Well I’ve just heard from David Turner, Group Marketing Director at Unit 4, who pointed out that I’d only got half the story with my comments earlier.
It seems that Sustain4 not only gives you the quick snapshot of your environmental impact and so where to focus reduction efforts, but it also has the capability to be continually refined with actual measurement. Additional data from a finance system can be loaded (procurement data, for example) or direct measurement from carbon accounting or product environmental lifecycle analysis can be added.
There’s also a supplier management portal where you can get suppliers to sign up and input their information to create their own environmental footprints, and so on up the supply chain, which gives an increasingly accurate picture of your environmental impacts.
On that basis, my reservations about Sustain4 are clearly unfounded. In fact it looks like a good option for companies that want to quickly address their environmental impact but have no immediate need for detailed numbers – that can come later. After all, taking action needs to be the priority.