Local Case Study Analysis

A Framework for Determining an Organization's Progress Toward Sustainability

I. Current Sustainability Progress and Issues

A. Identify the stage of the Sustainability Learning Curve (see text pg.16) at which this organization currently stands. Explain your reasons for this assessment. (Does the organization have an environmental management policy? Does it have a policy regarding its relationships with stakeholders – employees, investors, customers, suppliers, etc? Does the organization have a commitment to economic profitability?)

B. Describe the key sustainability-related issue or issues (social, environmental, economic) which relate most directly to this business or organization. Consider the following categories of impact:

a. Waste reduction, reuse, and recycling

b. Energy efficiency, conservation, and management

c. Water conservation and wastewater management

d. Air quality

e. Wildlife and landscape conservation and management

f. Transportation

g. Purchasing

h. Sustainability education for stakeholders

i. Local community

C. Describe the internal (i.e., inside the organization) and external (i.e., outside the organization) challenges this organization faces in effectively dealing with/solving the key sustainability-related issue or issues.

II. Using The Natural Step to Assess the Practices of the Organization

In what ways is this business/organization . . .

• dependent on fossil fuels? Upon scarce metals and minerals?

• dependent upon persistent chemicals and uses of synthetics?

• encroaching on nature?

• not meeting basic needs fairly or efficiently? (What are those basic needs?)

III. Alternatives Identification and Recommendation

Identify and describe at least three alternative and preferable courses of action, strategies, or tactics that this organization can pursue in an attempt to enhance its sustainability index. Remember to consider environmental, social, and economic aspects of your recommendations. A business/organization is not sustainable if it can not make a profit, maintain its competitive position, and/or successfully deliver its products, services, programs, etc.