The Stewardship Action Council (SAC) aims to develop a performance-based sustainability index, and stimulate collaboration between business, government, non-profits and academia.
The SAC says that many existing corporate sustainability organizations limit those who may join, are cost-prohibitive, do not include performance standards and only focus on a particular topic, such as reporting or green building.
In contract, the SAC says, its initiative lays out a path for members to meet a specific sustainability standard and to improve their performance over time. Dues are up to $1,500 for an individual facility and up to $7,500 for a corporate membership.
Membership falls into two categories. Participating Members set improvement goals and report progress against those goals. Alliance Members, made up mainly of non-profits, government and academic institutions, do not set improvement goals.
SAC has not yet published any of the goals set by individual members.
But it does say that participating members must set goals beyond what is required by regulation. Participating membership is divided into four levels: members in Level 1 must set one goal, those in level 2 must set two goals (or one if they are a small business). At Level 2, one of the goals has to be for carbon reduction, if that is material to the business.
Members in level 3 must set four goals to improve their operational footprint (or two for small businesses). Two of the goals must be related to material aspects of operation.
Level 3 members must have an environmental management system in place and verified by a third party, with independent audits conducted every three years, and self-assessments in interim years. Level 2 members must commit to implementing environmental management systems.
Members at Level 3 must also have had no criminal violations in the past five years, no civil violations in the past three years, and no more than three notices of violation in any three-year period.
SAC has yet to determine the standards for level 4.
The founding members include:
- American University
- Audubon International
- Calvert Asset Management Company, Inc.
- Campbell Institute of the National Safety Council
- CLF Ventures
- Covanta Energy Corporation
- DM Petroleum Operations Company
- Forever Resorts
- Georgia Department of Natural Resources
- Indiana Department of Environmental Management
- Matt Potoski, Iowa State University
- Johnson & Johnson
- Lockheed Martin Manassas
- Michelin North America, Inc.
- Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
- National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR)
- North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
- PRIZIM, Inc.
- Rockwell Collins
- Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
- Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
- Washington State Department of Ecology
- West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
- Wildlife Habitat Council
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources