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Your Business Plan on Chlorophyll

The Sustainable Business Planning Model Draft
By Diane Wolverton

The purpose of this document is to introduce new questions into the
traditional business planning model that address issues of
sustainability. It is proposed as a draft because more questions need to
be identified and added and more input is needed to shape, expand
and refine the model.

• What is your organization’s role in a fully sustainable economy?

Mission, Vision and Goals
• What is your mission in relation to the triple bottom line?
• What is the intrinsic value of your business to society and the
• What values guide your company? How do these values align
with sustainability?

• What common practices are not sustainable in your industry?
What opportunities does this represent?
• What are the trends in your industry in relation to sustainability?
• What is your niche in the industry in relation to sustainability?

Organizational Structure
Business Structure
• Evaluate the structure of your business in relation to the new B
Corporation. Does it make sense? If not now, in the future?
• What aspects of employee ownership and/or profit sharing make
sense for your business? National Center for Employee
• How do you listen to employees?
• How do you empower employees?
What are your policies that ensure diversity and equal opportunity?
• Does your pay ensure fair compensation?
• Do you have a policy that addresses comparison between
highest level salaries and those of lowest paid?
• What benefits are offered to employees? Do these address “the
whole person”?
• How do you embed sustainability into job descriptions,
performance reviews and compensation packages?
• Do you allow employees to perform volunteer work on company
time? If so, how many hours per week are allowable?
• What measures do you take to provide a respectful, low stress
and productive workplace?
• Describe your wellness program.
• What telecommuting, bicycling and flex scheduling do you have
in place?
• What practices encourage creativity and delight in the
Outside Services and Advisors
• What standards can you put into place to ensure outside services
(banks, cleaners, attorneys, etc.) support sustainability?
• Who can you add to your advisory panel to assist you in areas of
Risk Management
• What are the environmental risks and regulations associated with
your business?
• What procedures do you have in place to avoid risks and ensure
regulations are adhered to?
Record Keeping and Reporting
• What paperless methods can you adopt for record keeping?
• How do you ensure transparency of your company’s actions?

Market Analysis
Customer Analysis
• Analyze your customers in terms of their sustainability quotient.
Are they LOHAS, Naturalites, Drifters, Conventionals, or
Competitive Analysis
Evaluate the sustainable practices of your competition. What
ways can you enhance your sustainability to create a competitive
Market Potential
What part of the $209 Billion LOHAS market can you tap into?

Marketing Plan: Product
Product/Service Features and Benefits
• Chart the sustainable and unsustainable features of your product
or service.
• What is the Cradle to Cradle capacity of your product?
• Conduct a life cycle assessment of your product. (LCA for Mere
Mortals by Rita Schenck)
• How sustainable are the raw materials? How do you engage
suppliers in the greening process?
• Product stewardship: what happens at the end product useful
life? How can you keep your product out of the landfill?
• What are your plans for transitioning to more sustainable
products or higher degrees of sustainability in the future?
• What is your position on cruelty free products?
• What is the embedded energy of the product?

Marketing Plan: Strategies
Place and Distribution
• How can you create a sustainable workplace: healthy building,
natural lighting, water-wise landscaping, LEED certified new
construction or remodeling . (US Green Building Council)
• How can you minimize use of packaging?
• How can you prevent your packaging from ending up in the
• Will eco-labeling work for your product(s))? Global eco-labeling
Public Relations
• What green/sustainable certifications can you obtain?
• What green awards might you compete for?
Advertising and Promotion
• What catalogs, networks, festivals are good outlets for your
• (Green Pages, Green Festivals, World of Good)
• Consider the environmental footprint of your advertising? (Paper
usage, energy costs, etc.) How can you reduce this footprint?
How can you select advertising that has a smaller footprint?
• What is your Web 2.0 media strategy?
Financial Plan
Measure the Triple Bottom Line
• Consider Environmental Accounting Practices (Total Cost
• Global Reporting Initiative
Indicator Protocols:
Human Rights
Product Responsibility

Operations Plan
• What sustainable office practices do you employ such as
recycling, green purchasing policies, EnergyStar equipment?
• Create an Input/Out table.
• Conduct an energy audit. Check with your state energy office for
assistance programs.
• What percentage of your energy is renewable?
• What plans do you have for transitioning to higher levels of
renewable energy?
• What is your carbon footprint?
• What carbon offset programs make sense for you?