mobilization refers to the process of getting all the resources from the resource provider, using different mechanisms to implement the organization's pre-determined goals. These pre-determined goals refer to your company's sustainability efforts and the goals that align with them.

  • 1
    Mobilize your corporate resources

Develop guidelines for your sustainability risk management model

Develop a set of guidelines for your sustainability risk management model. Use the long-text form field below to summarize these guidelines.

Guidelines are important as they provide a practical and ethical framework for decision making, instilling a sense of responsibility and accountability.

Develop measures and standards of business performance

Use this time to develop measures and standards of business performance.

Business management looks at a business as a whole instead of on a division level. It is about determining how a business can better reach its goals. In this instance, our goals are reaching a more sustainable business for effective sustainability risk management.

Assign a sustainability risk management committee and alignment of roles and responsibilities

Detail your sustainability committee using the long-text form field below.

To drive your sustainability strategy you need a group of people who are appointed solely for that task. This involves the alignment of roles and responsibilities that are best suited to the group members' skills and experience.

For your detailed committee, use the subtask form fields below to analyze your committee, making sure it functions as it should.

  • 1
    Make sure roles and responsibilities are aligned with committee members
  • 2
    Organize the roles and responsibilities for your sustainability risk management model

Develop a training plan

Once you have assigned your sustainability risk management committee and organized roles and responsibilities, the next stage is training your committee.

Check off the below tasks on completion:

  • 1
    Familiarize personnel with sustainability risk management
  • 2
    Familiarize personnel with corporate sustainability and related practices
  • 3
    Train the sustainability risk management team on emerging approaches and techniques
  • 4
    Hold executive seminars on sustainability risk management, corporate sustainablity and integration of risk management and sustainability
  • 5
    Create and improve corporate culture supportive of sustainability (this includes strategic and cultural dimensioons, values and norms, communication, leadership styles and conflicts)

Attract and retain talent

For an effective sustainability risk management procedure, sustainability in terms of human resource management issues needs to be addressed. Keep the question of sustainability in mind when employing your team. You want your developments to be supported by your team.

Set up corporate sustainability performance criteria

Sustainability performance is about harmonizing financial, environmental and social objectives.

Performance criteria is a written description of the standards or characteristics to be assessed for a given task or activity created in partnership with those who use them. This is for a manager or assessor to evaluate performance to a defined standard of characteristic. In this instance, this standard is set by your sustainability model. 

Summarize your corporate sustainability performance criteria using the long-text form field below.

Set up a stakeholder engagement plan and its process

For your sustainability risk management plan to work, you need to implement a formal and effective stakeholder engagement plan. Use the form field below to summarize this plan.

With a formal strategy to communicate with project stakeholders, you will receive the support required for your project. This plan should specify frequency and type of communications, media, contact person, and locations of communication events.

You can set up a stakeholder engagement plan process in a Process Street checklist.

Approval: Phase 2 approval

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Check infrastructural situation
    Will be submitted
  • Mobilize corporate resources
    Will be submitted
  • Develop guidelines for your sustainability risk management model
    Will be submitted
  • Develop measures and standards of business performance
    Will be submitted
  • Assign a sustainability risk management committee and alignment of roles and responsibilities
    Will be submitted
  • Develop a training plan
    Will be submitted
  • Attract and retain talent
    Will be submitted
  • Set up corporate sustainability performance criteria
    Will be submitted
  • Set up a stakeholder engagement plan and its process
    Will be submitted

Phase 3 - set process step, framework orientation:

Objective and related activities: Systemization of sustainability issues, corporate value drivers, and relevant corporate activities by setting up the risk management framework.

Identify threats and opportunities which impact corporate sustainability

  • 1
    Determine sustainability issues impacting both strategic and operational risks which are related to not meeting and meeting business objectives.

Use the long-text form field to summarize strategic and operational risks.

Strategic risk is a failed business decision or lack thereof, that could impact the company.

An operational risk summarizes the uncertainties and hazards a company faces in its day-to-day activities.

Use the below subtask form field to guide you through the process of identifying threats and opportunities impacting coprorate sustainability.

  • 1
    Create a scenario analysis for potential sustainability risk events
  • 2
    Prioritize sustainability-based threats and opportunities
  • 3
    Established a strategic plan to achieve business objectives
  • 1
    Establish thresholds and targets according to enterprise risk appetite
  • 1
    Analyze impact, cost, and benefits of sustainability based risks
  • 2
    Prepare a corporate risk map and a holistic picture of the company
  • 3
    Exercise decision-making to optimize risk handling options
  • 4
    Implement risk handling plans for risk optimization

Approval: Phase 3 approval

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Identify threats and opportunities which impact corporate sustainability
    Will be submitted

Phase 4 - report and monitor, internal control orientation:

Objective and related activities: Collection, analysis, and dissemination of risk data for relevant levels of management: Communication and reporting on time.

Communicate innovation for sustainability

Regular communication is part of the effort to integrate innovation for sustainability throughout the organization. Both within and outside the organization, a systematic process should be in place, to spread the word about any achievements being made, in a solid and quantifiable way, encouraging everyone involved.

Approval: Phase 4 approval

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Communicate innovation for sustainability
    Will be submitted

Phase 5 - corporate sustainability check - corporate sustainability orientation:

Objective and related activities: Establish internal control of the model and related activities toward effective implementation of sustainability practices.

Create a gap analysis

Gap analysis is the comparison of actual performance with potential or desired performance.

Use the below subtasks below to guide you through the process of checking corporate sustainability.

As you perform gap analysis you will find that some goals will not be met. For these goals, strategize ways you can work to obtain these goals. You can summarize this strategy using the long-text form field below.

  • 1
    Compare your desired sustainability risk management model outputs with planned outputs to assess performance optimization, assessing and comparing the triple bottom line based performance results and risk factors.
  • 2
    Assess progress towards sustainability goals
  • 3
    Determine overall score (give goal progress as a percentage)
  • 4
    Adjust strategies to ensure goals are met

Overall sustainability check

The overall sustainability check involves the assessment of sustainability risk management implementation performance by the control and measurement of sustainability variables.

These variables have been determined by Esquer-Peralta, 2006. Make sure your sustainability risk management procedures controls and measures the following:

  • 1
    Sustainability leadership
  • 2
    Planning for sustainability improvement
  • 3
    Employees involvement
  • 4
    Process management
  • 5
    Product/service management
  • 6
    Information and analysis management
  • 7
    Customers and suppliers involvement
  • 8
    Other stakeholders involvement
  • 9
    Sustainability results

For the effective management of your sustainable development, you must provide:

  • 1
    Co-ordination
  • 2
    Leadership
  • 3
    Administration
  • 4
    Financial control
  • 5
    Room to harness skills and capacities
  • 6
    Timeline adherence
  • 7
    Clearly defined and understood roles and responsibilities
  • 8
    Clearly defined and understood relationships between different key participants

Approval: phase 5 approval

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Create a gap analysis
    Will be submitted
  • Overall sustainability check
    Will be submitted

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