Huntington, VT (PRWEB) October 10, 2013
EarthShift is pleased to announce their participation in a new program, in partnership with the World Environment Center (WEC) and funded by the U.S. Department of State, to select and implement innovative, local solutions to sustainability and labor challenges in the Caribbean and Latin America. EarthShift, WEC and the other program partners will launch the initiative this month with an international competition. The “Pathways to Prosperity Challenge” is a search for the four most innovative and scalable ideas under each of the following categories: 1) Empowering Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; 2) Facilitating Trade; 3) Developing a Modern Workforce; and 4) Promoting Sustainable Business Practices. The overall purpose of the program is to identify labor and environmental-related challenges or barriers to inclusive economic growth, solicit innovative solutions from the region, field test concepts and approaches, and provide tools that ensure scalability and maximum impact.
WEC announced that they chose EarthShift as a program partner for its expertise in identifying metrics that can be used to assess the finalists' projects, assess the scalability of the projects, and to determine at the projects’ end whether goals have been met. Founded in 2000, EarthShift is a leading international provider of Sustainability Return on Investment (S-ROI), Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and other sustainability solutions through consulting, software and training services. As an early adopter and thought leader in the S-ROI methodology, EarthShift can provide the necessary tools and guidance so that Pathways to Prosperity Challenge finalists can engage stakeholders to ensure that their projects achieve scale and meaningful impact. “The S-ROI methodology allows us to consider and evaluate innovative and non-traditional concepts for improvement and development and gives equal consideration to all stakeholders,” says Melissa Hamilton, Principal and Managing Director at EarthShift. “Through S-ROI we have a lens to evaluate the social, economic and environmental benefits or risks associated with the potential solutions.”
The program is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at $US 2.45 million for three years and will encompass an in-depth review of hundreds of proposals from across the hemisphere; oversight, guidance and training for the selected semifinalists; and the optimization of local networks and funders to design a plan that will bring each of the four finalists’ concepts to scale. EarthShift will help kick off the training portion of the program by teaching the semifinalists how to assess sustainability using the S-ROI methodology. This will ensure that even the semifinalists whose projects are not selected by the program have the tools to seek funding elsewhere, therefore enhancing the overall impact of the program.
EarthShift’s founder, Lise Laurin, explains, “The S-ROI methodology is ideal for identifying challenges and opportunities and uses stakeholder participation to enhance the communication that accompanies successful projects.” When the projects are ready to scale, EarthShift will assess the risks and benefits for the larger community by applying S-ROI. “We’ll go back at the end of the three years and see how well the projects did,” continues Laurin.
EarthShift will also perform screening level LCAs for each project at each step in the process, with the results informing the S-ROI process. These LCAs will give the team the opportunity to introduce Life Cycle Thinking to the finalists. Armed with these skills, the finalists will have a stronger base to support their projects, as well as new projects in the future.
“Sustainable economic development has reached an important transition point from investment in individual pilot projects to the attainment of national, regional and global scale successes that make a larger difference in people’s lives,” states Dr. Terry F. Yosie, WEC’s President & CEO. “Through its investment in this Pathways initiative, the U.S. Department of State has challenged civil society participants to raise the bar of their performance on behalf of creating more impactful solutions for society.”
To learn more about this program and the partner organizations please read the official WEC press release.
About EarthShift: Founded in 2000, EarthShift is a leading international provider of sustainability solutions. EarthShift provides software, training and consulting services that allow organizations to engage in informed decision-making about the social, economic and environmental consequences that flow from their activities. EarthShift leverages innovative approaches to sustainability challenges to effect significant change by shifting the way organizations think and interact with the planet’s ecosystems and the life it supports. We help our clients evaluate their sustainability performance from a systems-level perspective, and then implement innovative, sustainability-driven practices and improvements. Visit us online at EarthShift.
About World Environment Center: WEC is an independent, global non-profit, non-advocacy organization that advances sustainable development through the business practices and operations of its member companies and in partnership with governments, multi-lateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities and other stakeholders. WEC’s mission is to promote business and societal value by advancing solutions to sustainable development-related problems. It manages projects for companies across their global operations, builds executive level learning and competency in applying sustainable development across a number of business sectors, and recognizes performance excellence through an annual awards program. WEC is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in China, El Salvador and Germany.