GEMI releases Sustainable Development Tool

Washington D.C., USA - The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) has released an interactive version of its sustainable development tool, the “GEMI SD Planner,” as well as a new tool, the “GEMI SD Planner Gateway.”

The GEMI SD Planner and SD Gateway is a detailed, comprehensive planning tool companies can use to establish baseline performance, assess opportunities, set goals, develop action plans and evaluate progress towards your sustainable development objectives.

“It is a tool to be used internally within companies that recognize the importance of systematically considering environmental, economic development and social equity issues in a way that creates the most value for their business enterprise,” according to the organization.

Among the SD Planner’s capabilities, according to GEMI, is to help companies:

  • Establish generic elements of sustainable business practices. The tool synthesizes a broad range of generally accepted SD [sustainable development] concepts into seven major elements. This provides a comprehensive basis for companies to select the desired scope and focus of their own SD efforts.

  • Enable company assessment of current status. The tool provides a straightforward, structured approach toward assessment of a company’s current status relative to broad industry norms. For each element, a company can assess its position relative to a five-stage model of evolution. This will help companies to set context and formulate their SD goals.

  • Enable formulation of SD goals and gap analysis. The tool provides a flexible means for establishing company-specific goals with regard to any of the major SD elements. It also enables the identification of gaps between the company’s current and desired position, which provides the basis for developing action plans.

The planner “is intended to help companies understand the context of SD, provide a basis for developing a SD strategy, highlight opportunities to create business value, and provide a roadmap for taking action,” according to its User Manual. “It recognizes that each company will take the actions that are most suitable for its needs, but that the processes used by most companies in determining their strategies and actions may be similar to the processes used by other companies. SD Planner provides assistance to companies making this journey by setting forth guidance for the different steps of the journey.”

“One of the important things GEMI does is listen to its members and others in the stakeholder community and develop tools to meet those needs,” said Keith Miller, Manager, Environmental Initiatives and Sustainability, 3M and Co-Chair of the GEMI Sustainable Development (SD) Work Group that created the GEMI SD Planner Gateway. “Our members and other stakeholders congratulated GEMI for the development of the GEMI SD Planner in 2002, but user surveys showed a clear need for the GEMI SD Planner Gateway that would make the SD Planner easier to use, and that is what we have done by creating this interactive web tool version of the GEMI SD Planner and the SD Gateway. These tools, the GEMI SD Planner and SD Gateway, together are a detailed, comprehensive planning tools that can be used to establish baseline performance, assess opportunities, set goals, develop action plans and evaluate progress toward a companies sustainable development objectives,” concluded Miller.

“The GEMI SD Planner Gateway has been created to raise the awareness of sustainable development concepts, help clarify the business case for action and serve as an ‘on ramp’ for GEMI’s existing tool, Exploring Pathways to A Sustainable Enterprise: SD Planner,” said Ted Reichelt, Environmental Program Manager, Intel Corporation and Co-Chair of the Work Group. “The new tool has been created so that more companies will be able to easily work with GEMI’s SD Planner as they work to make progress toward their own their own sustainability goals,” Reichelt added.

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