Understanding and Strategy
Positioning is about the present and the future: where are we today, and where do we go from here?


The first step in the resource effectiveness transformation process is called ‘Positioning’. Positioning is about both the present and the future: where are we today, and where do we go from here? To answer these questions, a company needs to 1) understand its environmental impact, 2) assess resource related opportunities & threats, and 3) determine its strategy and high-level objectives.

Every company is part of a value chain: a set of activities that add value to goods and services. At each step of the process a product becomes more valuable in economic terms. What the value chain concept fails to recognize, is that virtually all economic activities also have negative impacts on the environment, such as greenhouse gas emissions and various types of pollution. The sum of these negative impacts has been referred to as the ‘devalue chain’. Footprinting is about discovering and quantifying the devalue chain. Read more

Opportunities & Threats
Footprinting is inherently focused on the past and the present. Once a company understand its devalue chain and the magnitude of its environmental footprint, it is time to turn to the future: what are the resource related opportunities and threats for the company? These can be identified by systematically examining the four sources of business impact, plus competition and technology. Read more

Based on the insight into the environmental impact, resource usage, and the opportunities & threats, the third and final step under ‘Positioning’ is to define the resource effectiveness strategy and the high-level objectives the company wants to aim for. A resource effectiveness strategy is composed of five building blocks. Read more

At the end of step 1, a company has a good understanding of its environmental impact and resource usage, insight into resource related opportunities and threats, and a clear resource effectiveness strategy. In the next steps, this strategy is translated into more detailed plans.