What is céleste © sustainability concept & framework?
céleste means heavenly in Latin. It has been created to set a new benchmark for sustainable procurement and supply chain. It is a fusion of 500+ standard, audit, framework, methodology, guidance, assessment, law, convention, etc. It is a sustainability framework, which addresses wider aspects of sustainability:
C – Cultural, Heritage & Values
E – Economic & Quality
L – Legal
E – Environmental
S – Social, Health & Safety
T – Technological
E – Ethical
There are 500+ standards-audits-frameworks-methodologies-guidance-assessments. So why do we need a new one. It is extremely difficult to find a standards-audits-frameworks-methodologies-guidance-assessments which align with every organisation’s needs, culture, value and strategy.
By selecting one sustainability assessment standard, you may end up investing thousands of pounds, however still they may not fully align with your organisational need, culture, value and strategy.
So we created céleste © sustainability framework, which is not a standard. As this is not a standard, it is not fixed, static and rigid. It is scalable and customizable based on:
- Public/Private/Cooperative/Charity/Not-for-profit Organisations
- Organisation size in terms of revenue, profits, employee numbers, etc.
- Organisation requirements based on depth of assessment
- Organisation expectation on aspects of sustainability
- Extreme scalability to support Fortune 500 companies at the one end to unregistered micro mini farmers &organization at the other end.
- Flexibility through choice of assessment level.
- Adaptability through customization
- Easily verifiable certificate
- No hidden (or additional cost) to share certificate details.
- Outstanding data security option to keep data within customer domain.
- Noticeably aligned to United Nations sustainability principles, recommendations, goals & targets.
This enables to exceed customer’s expectations across industries, geographies and sizes. Additionally, it provides a basis to drive sustainability improvements.
Any 3rd party sustainability assessment should provide more assurance to you. This should directly improve your ability to improve your sustainability credentials. Following seems like additional benefits:
- Free up internal resources
- Quicker assessment because of skills & processes
- Reduced assessment cost
- Access to specialised talent
- Increase focus on core capabilities
- Improve credibility and brand image
- Improve process control
- Improve Key Performance Indicators
- Improve Key Result Area awareness
- Drive innovation
- Improve compliance
- Commercial advantage by differentiating you from your peers/competitors
- Reasonably improved assurance to your stakeholders when compared with self-assessment/self-certification.
- Reduce financial risks
- Reduce operational risks
- Extreme downward scalability to support unregistered micro-mini farmers & businesses.
- Easily verifiable certificate, so supports transparency.
- For assessed companies, there is no hidden (or additional cost) to share certificate details.
- Noticeably aligned to United Nations sustainability principles, recommendations, goals & targets.
- For sustainability assessment, we wish to engage with the smallest possible entity (no one should be left out).
- Promote sustainability assessment as a necessity rather than a luxury.
How does céleste sustainability assessment help United Nations International Labour Organisation’s social expectations?
Before we provide the solution, let us understand the challenge:
- Having a paid job was not a guarantee of decent working conditions or of an adequate income for many of the 3.3 billion employed worldwide in 2019.
- Around 2 billion workers worldwide are informally employed, accounting for 61 per cent of the global workforce.
- In 2019, more than 630 million workers worldwide – that is, almost one in five, or 19 percent, of all those employed – did not earn enough to lift themselves and their families out of extreme or moderate poverty
It is relatively easy for sustainability standards, audits, frameworks, methodologies, guidance, assessments, laws, conventions, ratings,etc to work with employers who are either organized or wish to get organized. However, we need lots of efforts from various sustainability frameworks to address the issue at the grass root level, where financially focused (or struggling) employers are visualizing sustainability assessment as a cost rather than investment.
We wish to be a part of a group of various sustainability solution providing organisations, who wish to make 2 billion informally employed workers’ life better.
All sustainability standards, audits, frameworks, methodologies, guidance, assessments, laws, conventions, ratings, etc are unique in some respect. They have their own greatness and strengths. We respect them for initiating and driving sustainability movement.
There are primarily two ways to evaluate and bring change:
For an overall result, you either pass or fail. So either you are certified or not certified. In this case, the failed entity will either lose hope or will try harder.
You pass in 2 out of 10 criteria. So you feel that you have achieved something. With proper motivation, you try to improve. So your next assessment result could be 4 out of 10. céleste sustainability assessment wish to follow this methodology to engage with customers and drive sustainability improvement. For us, sustainability is a journey, and we wish to engage and integrate everyone in this journey.
Can any sustainability assessment potentially drive business growth of a micro/small/medium size company?
Following points may address this question:
- Harvard Business School – https://online.hbs.edu/blog/post/business-case-for-sustainability
- Forbes – 88% of the consumers want companies to help them make a difference.
- Fortune – Corporations want sustainable suppliers – https://fortune.com/2019/09/06/corporate-suppliers-sustainability-walmart-mcdonalds/
- Harvard Business Review – https://hbr.org/2016/10/the-comprehensive-business-case-for-sustainability
- Oxford University – https://arabesque.com/research/From_the_stockholder_to_the_stakeholder_web.pdf
- BBC – COVID-19 and sustainability – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55630144
- Fortune – How consumers are pushing for sustainability – https://fortune.com/2019/09/06/government-consumer-pressure-global-fashion-sustainability/
- Forbes – Opportunity with sustainability – https://www.forbes.com/sites/josephholt/2020/01/28/sustainability-in-business-is-more-an-opportunity-than-a-threat/?sh=129d067e1b76
- 97% of the procurement organizations surveyed consider sustainability/CSR important for procurement decision.
- World Economic Forum – http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEFUSA_BeyondSupplyChains_Report2015.pdf
- OECD – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIsiB1DhyVs
- Most governments take sustainability criteria into account while making purchasing decisions.
- US Dodd-Frank Act, UK Modern Slavery Act and EU Conflict Mineral Regulation is driving companies to assess their suppliers sustainability credentials.
We have defined five levels of assessment based on the level of assessment. This is to meet organizational needs.
- Bronze – Desktop Verification
- Silver – Desktop + Virtual Verification
- Gold – Extended Desktop + Extended Virtual Verification
- Platinum – Extended Desktop + Extended Virtual + Physical Verification
- Diamond – Extended Desktop + Extended Virtual + Physical + Surprise Virtual Verification + Surprise Physical Verification
Secondly, for Silver, we follow at least 2 data check point methodology. For Gold, Platinum & Diamond levels, we follow 3 data check point methodology, which may go up to 5 data check point methodology. This demonstrates the depth of the process.
Thirdly, for silver, we follow at least 2 criteria from policy, process and performance. For Gold, Platinum & Diamond levels, we check on all three criteria of policy, process and performance, which demonstrate the breadth of the process.
We have various criteria for assessment, so organization can pick and choose their preferred criteria:
- Health & Safety
- Culture, Heritage & Values
- Economic& Quality
- Supply Chain
- Conflict Minerals
- Modern Slavery
Does céleste sustainability assessment compare any two companies based on industry, size, country, etc?
No, we do not prefer to compare any organisation’s sustainability achievement with any other organisation’s sustainability performance. Below story may provide some insight.
Emma covered a distance of 10 km in one hour. John covered the same distance in one and a half hours.
Which of the two is more sustainable (or resilient – healthier – stronger)?
Of course, our answer will be Emma.
What if we say that Emma covered this distance on a prepared track while John did it by walking on a sandy path??
Then our answer may be John.
But when we come to know that Emma is 60 years old while John is 30 years old???
Then our answer may be Emma again.
But we also come to know that John’s weight is 150 kg while Emma’s weight is 50 kg.
Again our answer may be John.
As we learn more about John and Emma, our opinions and judgments about who is better may change. As we grow, our knowledge and perception changes about almost everything.
Comparing someone’s (individual or organization) performance, achievement or views based on personal/professional sustainability knowledge, perception, capability, assessment and certification may ruin someone’s motivation to be more sustainable and, more importantly, can cost us losing one potential member who wishes to be sustainable.
Following points makes céleste assessment unique, authentic, credible, admirable and courteous:
- Law – Regulatory – Compliance – This British Certification is issued by an organisation registered in the UK. So it has to followfollowing strick laws while issuing certification:
- The Green Claims Code Sept 2021, which is exceptionally deep, broad & strict.
- Modern Slavery Act 2015, which is global in nature
- Bribery Act 2010, which is again global in nature
- Sanctions & Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018
- Data Protection Act 2018, which is again global in nature
- Principles –
- We follow United Nations sustainability principles for social, environmental and ethical assessments.
- We follow International Labour Organisation – ILO conventions and recommendations agreed by more than 200 national governments.
- Quality of Assessment & Certification Team – céleste assessment team consists of at least one PhD degree holder (out of 25+ in our team), so you have a high quality individual either assessing or performing the quality check.
- Quality of Creation Team – céleste certification questions, check points and evaluation has input of 25+ global sustainability experts of doctorate level.
- Authenticity Verification – céleste certificates are easily verifiable by anyone through a smart phone camera with a QR code reader, so fake certificates and claims are caught instantly.
- Type of Process – This is a 3rd party certificate, so more credible than a self-declaration, a self-certification or a 2nd party certificate.
- Quality of Process – All certificates follow at least 4-eye approach, so minimum two person are involved in the assessment. One assessor and one quality controller. For Gold, Platinum & Diamond level, we will have minimum 6-eye, 8-eye & 10-eye approach respectively.
- Depth of Process – céleste certificate is a result of a distinctive depth of assessment. For Silver, we follow at least 2 data check point methodology. For Gold, Platinum & Diamond levels, we follow 3 data check point methodology, which may go up to 5 data check point methodology.
- Breadth of Process – céleste certificate undergoes bold breadth of assessment. For silver, we follow at least 2 criteria from purpose, policy, people, process, performance, public and plan. For Gold, Platinum & Diamond levels, we check on all 3 criteria from purpose, policy, people, process, performance, public and plan.
- Transparency – Certified organization can share verifiable certificate results with anyone without extra payment to us.
- Confidentiality – Certified organistaion has a choice to keep assessment/certificate results confidential, as we do not share their unique verifiable certification number and QR code with anyone.
- Data Security – Certified Organisation has a choice to keep the data in their own server, so they do not run a risk of data breach from our side.
- Social Responsibility – We also try to train at least one person during your assessment, so that person can act as an assessment process reviewer. A part of your payment goes to training of these personnel, so you are directly supporting our social responsibility objective.
- Affordability – Large/Medium size organisations can get their suppliers assessed and certified with a zero cost service. The costs to their micro suppliers are kept quite low.
- Simple & Easy – The results are simple & easy to use
- No need to operate a new system.
- No need to remember login and password.
- No need to learn a new system. So saves time, money & efforts for training.
- No need of extra storage space on your server.
- Unique & Exceptional – Inclusion of some ISO guidance
- ISO20400 – Sustainable Procurement Guidance
- ISO26000 – Social Accountability Guidance
- ISO14001 – Environmental Management
- ISO37001 – Anti-Bribery Management
Green claims (also known as environmental claims or eco-friendly claims) are claims that suggest that a product, service, brand or business provides a benefit, or is less harmful to the environment. Typically, businesses use these claims when promoting or selling their products or services and they can be advertised in a range of ways. Green claims are genuine when they properly describe the impact of a product, brand, business or service, with evidence to back it up. Claims can be misleading if any information is untrue or hidden, if information is misrepresented or if it is taken out of context.
When making a green claim, a business should be able to answer ‘yes’ or agree to each of the following statements:
- The claim is accurate and clear for all to understand
- There’s up-to-date, credible evidence to show that the green claim is true
- The claim clearly tells the whole story of a product or service; or relates to one part of the product or service without misleading people about the other parts or the overall impact on the environment
- The claim doesn’t contain partially correct or incorrect aspects or conditions that apply
- Where general claims (eco-friendly, green or sustainable for example) are being made, the claim reflects the whole life cycle of the brand, product, business or service and is justified by the evidence
- If conditions (or caveats) apply to the claim, they’re clearly set out and can be understood by all
- The claim won’t mislead customers or other suppliers
- The claim doesn’t exaggerate its positive environmental impact, or contain anything untrue – whether clearly stated or implied
- Durability or disposability information is clearly explained and labelled
- The claim doesn’t miss out or hide information about the environmental impact that people need to make informed choices
- Information that really can’t fit into the claim can be easily accessed by customers in another way (QR code, website, etc.)
- Features or benefits that are necessary standard features or legal requirements of that product or service type, aren’t claimed as environmental benefits
- If a comparison is being used, the basis of it is fair and accurate, and is clear for all to understand
Every sustainability assurance companies try their best to arrive at a reliable conclusion (rating, score or certificate). However, there may be potential flaws like:
- Data collection
- Data interpretation
- Data analysis
- Data manipulation
- Data presentation
- Data governance
- Data management process
- Human Errors
We wish to be wrong; however we think that there are no 100% reliable standards, audits, frameworks, methodologies, guidance, assessments, etc. (including céleste) in the world that exists to perfectly “score”, “rate” or “certify” sustainable companies, processes and products. Sorry, we are not perfect. However, we aim to be the best with immense respect to the amount of money you are investing.
Assessment results are kept confidential between us. Certificates are in public domain, so it can be shared with others.
Assessments are for internal improvements, whereas Certificates should improve your company credibility and brand value.
We carry assessments can be based on céleste framework, your framework or any other 3rd party framework. However, we only issue certificate for céleste framework.