(by Rachel Chamberlain posted 4/29/12)
This event, labeled “Beyond Spreadsheets,” was organized by Sustainable Seattle and Bainbridge Graduate Institute as the beginning of a very promising event series based around sustainable business practices. Hosted at Bainbridge Graduate Institute’s Seattle location, 60 passionate members of the local business community came together to discuss the nitty-gritty issue of sustainability data management at the first ever Tools for Tomorrow event. A local sustainability management software company, Scope 5, was the featured sponsor for the event and received much praise from panelists. Their centralized, web-hosted system is making them a company to watch in the sustainable business community.
Some Key InsightsIt turns out that one sustainability tool does not fit all, and in fact, paying more for sophisticated software can leave you more tangled than ever. Just as you would not compare the environmental and social impacts of Starbucks Corporation to Java Bean Coffee, you would not recommend the same sustainability tracking tool to both companies either.
Sustainability tracking should not be relegated to a single department. Thorough integration of sustainability initiatives and employee engagement will lead to better results. This means that initiatives need to start at the executive level and filter down through all departments.
Finally, and without giving away the whole workshop, a company must organize, prepare and engage the correct people and have a game plan before implementing a software solution. As Kelly Hoell put it, there is no (software) silver bullet!