Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes at Club Leaf? We just worked with a fantastic team of students from Leiden University, who are helping us to build better partnerships for a better planet.
Challenges in the governance of sustainability
Every year, Leiden University in the Netherlands holds a sustainability governance challenge. This gives students a unique opportunity to work with businesses and apply theory in practice, gives businesses the great opportunity to gain unique and fresh insights, and the opportunity to work together to help solve a particular sustainability governance challenge. We believe that sustainability should be integrated into the fabric of Club Leaf, and therefore were excited to work with a group of Masters students, and to understand where they saw room for improvement!
Working towards better partnerships for a better planet
We gave Hannah Link, Sytske van der Laan, Carina Kellermann, Laoise Brennan and Laura Steel Pascual the broad task of developing a governance framework for Club Leaf. The team quickly saw that we needed a thorough screening process that examines our business partnerships in terms of sustainability. The team guided us through a series of workshops where we combined our practical expertise with case studies and well-grounded literature reviews. Based on this, they developed a framework and process for the sustainability-based evaluation of our business partners. This framework will now be used internally, within our decision-making process, and externally, in communication to our Club Leaf Community, so you!
Working together with businesses who want to make a difference
Club Leaf supports collective action for climate change and we believe we need everyone. At the same time, we also believe in transparency, and we want to make sure that we have vetted everyone we work with, as much as we can. There are businesses that are already doing great things, others who are on their way, and many who want to get started but don’t know where to start. The partnership screening criteria will function both as a screen for potential concerns as well as opportunities for potential collaboration - we all need to make our actions more sustainable.
Steps towards sustainable partner screening
So where do you begin?
Step 1: Find appropriate criteria and corresponding indicators to evaluate our (potential) business partners – of course that’s all grounded in scientific literature and linked to our values and beliefs as Club Leaf 😎
Step 2: Analyze how we understand these criteria and what implications they have for our start-up.
Step 3: Examine how we will communicate the criteria to our business partners as well as to our Club Leaf Community.
Formalizing governance of sustainability at Club Leaf
We are now the very proud owners of a Business Evaluation Form (BEF) that gathers relevant criteria and indicators to evaluate the sustainability efforts of our business partners. Since we work with a broad variety of businesses and are not limited to one sector, the BEF covers a broad range of criteria. This allows us to form an impression of the sustainability efforts of the diverse companies we consider working with.
The BEF consists of seven categories:
Environmental Strategy and Transparent Reporting
Certification and Standards
Finances and Structuring
Each of these criteria contains at least one subcategory to clarify aspects related to each section. Additionally, the team developed a B2B and B2C communication guidelines, which gives us a step-by-step guideline on how to communicate the BEF to you and the business partners.
Many thanks to the students at Leiden University 💚
We absolutely loved working together with the students – they challenged us and we challenged them, and together we created a fundamental piece of groundwork for Club Leaf moving ahead. We really want to express our thanks to the team and wish them all the best in their next challenge!
We'd love to hear from you, and we love to collaborate to help save the future of our planet. Drop us a line via email@example.com and we'll get back to you before you know it 🤩. Dont forget to download Club Leaf to join our community of change makers.