The SSC Green Audit

The SSC Green Audit is a methodology developed by Strategic Sustainability Consulting, specifically designed for organizations that have made a commitment to “going green” but who need help in taking practical steps towards that goal. You can read all about the SSC Green Audit below.

Then, download an overview of the SSC Green Audit, which shows each step of the process along with some of the deliverables you receive as part of the SSC Green Audit.

How can I get more information?

 

Not sure if the SSC Green Audit is right for you? Email us at info@sustainabilityconsulting.com and request a free phone consultation with one of our auditors. We can answer specific questions, give you a price quote, and setup a time for an onsite visit!


Components of an SSC Green Audit

Every SSC Green Audit is tailored to the client's needs, but relies on five core components to ensure that you are getting a consistent and rigorous audit with results that include an apples-to-apples benchmark.

The Employee Survey

  • We use an online survey to gauge your employee’s attitudes and awareness towards environmental issues at your office. Do they consider themselves eco‐conscious? Do they consider the organization to be eco‐friendly? What do they think are the top priorities that should be tackled? We’ll help you find out.
  • The survey also asks some basic questions about commuting, business travel, and other office practices. This information helps us get a robust picture of your employee‐based environmental impacts, and helps inform your organization’s carbon footprint.

The Office/Building Survey

  • While employees are taking the survey, you’ll also be collecting information on your office‐based environmental impacts, like square footage, utility bills, and IT equipment. This information is added to our carbon footprint data, giving us an accurate picture of your organization’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Don’t have numbers for your electricity, natural gas, and water use? Don’t know how much waste you generate? Don’t worry – we have national averages that can be plugged in when information on your specific impacts are missing.

The Carbon Footprint

  • We take information gathered from the Employee Survey and the Office Survey and run it through our carbon footprint calculator. While many different calculators exist that measure carbon emissions, our calculator (co‐developed by TheGreenOffice.com) is the only one specifically designed to account for ALL of an organization’s office‐based environmental impacts.
  • Not only will we tell you the annual tons of carbon emissions that your office emits – we’ll also break it down by key “carbon drivers” so that you know how much of your footprint comes from which type of behavior (e.g. air travel vs. car commuting vs. paper use vs. utilities). That way, you’ll know exactly what “reduce paper use by 20%” means for your environmental impact.
  • One of the most useful things about our carbon footprint is that we’ll not only report your absolute carbon emissions, but we’ll also explain how you stack up against your peers. Compared to others of similar size and in your industry, are you better or worse than the average? This benchmark will give you a good idea of where you’re starting from, and how far you need to go to be considered a leader.

The Onsite Visit

Depending on the type of SSC Green Audit that you choose, our certified auditors will spend between one and three days onsite with your organization. During that time you can expect:

  • "Understanding Sustainability” Workshop – The first component of the onsite visit is a 90‐minute workshop, an opportunity for everyone in your company to hear about the concept of sustainability and why the company is choosing to “green” its operations. It allows employees to voice any concerns or areas of particular enthusiasm, and will provide the Green Auditor with a contextual understanding of your business operations and goals. Specifically, the workshop will cover issues of organizational culture, existing environmental policies/programs, employees’ vision for the future, and challenges to being more sustainable. While everyone in the organization is encouraged to attend, representatives from the following departments MUST be in attendance: operations/management; facilities; purchasing; human resources; and sales/marketing.
  • Facility Walk‐Through ‐ After the morning meeting, the Green Auditor will spend several hours walking through the operations and speaking 1‐on‐1 with select personnel to gather additional data needed to inform the carbon footprint calculation and the afternoon recommendations.
  • “Results and Recommendations” Presentation – At the conclusion of the onsite visit, your organization will spend another hour together with the Green Auditor, receiving the results of the employee survey and carbon footprint analysis as well as a PowerPoint presentation outlining the results of the Audit. Topics included: current environmental strengths and weaknesses, “easy wins” that can be implemented immediately, longer‐term recommendations.

Final Green Audit Report

  • In addition to the PowerPoint presentation delivered during the onsite visit, your Green Auditor will also deliver a formal report back to your organization that includes all of the previously presented information as well as a list of additional resources to get you started.
  • For clients who choose a more extensive audit with a longer onsite visit, the auditor will schedule additional 1‐on‐1 interviews with key personnel in departments such as operations, human resources, purchasing, sales,customer service, facility maintenance, and research & development.
  • You may also choose to have your SSC Green Auditor develop a Sustainability Action Plan, a month‐by‐month action plan for the first 180 days, specifically tailored to your company and its available staff and budget resources, with the primary goal to identify “low hanging fruit” and opportunities for cost savings through better environmental management.

How is the SSC Green Audit different from other methodologies?

In the sustainability consulting world, there is no true standard for green auditing – each consultant does it a little bit differently. Most consultants will offer something similar – a baseline impact assessment that determines the client’s biggest environmental impacts (e.g. paper vs. energy vs. waste) and then makes recommendations based on those findings. The problem is that this approach often leaves clients with a set of good suggestions but without a clear understanding of how “green” or “ungreen” they are, or how a particular suggestion will impact their overall state of environmental responsibility.

The SSC Green Audit takes the guesswork out of “going green” by providing a consistent methodology that measures employee attitudes and behavior and combines that with a carbon footprint analysis – all of which culminates in recommendations that are directly tied to your organization’s impacts in a strategic way. We make sure that the green initiatives we propose give you the most “bang for your buck”, and that you walk away with a clear understanding of what going green can mean for your business model.

Is it right for my organization?

In general, our clients are relatively new to the concepts of sustainability, although many will have ad hoc environmental initiatives in place, like office recycling or purchasing recycled paper. Some have already created internal Green Teams, while others are still figuring out how to best approach the issue.

All of our clients have a common goal – to take a big step back and understand what “going green” means for their employees, for their business model, and for their overall environmental impact.

The SSC Green Audit is primarily designed for small and medium‐size organizations (those with less than 1,000 employees) and those who are operating in an office‐based environment. If you are a larger organization, or are operating in a manufacturing or retail environment, contact us for an engagement package that is specifically tailored to your needs.

What training has my auditor received?

Each certified SSC Green Auditor has a solid background in office‐based environmental issues like energy, waste/recycling, purchasing, and information technology. In addition, they have completed an intense 3‐day training course to learn how to effectively use the SSC Green Audit tools and methodology to guide clients through the audit process. Auditors are re‐certified on an annual basis to ensure that they are using the most up‐to‐date recommendations, carbon footprint methodology, and facilitation tools.

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Look for the Certified SSC Green Auditor logo to guarantee that you are working with a consultant who understands and applies this rigorous methodology.


SSC's Certified Green Auditors

We currently have 63 certified SSC Green Auditors across the United States, Canada, and India. Note: If we don't have someone in your area, we can always send an auditor to your location. 

UNITED STATES

  • Arizona: Lisa Barnard, Megha Varma
  • Arkansas: Scott McKnight
  • California: Collette Crenshaw, John Genest, Alicia Godlove, Steve Robinson, Jai Sharma, Matthew Savage, Julie Holst, Pamela Sterling, Robert Ellsworth, Diana Wilkinson
  • Colorado: Emily Andrews
  • District of Columbia: Ida Arabshahi, Karen LePeri, Karen Seeh, Christina Dzingala, Denise Buhrau, Cynthia Way, Lindsay Madeira
  • Florida: Adrienne LeBlanc
  • Georgia: Tiffini Jones, Dow Redcorn, Davida Steinberg
  • Illinois: Leslie Sherrin, Roy Torres, Elizabeth Koprowski
  • Indiana: Crystal Kirsch
  • Kansas: James Jones, Joelsette Jones
  • Louisiana: Michael Jackson
  • Maryland: Michelle Bishop, Elizabeth Vayda
  • Michigan: Vincent Morino
  • Minnesota: Sam Hanson
  • New Jersey: Lori Calestini
  • New York: Gloria McKenna, Paul Turaew, Mirele B. Goldsmith, Tom D'Eri
  • Ohio: John Capitoni, Stacy Brown, Kimberly Babcock
  • Pennsylvania: Matthew Lillard, Jason Wirick
  • Tennessee: Sara Wellman
  • Texas: Gary Gunsalus, Christy Hitchens, Lorre Walker
  • Utah: Jospeh Vandette
  • Vermont: Heather Shand
  • Virginia: Lucinda Brown, Bobby Croghan, Mark Frieden, Susan Blackmoor, Doug Sharo, Tracy Hanford, Ryan Van Patten
  • Wyoming: Chris Michael

Canada

  • Edmonton, Canada: Sara McNeill
  • Quebec, Canada: Kimberly Hains
  • Vancouver, Canada: Kimberly Klassen

India

  • Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu: Ashutosh Das