Want to go green? Here's a way to figure out what it's worth

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Risk Sustainability Cargill

Going green and taking on sustainability initiatives sometimes can be a hard sell to tight fisted financial executives. Cargill marketing manager Jennifer McLenighan tells how the company's new assessment tool can make the pitch easier.

The company's new online assessment tool, debuted at the recent International Food Technologists show in Chicago, helps put a dollar and cents figure to sustainability initiatives.  The team at Cargill saw that sustainability concepts needed to be boiled down into more manageable chucks so that a risk analysis could be performed and dollar values could be assigned.

“The tool identifies and prioritizes the issues,”​   McLenighan told FoodNavigator-USA. “That’s where you get the financial materiality.”

“It’s important to put in front of a company what a risk might cost the company or what the unique sustainability growth opportunity might be so that you can calculate the return on investment,” ​she said.

is essentially a decision tree that is displayed in matrix form.  The underlying methodology was developed within Cargill’s responsible supply chain framework, which includes consideration of:

  • Labor and working conditions
  • Resources efficiency and pollution prevention
  • Community health, safety and security
  • Biodiveristy conservation and sustainable management of living natural resources
  • Indigenous peoples, cultural heritage and involuntary resettlement.

The tool’s matrix puts commercial impact on one axis, ranked from low to high, and the likelihood of occurrence on the other, ranked from remote to likely.  The boxes are filled in by identifying risks, the costs those risks present and the opportunities for growth they might open up. Plugging in all of parameters yields a nine square matrix with highly likely events with high commercial impact in one corner, making  clear where the discussion about action items should start.

Related topics Suppliers Markets R&D Sustainability

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