ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) criteria are a set of standards used to assess a company’s operations. Environmental criteria deal with a company’s carbon emissions, resource use, and waste management. Social criteria focus on the relationships a company has with its employees, customers, and suppliers, as well as the communities that are affected by its operations. Governance criteria encompass, among others, pay and benefits, ownership, and diversity management. ESG criteria are increasingly used by investors who want to make responsible investment decisions. Levo’s Operational Sustainability Assessment (OSA) is based on ESG criteria that are relevant to startups.
I-O-O-I (Inputs-Outputs-Outcomes-Impacts, also called the “logic model”) is a framework to support you in tracking the effects of your products, services, and programs. It has been used since the 70s and provides a starting point for any kind of impact measurement endeavor. The I-O-O-I model is usually linked to an organization’s target audience. In your case, to the customers and user groups. Since Levo is designed to be as detailed as necessary but as parsimonious as possible, Inputs are not considered in our External Impact Chart (EIC). But if you are interested in developing your full model linking everything from inputs to impacts, you will be able to do so based on the EIC. This additional exercise might help you understand which resources that you invest contribute to which outcomes and impacts.
OKR stands for “Objectives and Key Results”. OKR is a goal-setting system which has been successfully used in many large corporates such as Google or Microsoft and is now increasingly adopted in the startup world. It helps you set and track measurable goals and results. We use OKR as part of our Goal Setting[CH21] to enhance accountability, transparency, and engagement. If you already work with OKRs, this means you can integrate their Levo goals directly into your existing goal-setting and management systems. Objectives capture what you want to achieve and should be qualitative and aspirational. Key results, in turn, are quantitative and must be measurable. Typically, we’d recommend you set three key results per objective. For each key result, you should define a timeframe and assign ownership to the person or team who will be responsible for achieving it. Since the goal of OKRs is to create alignment and transparency, OKRs should be communicated not only to the people in charge but to the entire company.
The operational sustainability assessment & external impact chart
The Levo framework is the result of years of research, teamwork, and learning from other experts. Levo is the only assessment tool for startups that looks at two different, but equally important aspects: Operational Sustainability and External Impact.
In our Operational Sustainability Assessment (OSA), we use tailored to the realities of startup life to assess to what extent your business operations are in line with recognized sustainability standards. The framework helps you understand if you are using and handling resources - physical or human - in a responsible way.
With our External Impact Chart (EIC), we help you understand the effects your products and services have on your customers, users, society, and the planet. These could be positive and negative, intended and unintended, direct and indirect. Our assessment is based on the – from this, you’ll be able to link your startups’ outputs and outcomes to the SDGs, and determine indicators for measuring future success.
We believe sustainability isn’t just a tick-box exercise, it’s a continuous improvement journey – one which we take together. We will help you understand the status quo in order to develop a strategy which will future proof your company. Based on an , which can easily be integrated into your existing management systems, we’ll help you set ambitious and realistic goals for improving both your operational sustainability and external impact.
Review your progress
Tracking your sustainability isn’t a one-off thing. Every year, you’ll go through a monitoring process so you can look back at what you have achieved and assess your progress against your objectives. You can do this on your own or sign up for a monitoring session with us – together we can learn from your experiences, discuss challenges you have faced, and assess the best way to move forward.