Saphenability Sustainability Program

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Since April 2022, we have been supporting four companies and start-ups in formulating their sustainability program on behalf of Saphenus Medizintechnik GmbH under the label “Saphenability”. In their sustainability program, companies formulate 5-10 targets with key performance indicators accompanied by challenging stories and a carbon footprint. Subsequently, sustainability data is followed up through annual sustainability reports. It is important to us that indicators for monitoring sustainable development are derived from concrete goals of the company. Climate neutrality is considered the big goal!

The Group of Companies

The group of companies consists of the Wiener Neustadt Accelerator “Accent”, two of the accompanied projects “Blue Planet Ecosystems” and “Yuniti”, and the Upper Austrian organic farm “Speck-Alm”.

A materiality analysis is also carried out in a systemic process. For accent, for example, SDG 8 proved to be extremely relevant. This is about sustainable economic growth and decent work for all, but also gender equality, or how combating climate change has led to set targets and indicators.

The diverse group provided a richness of ideas and perspectives. Yuniti was able to report on her plans for a circular economy. Remnants and sections from wood construction are to be used for new products.

At the Speck-Alm, with its comprehensive range of agricultural products (cattle, pigs, bread and must) for sale in the farm store and its own gastronomy, the purchase of organic products from farms in the neighborhood, and a continuing education program for young and old, we encountered a lively need for discussion on the topic of carbon footprint and its reference value: How is the carbon footprint of the entire farm divided among the various products?

As a typical, office-based company, the Accent team had to experience how difficult it sometimes is to collect data. What is the annual electricity or heating demand in the rented office? Where can the carbon footprint be reduced? Usually, mobility and nutrition of employees have a strong impact. Or how do you measure the impact of accent’s consulting services?

The Sustainability Program

The methodology follows that of the Wellbeing Project developed by the Austrian Chapter of the Club of Rome in cooperation with the UniNEtZ project. The process comprises of four modules, the sequence of which is summarized here:

First step is a workshop with all persons involved in the development of the sustainability report. From a Footprint Perspective, a common, comprehensive and systemic understanding of the challenges and your own role on the topic of “sustainability” is established (in the sense of the “Doughnut Economy” as well as the Common Good Economy) and the challenges of your company in the context of the 2030 Agenda are clarified.

On this basis, personal and common goals are formulated in the form of future images and stories. Achievement is guided by the 169 “targets” of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the fields of the common good matrix. Leading indicators derived from these must (similar to the Carbon Footprint methodology) be applicable at different levels (from the individual to the world as a whole) and make it possible to describe the respective contribution to the (non-)achievement of the goals. In doing so, the developed targets will be quantified: How to know if we are getting closer to the target?

A visit of the team to the respective sites and an individual consultation also incorporate professional expertise from more than 20 years of sustainability research at the SERI Institute and know-how from the Austrian Footprint Network.

The sustainability program, i.e. the results of the previous steps and the 5-10 defined goals including stories, indicators and other visualizations, are summarized in this work step together with the Footprint as a document, which can be communicated to the stakeholders and on the basis of which an initial sustainability report can be prepared.

The final step is an event for all those involved, at which the concept, the indicators and the results are presented. The company’s objectives will be discussed with internal and external stakeholders and the key aspects for the company will be clarified. The sustainability programs will be presented in Vienna on October 18.

Prior to this, SAPHENUS itself has also taken the path to the sustainability program, which is described here.

However, the process is constantly evolving. Currently, two research projects with the participation of BOKU and university of Salzburg and Applied Science are underway to further develop the wellbeing process with a system dynamic approach also for regions. These are the StartClim project in Salzkammergut and the SDGVisionPath project.

More about the transformation workshops:

Post by cooppa, September 27, 2022

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