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Better Decisions, Real Value: Business Toolkit

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on June 28th, 2010

Source: Forum for the Future

Forum for the Future is launching the Better Decisions, Real Value toolkit designed to help sustainability practitioners and finance professionals determine how sustainability can add financial value to their business. We believe that if companies are better equipped to assess this, they can make better decisions that create real value – for their investors and wider society.

The toolkit is the first output from over a year’s practical research with our Foundation Corporate Partners. We found that the complexity and uncertainty of sustainability created three barriers to determining the business case:

* the numbers are much ‘softer’ than decision-makers are used to;
* companies get stuck in a cycle of “no permission without a business case, no business case without permission”;
* financial tools are ill-equipped to deal with the ambiguities of how sustainability leads to value creation.

Our toolkit is designed so it can be used in any company or organisation to determine how sustainability can add financial value to the business. It includes a range of components.

* The Foundations tool helps you tackle the expectations gap by laying the foundations of the business case. It summarises the latest understanding of when there is (or is not) a business case, and why it is so hard to prove.
* The Entry Point guide offers a step-by-step guide to getting permission to explore your business case, helping you break out of the ‘no permission-no evidence’ cycle.
* The Pathways tool summarises the different ways sustainability can create financial value – from product differentiation, to staff motivation and risk reduction – with guidance on how you can collect evidence to make your business case.
* The Ready Reckoner tool helps you identify the pathways which are most important for your situation and calculate good-enough numbers to start the virtuous circle.

We are particularly keen to help our partners to use these tools, because we think it will help them create change and because we hope that by using the toolkit they can help us improve it.

Click here for more information about our Better Decisions, Real Value project. We will be making the tools available to the public on this page in July.

If you are interested in the Better Decisions, Real Value toolkit please email David Bent (d.bent@forumforthefuture.org) or call 020 7324 3662.

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