Small Business Sustainability Assessment

Measure your impact on the environment
Permaculture Principle 4 Apply Self Regulation & Accept Feedback

By completing a sustainability assessment, you can do a simple kind of audit through every aspect of your business, and identify opportunities for making small changes that you can do now, and perhaps bigger changes that you can work towards.

Consider the saying, a penny saved is a penny earned. A budget minded person goes through every category of their spending, and finds a small change they can make here and there. The overall lifestyle doesn’t change much at all, but the collective impact has a big difference on the money you can save.

In this sustainability assessment, you go through each category, and it’s as simple as just making observations and recording what you see, what you observe, what you have experienced, what you know. Consider the impact of each element using the same kind of matrix that you would when doing a risk assessment.

Zoom connect

Connect with us online for a 2 hour session to help you work through this assessment, and explore the observations and opportunities that may present themselves. Includes follow up contact to check off the action steps as you work towards sustainability.

  • Each assessment will result in a list of action steps to complete.  You choose if those action steps are big or small, easy or difficult. You are in control of your business’s journey towards sustainability.
  • Your sustainability assessment is a process that should be carried out quarterly, to build on the steps taken each time, and work towards tipping the scales in the right direction. 
  • Once the actions steps are completed, report your progress and track the path of your journey towards sustainability.

Pricing

Each assessment takes 2 hours, followed up by email with your action steps. $297 for each assessment and follow-up, to be completed quarterly.
Includes GST and any associated processing fees.

3 Examples of what your Sustainability Assessment could look like: click on each title to expand:

Date

11/7/2023

Business Name

Australian Manufacturing Company

Completed By

Owner – Gary

 

Congratulations on taking a step towards sustainability. As a small business, it’s often difficult to see how your little operation could really have that much of an impact, but with the small business sector accounting for 97% of the number of businesses operating in Australia, the collective impact is profound. By making the decision to be part of the new solution, instead of the existing problem, your contribution counts. It’s when we all work together that every little action and change can combine to make a big impact on the sustainability of the earth for future generations.

This document has been prepared as an introduction to carrying out an assessment on the impact that your small business has on the environment and the earth’s sustainability. It covers the four broad areas of Management, Marketing, Operations and Finances, and is to be used as a starting point. For more information, contact us at: https://evertrue.com.au.

Instructions:

Take a moment to consider each area, break it down into individual elements, actions, systems, processes or policies. Consider and record your observations, impressions, and the feedback you have received. Consider the possibility of the resources and utilities that you rely on if they were no longer available due to the breakdown of the environment. Identify any possible opportunities that may present themselves as you carry out this assessment.

Impact Matrix

Use the following matrix, similar to those commonly used in risk assessments, to measure the impact and the frequency of the observations you discover. Record the matrix reference in your observations.

 


IMPACT MATRIX

FREQUENCY

RARE

REGULAR

FREQUENT



IMPACT

MINOR

1

2

3

MODERATE

2

3

4

SEVERE

3

4

5

 

SECTION 1 – MANAGEMENT

AREA

Observations

Opportunities

Matrix Ref

Mission Statement

Doesn’t mention sustainability

Revise Mission Statement to show commitment to the environment

2

Vision Statement

Doesn’t mention sustainability

Revise Vision statement to show commitment to the environment

2

Company Policies

Focused on profit

Revise to introduce focus on sustainability

3

Owner/Director

At home is environmentally conscious 

Bring focus into work

1

General Manager

Wife and children are environmentally conscious

Bring focus into work

1

Company Culture

Staff are increasingly discerning, mentioning saving the environment

Consult staff on how we can improve our impact on sustainability

1

    

 

SECTION 2 – MARKETING

AREA

Observations

Opportunities

Matrix Ref

Marketing Manager

(Owner)

 

1

Media

– Physical: Business Cards, Branded Pens

– Digital: No message about sustainability



Media release on commitment to protect the environment, display on website and company branding

1


3

Geographical Area

Mostly Local, about 20% Interstate to Perth customers that have other locations interstate

Encourage more local trade

3

Resources

– Freight



– Packaging

Look into more sustainable transport options.

Look into biodegradable packaging

4



4

Feedback

None received

 

1

Target Market

Most larger companies mention sustainability in their media.

 

1

    

 

SECTION 3 – OPERATIONS

AREA

Observations

Opportunities

Matrix Ref

Operations Manager

(Gen Man)

 

1

Human Resources

6 full time staff, all live locally

 

1

Supply Chain & Transportation

– Materials received from Perth, produced locally.

– Frequent small deliveries



Consider deliveries being collated in Perth and have 1 delivery to workshop (impact on production times)

1


4

Waste

– Steel recycling bin onsite

– 3m bin collected once per month

 

1


2

Water

Avg 30kL per month

 

1

Plastic

Most deliveries received covered in shrinkwrap

Ask suppliers about using biodegradable packaging

3

Power

Avg 1200 units per month

Look into solar

3

Storage & Inventory

Small stock on hand, mostly manufactured to order.

 

1

Production and Processing

Workshop layout mostly effective

 

1

Defects

Small occurrence of mistakes by apprentices, items discarded

Keep a register of defects and track causes and outcomes

2

Skills

Trades held tickets for 10+ years

Due for refresher courses

2

    

 

SECTION 4 – FINANCE

AREA

Observations

Opportunities

Matrix Ref

Finance Manager

(Owner)

 

1

Profitability

15%

Room there to put sustainability budget in place

1

Budget & Targets

Not really active

Set budgets and track

1

Assets

Equipment – life span of another 5-10 years

 

1

Liabilities

Good position, almost paid off biggest loans

 

1

Growth

30% growth over past 3 years

 

1

    

 

ASSESSMENT

AREA

Number of Observations

Number of Opportunities

Combined 

Matrix Ref

MANAGEMENT

6

6

10 (1.66)

MARKETING

8

3

18 (2.25)

OPERATIONS

13

5

23 (1.77)

FINANCE

6

2

6 (1.0)

TOTAL

33

16

58 (1.75)

 

ACTIONS AND NEXT STEPS

AREA

ACTION

DEADLINE

FOLLOW UP

MANAGEMENT

Revise Mission Statement.

18/7/23

18/8/23

 

Revise Vision Statement.

18/7/23

18/8/23

 

Revise Company Policies.

25/7/23

25/8/23

 

Staff Meeting – Owner and General Manager to express personal commitment to the environment, discuss with staff to raise awareness and brainstorm opportunities.

18/7/23

25/7/23

MARKETING

Media Release of staff meeting and commitment to sustainability. Display on website and into branding.

25/7/23

25/8/23

 

Research potential customers in local area.

31/7/23

31/8/23

 

Contact freight providers to ask about their efforts to provide sustainable transport (Electric or hydrogen trucks?)

31/7/23

31/8/23

 

Contact supplier to ask about biodegradable packaging, get quotes.

31/7/23

31/8/23

OPERATIONS

Discuss with freight co, the possibility of collating deliveries in Perth with 1 delivery to site.

31/7/23

31/8/23

 

Ask suppliers if they are using biodegradable packaging.

18/7/23

18/8/23

 

Ask the landlord for permission to install solar power.

18/7/23

18/8/23

 

Develop Defects Register, include in company policies, give instructions to supervisor of apprentices.

31/7/23

31/8/23

 

Research refresher courses for trades – with focus on sustainable methods and processes.

31/7/23

31/8/23

FINANCE

Determine % of net profit that can be dedicated to improving sustainability

18/7/23

25/7/23

 

Set up budgets across all activities, and include budget review in monthly management meeting agenda.

25/7/23

25/8/23

NOTES:

Several small tasks to start the ball rolling, will need further actions at next review.

Follow up reports to be logged with this review, report to include date actioned, by whom, and feedback/answer about the task/impact/effectiveness.

 

 

Next Review Date

11/10/23

Signed

Gary



Date

11/7/2023

Business Name

Australian Retail Company

Completed By

Owner – Heather

Congratulations on taking a step towards sustainability. As a small business, it’s often difficult to see how your little operation could really have that much of an impact, but with the small business sector accounting for 97% of the number of businesses operating in Australia, the collective impact is profound. By making the decision to be part of the new solution, instead of the existing problem, your contribution counts. It’s when we all work together that every little action and change can combine to make a big impact on the sustainability of the earth for future generations.

This document has been prepared as an introduction to carrying out an assessment on the impact that your small business has on the environment and the earth’s sustainability. It covers the four broad areas of Management, Marketing, Operations and Finances, and is to be used as a starting point. For more information, contact us at: https://evertrue.com.au.

Instructions:

Take a moment to consider each area, break it down into individual elements, actions, systems, processes or policies. Consider and record your observations, impressions, and the feedback you have received. Consider the possibility of the resources and utilities that you rely on if they were no longer available due to the breakdown of the environment. Identify any possible opportunities that may present themselves as you carry out this assessment.

Impact Matrix

Use the following matrix, similar to those commonly used in risk assessments, to measure the impact and the frequency of the observations you discover. Record the matrix reference in your observations.

 


IMPACT MATRIX

FREQUENCY

RARE

REGULAR

FREQUENT



IMPACT

MINOR

1

2

3

MODERATE

2

3

4

SEVERE

3

4

5

 

SECTION 1 – MANAGEMENT

AREA

Observations

Opportunities

Matrix Ref

Mission Statement

Makes mention of sustainability

 

1

Vision Statement

Mentions offering sustainable products

 

1

Company Policies

Focus on customer experience

Revise to introduce focus on sustainability

2

Owner/Director

Personally committed to sustainability

 

1

General Manager

(owner)

  

Company Culture

Choose green whenever possible

 

1

    

 

SECTION 2 – MARKETING

AREA

Observations

Opportunities

Matrix Ref

Marketing Manager

(owner)

 

1

Media

Physical: printed paper carry bags. Ad in local newspaper

Digital: facebook posts in local groups

Consider more digital advertising

2



1

Geographical Area

Local trade + tourist trade about 50/50

Encourage more local trade

3

Resources

Facebook, local newspaper, good walk in traffic, good reputation

 

1

Feedback

Positive about being sustainable

 

1

Target Market

Appreciate sustainable options

 

1

    

 

SECTION 3 – OPERATIONS

AREA

Observations

Opportunities

Matrix Ref

Operations Manager

(owner)

 

1

Human Resources

2 Staff (part time) both live locally

 

1

Supply Chain & Transportation

Suppliers are mostly in Eastern states, produced in Australia

Deliveries received 2-3 times a week

Research local suppliers


Look into collating deliveries into 1 weekly.

4



3

Waste

1 full regular bin once a week.

 

2

Water

Personal use only (ablutions, staff kitchen)

 

1

Plastic

Some suppliers still using excessive plastic

Ask suppliers to use more sustainable packaging

3

Power

In Shopping Centre

900 units per month for lights and computers

Ask Centre management about renewable power options

2

Storage & Inventory

Storage well organised, space efficient

 

2

Production and Processing

Re-stocking done each evening, packaging stacked and recycled

 

3

Defects

Rare, minor

 

1

Skills

Focused on retail and customer experience

Research new methods and sustainable ideas

1

    

 

SECTION 4 – FINANCE

AREA

Observations

Opportunities

Matrix Ref

Finance Manager

(owner)

 

1

Profitability

20%

Room to dedicate budget to sustainability

1

Budget & Targets

Regularly using and keeping within budget

Revise budgets to include sustainable choices

1

Assets

Mostly in stock on hand

 

1

Liabilities

Minor

 

1

Growth

Stable 5% each year – 5 years

 

1

    

 

ASSESSMENT

AREA

Number of Observations

Number of Opportunities

Combined 

Matrix Ref

MANAGEMENT

5

1

6 (1.2)

MARKETING

7

2

10 (1.42)

OPERATIONS

12

5

24 (2.0)

FINANCE

6

2

6 (1.0)

TOTAL

30

10

46 (1.53)

 

ACTIONS AND NEXT STEPS

AREA

ACTION

DEADLINE

FOLLOW UP

MANAGEMENT

Revise Company Policies to include focus on sustainability

18/7/23

18/8/23

MARKETING

Research digital marketing options

25/7/23

25/8/23

 

Talk to local repeat customers about a possible “support local” campaign

25/7/23

25/8/23

OPERATIONS

Research local suppliers

31/7/23

31/8/23

 

Talk to freight company about collating deliveries at their depot and receiving once per week. Consider impact on stock levels and increasing stock on hand

18/7/23

18/8/23

 

Ask suppliers about sustainable packaging

18/7/23

18/8/23

 

Ask Centre Management about renewal power options

18/7/23

18/8/23

 

Research new ideas in retail and sustainability

31/7/23

31/8/23

FINANCE

Meet with accountant to discuss affordability and budget for sustainability

31/7/23

31/8/23

 

Revise budgets to include sustainability

31/7/23

31/8/23

NOTES:

Already doing a lot of good sustainable choices, still room to improve, promote to public.

Can make suppliers and service providers more aware, create consumer demand.

Follow up reports to be logged with this review, report to include date actioned, by whom, and feedback/answer about the task/impact/effectiveness.

 

Next Review Date

11/10/23

Signed

Heather



Date

11/7/2023

Business Name

Australian Service Company

Completed By

Owner – Elizabeth

Congratulations on taking a step towards sustainability. As a small business, it’s often difficult to see how your little operation could really have that much of an impact, but with the small business sector accounting for 97% of the number of businesses operating in Australia, the collective impact is profound. By making the decision to be part of the new solution, instead of the existing problem, your contribution counts. It’s when we all work together that every little action and change can combine to make a big impact on the sustainability of the earth for future generations.

This document has been prepared as an introduction to carrying out an assessment on the impact that your small business has on the environment and the earth’s sustainability. It covers the four broad areas of Management, Marketing, Operations and Finances, and is to be used as a starting point. For more information, contact us at: https://evertrue.com.au.

Instructions:

Take a moment to consider each area, break it down into individual elements, actions, systems, processes or policies. Consider and record your observations, impressions, and the feedback you have received. Consider the possibility of the resources and utilities that you rely on if they were no longer available due to the breakdown of the environment. Identify any possible opportunities that may present themselves as you carry out this assessment.

Impact Matrix

Use the following matrix, similar to those commonly used in risk assessments, to measure the impact and the frequency of the observations you discover. Record the matrix reference in your observations.

 


IMPACT MATRIX

FREQUENCY

RARE

REGULAR

FREQUENT



IMPACT

MINOR

1

2

3

MODERATE

2

3

4

SEVERE

3

4

5

 

SECTION 1 – MANAGEMENT

AREA

Observations

Opportunities

Matrix Ref

Mission Statement

Doesn’t mention sustainability

Revise Mission Statement

1

Vision Statement

Doesn’t mention sustainability

Revise Vision Statement

1

Company Policies / Business Plan

Doesn’t mention sustainability

Revise Business Plan

3

Owner/Director

Personally tries to make sustainable choices when possible

 

1

General Manager

(owner)

 

1

Company Culture

(solo operator)

 

1

    

 

SECTION 2 – MARKETING

AREA

Observations

Opportunities

Matrix Ref

Marketing Manager

(owner)

 

1

Media

Mostly digital presence

Business Cards, Pens

 

1

Geographical Area

Local or Online only

 

1

Resources

Internet, telephone, power

 

1

Feedback

Good reputation

 

1

Target Market

Don’t know?

Talk to customers about sustainability

3

    

 

SECTION 3 – OPERATIONS

AREA

Observations

Opportunities

Matrix Ref

Operations Manager

(owner)

 

1

Human Resources

(solo operator)

 

1

Supply Chain & Transportation

– Computer etc – major brands from local retailer.

– Approx 500km business travel per month

Find out about sustainability of companies making equipment needed.

2


2

Waste

Minimal – paper is shredded and put in chicken nesting boxes

 

1

Water

Minimal – personal use only

 

1

Plastic

Minimal – recycled when possible

 

1

Power

Solar panels installed

 

1

Storage & Inventory

Archives in shed

Digitise archives and shred hard copies

1

Production and Processing

Messy desk, busy calendar

 

1

Defects

Minimal – not an issue

 

1

Skills

Current and up to date

 

1

    

 

SECTION 4 – FINANCE

AREA

Observations

Opportunities

Matrix Ref

Finance Manager

(owner)

 

1

Profitability

5%

Campaign to increase clients, generate more profit.

1

Budget & Targets

Set, but not reaching sales targets

 

2

Assets

Small asset base

 

1

Liabilities

Just under value of assets

 

1

Growth

5% each year – 3 years

 

1

    

 

ASSESSMENT

AREA

Number of Observations

Number of Opportunities

Combined 

Matrix Ref

MANAGEMENT

6

3

8 (1.33) 

MARKETING

6

 

8 (1.33)

OPERATIONS

12

 

14 (1.16)

FINANCE

6

 

7 (1.16)

TOTAL

30

 

37 (1.23)

 

ACTIONS AND NEXT STEPS

AREA

ACTION

DEADLINE

FOLLOW UP

MANAGEMENT

Revise Mission Statement

18/7/23

18/8/23

 

Revise Vision Statement

18/7/23

18/8/23

 

Revise Business Plan

25/7/23

25/7/23

MARKETING

Talk to customers about sustainability – Prepare list of all clients and schedule conversations

31/7/23

31/8/23

OPERATIONS

Find out about sustainability of companies making equipment needed.

31/7/23

31/8/23

 

Digitise archives and shred hard copies

31/12/23

31/1/24

FINANCE

Campaign to increase clients, generate more profit.

18/7/23

18/8/23

    

NOTES:

Very small operation, but still opportunities to promote sustainability to clients and create consumer demand from suppliers.

Need to improve profitability to be able to keep operating.

Follow up reports to be logged with this review, report to include date actioned, by whom, and feedback/answer about the task/impact/effectiveness.

 

Next Review Date

11/10/23

Signed

Elizabeth



Complete these details to receive your instant free download template

The Sustainability Assessment Template is also available as a free download for you to complete on your own. We offer this service to assist you in completing the assessment, to guide you through the process and offer suggestions and insights.

Completing the assessment with us also provides the accountability to follow up on the commitements you make, and to chart your progress towards sustainability.

Watch the tutorial below to complete yours: