Megan Motto at a recent Green Building Council forum on women and leadership.

1 May 2014 — A new Business of Sustainability website developed by Consult Australia to assist professional services firms navigate the process of going green has been released.

The project, which provides a roadmap of the various elements that contribute to achieving sustainability, has been led by a task group comprising some of Australia’s leading sustainability professionals from firms including Norman Disney & Young (who is the project gold sponsor), AECOM, Arup, Aurecon, GHD, Jacobs SKM, Parsons Brinckerhoff and URS.

“A more sustainable business means delivering a better business in every sense: more efficient, smarter, more competitive and more profitable. Achieving this is critical to the ultimate goal of a sustainable future. That is the business of sustainability,” Consult Australia chief executive Megan Motto said.

“The Decision Support Tool we have developed as the main part of The Business of Sustainability is designed to help bridge the gap between intent and achievement.”

The Decision Support Tool is structured across four broad-based activity areas: sustainable governance, reporting and accounting; internal engagement and staff culture; collaboration and engagement; and technological improvements to offices and infrastructure.

The tool presents an outline of potential methods and mechanisms for improving sustainability outcomes, and key questions relating to each specific end goal that assists users to develop strategies for implementing initiatives across areas such as energy, water, waste, green rating tools and technological change.

“The questions are designed to assist firms to identify the path by which they are most likely to achieve their corporate vision. Any plan for sustainability must be fully integrated with the day-to-day business practices of the organisation,” Ms Motto said.

NDY’s global director of sustainability, and former chair of the World Green Building Council, Tony Arnel said the site demonstrated that every firm must consider its own circumstances, commercial objectives and social and environmental responsibility before deciding which interventions they will use to achieve more sustainable practices, products and ultimately business.

“In recognition of the diversity of professional services firms, the aim of this website is to stimulate what will be a sometimes unpredictable dialogue around sustainability and to act as an aid for firms who are trying to identify and develop their own journey,” Mr Arnel said.

So we checked it out

The Business of Sustainability is a free tool, which is simple to navigate, using logical pathways to access comprehensive information and assist with the development of plans for implementing sustainability actions.

The information is supported by commentary written by Consult Australia’s task group, and includes extracts from research that supports the business case for sustainability initiatives.

There is also a comprehensive glossary that explains many of the core concepts, specific terminology, organisations and rating schemes. A page of links gives a more comprehensive explanation of many of the global sustainability rating methodologies for companies, products and built assets, with links to the relevant bodies.