Welcome to the Sustainability Self-Assessment.

NOTE to industry stakeholders who are not manufacturers: If you wish to use the facility specific tools within the SMS, you must first register and then create a "test facility" in your MyProfile page. This tool is not optimized for smart phones.

For a facility to make measurable improvement in its sustainability performance, it needs to have a systematic approach for determining its current strengths and weaknesses in all facets of the business. This can be a challenging task for many organizations, especially smaller companies. This tool is designed to make this task easier, by providing a rigorous, structured and straightforward method for evaluating organizational performance against a wide array of sustainability metrics, customized for the food and beverage manufacturing industry.

Important Note: This tool is targeted toward a facility (not corporate), and should be answered from the perspective of an individual facility.

The objective of the self-assessment tool is to provide food and beverage manufacturing facilities with:

  • An objective assessment – including strengths and potential gaps of their performance in four areas of sustainability: strategic governance, environment, economic and social.
  • A benchmark in terms of how they are positioned relative to their food and beverage industry peers.
  • A starting point to develop goals under a continuous improvement model and a tool to help identify and implement projects and initiatives and to measure progress against goals.

To effectively complete the self-assessment, it is recommended that the facility assign responsibility to one staff member as the project lead.  The appropriate person for this responsibility will vary among organizations (e.g., environment manager, health and safety (EHS) manager, continuous improvement manager, plant manager, executive level sustainability champion, etc.).  For sections of the tool that address aspects of the business in which the project lead is less familiar with, it may be necessary to gather information or request assistance from other staff within the organization.

“How do we know where we’re going, if we don’t know where we are?”

The self-assessment tool is divided into four elements and 17 sub-elements:

  1. Strategic governance:  sustainability vision and leadership, sustainability reporting, stakeholder engagement
  2. Environmental performance:  management systems and continuous improvement, pollution/waste management, energy management, water management, product design and stewardship, sustainable purchasing and supply chain management
  3. Economic performance:  financial planning, risk management, environmental accounting, business development
  4. Social performance:  food safety, labour practices, employee engagement, ethics & integrity and community contribution

Each element has a series of questions adapted from the sustainability key performance indicators (KPIs) identified specifically for SME food and beverage manufacturers.

The tool uses a four-point assessment scale (0-3) as follows:

0 No: Have not started this task
1 Have started initial and conceptual planning work
2 Have begun to implement this task
3 Yes: Have fully implemented or completed this task

For each question, users of the tool are required to enter a score of 0-3 based on the scale above.  When all the questions have been answered, a percentage score is tabulated to provide a general indication of where the facility is positioned on the sustainability continuum

0-24% Stage 1: Pre-Compliance
25-49% Stage 2: Compliance
50-74% Stage 3: Clean Production
75-100% Stage 4: Integrated Strategy Stage 5: Purpose and Passion

(Note that the score ranges and associated “Stages” are for general purposes only, and change as questions are added or removed based on improvements or refinements of the tool.)

This tool was developed by NSF-GFTC and BLOOM.




Adapted and updated from: Willard, 2005 and Freeman et al, 2000