Anthesis is a new sustainability consultancy formed in 2013. Anthesis successfully brought together a strong team of former environmental specialists from WSP with sustainability and footprinting experts Best Foot Forward.
CEO Stuart McLachlan’s view, galvanizing Anthesis, is that companies are lacking the data, skills, systems and strategic advice needed to move large organizations to a sustainability future. The goal of the consultancy is to provide global companies (or companies with global reach) with a “cradle to grave” partner (pun intended) to help drive to the next level of sustainability performance.
Anthesis wants to help with fundamental change. It’s not enough to provide a report – Anthesis wants to be a sustainability change agent. This is reflected in their client portfolio which tends to the sustainability pathfinders. As such, one of the key challenges Anthesis consultants face is the scale of their clients – most have business portfolios in the 1,000s (of products), built from 1,000s of materials, made in plants and serving markets all over the world. How do you develop an actionable sustainability perspective on something so large?
The other challenge is shifting Anthesis’ technical analysts away from their beloved Excel spreadsheets. So Anthesis is all too aware of the same issues their clients face in scaling up from individual LCAs to fundamental IT support for sustainability measurement and management.
Anthesis/BFF developed a methodology called Product Portfolio Footprinting (PPF) based on:
- Leveraging “footprint ready” data. Most companies are somewhat unaware of how the data “they can lay their hands on” can help and be quickly integrated.
- Multi-metrics (like carbon, water and waste) right from the start.
- A component footprinting approach where different people/teams can work on different parts that are later brought together.
- A streamlined LCA approach based on initial insights into where the company’s hotspots are (individual deep-dive LCA studies that companies start with can help here).
- A scalable, sharable online platform that supports real-time team work at Anthesis and with client team members.
- Powerful roll-up, drill-down, analysis and visualization tools.
Anthesis uses 3 different Footprinter tools Expert, Analytics and Portfolio to build large-scale sustainability databases and applications for clients:
- To architect the basic metric and footprinting models.
- To import data contributed by different parts of an organization.
- To roll up, slice/dice the overall footprint looking for the insights that drive fundamental sustainability strategies.
- To build templates for other Footprinter tools like Inventory (form based data collection), Green Design (individual product sustainability assessment). And to build dashboards for Portfolio.
Anthesis Chief Technical Advisor Craig Simmons highlights a number of successful client programs here including Crown Paints, Tesco and Coca Cola. While Anthesis tends to be rather quiet about their commercial accomplishments, this The Guardian piece also points to real client successes.