Organizational ACV: learn more about this new environmental management methodology
What are the real impacts of the processes and activities of an organization in the environment? How to develop metrics that enable them to be measured? Natura and UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) are working on a project that aims to answer these questions through the validation of a new methodology, the Organizational Life-Cycle Analysis (ACV).
It’s a new environmental management tool that tries to quantify and evaluate the impacts caused by an organization in the environment in a more thorough an integrated way, taking into account the entire value chain of the company, by applying new metrics and a new way of managing data.
Only eight companies in the globe are taking part in the experiment to validate the methodology and Natura is the only Latin American representative. The companies operate in different fields of business and each of them established aspects of their value chain they were willing to evaluate. Up until next July they will share with the UNEP and other organizations that are part of the program what they discovered.
Natura’s Sustainable Technology Scientist Manager, Ines Francke explains that Organizational ACV is the evolution of another technique and is focused on assessing the life-cycle of products and processes. “The traditional ACV only analyzes the life-cycle of a product, from the acquisition of the raw materials, passing through manufacturing and reaching disposal. It generates scores, defining a single type of measurement that enables the comparison between products with similar roles and differentiation of the impacts”. They assess aspects like greenhouse gas emissions, water toxicity, use of soil, among others that integrate the life-cycle.
Organizational ACV, on the other hand, evaluates companies’ entire complexity. It’s not only focused on the product, it includes the flow of information and all the processes that take place in an organization. “We want our socio-environmental model to keep evolving continually. We’ve already quantified and are following up our carbon footprint, solid waste inventory, water footprint and other indicators. The validation by Organizational ACV will let us know if, in the future, the tool will support Natura’s sustainability programs and help to perform an integrated management of the company’s environmental data in a more thorough and structured way”, sums up Ines.
This is not the first time Natura establishes a partnership with UNEP. The company takes part in the Life Cycle Initiative, which aims at fostering a global approach to life cycle, facilitating the exchange of knowledge about the topic among more than two thousand experts throughout the world. The company has also contributed for the validation of another methodology proposed by the group, the Social ACV, which aimed at quantifying the social impacts of organizations taking into account aspects like health and safety, work conditions, governance and human rights. This methodology still remains as one of the research lines of the Life Cycle Initiative.
In order to validate Organizational ACV, Natura disclosed the complete scenario of the company in the year 2013. All the environmental information that was gathered and documented in that period can be adapted to the Organizational ACV model. This includes information about products, packs, operations, transportation, processes and others.
By taking part in the project, Natura expects to help improving the management tools currently available in the world. “We want to offer consumers quality products that include beauty, pleasure and sustainability at the same time. This is why we think it’s important to contribute for the evolution of current metrics by seeking management models that are more and more efficient, which will help us to minimize our impacts to the most, by becoming aware of all our processes, taking a broader approach regarding our performance as a company and respecting the interdependence between the business, society and nature”, Ines wraps up.