Tracking Your

Sustainable Supply Chain Journey

See where you stand – so you can see the way forward

On your journey toward a sustainable supply chain, it helps to know where you’re starting and what signposts to look for along the way. The Genesis Advancing Innovating Accelerating (GAIA) Maturity Model is designed to help you better understand your company’s capabilities and develop a roadmap for improving sustainability across the supply chain.

Developed by LMI, the not-for-profit logistics and analytics expert, the GAIA tool will help you focus your sustainability efforts, decide which projects to invest in now and see what comes next.

Get started today with this quick self-assessment – then reassess your organization each year to track the progress toward your ultimate goals.

The GAIA Model - Getting Started

What is the GAIA Maturity Model?

Simply put, it’s a framework to help you achieve higher levels of sustainability within your organization’s supply chain. It provides you a way to communicate your present position, your future progress and the value generated to the rest of your organization.

Why should I take the assessment?

It’s quick, it’s easy – and it provides an objective assessment of where your organization is on the journey. (After all, a map isn’t nearly so helpful if you don’t know where you’re starting.)

How long will this take?

This will take you about 15-20 minutes. With only 18 multiple choice questions, it’s designed to fit into your busy schedule!

What information do I need to have handy when I start the assessment?

There is no specific information you need to have on hand. You do need to be familiar with your organization’s supply chain practices and with general practices of integrating sustainability initiatives into the supply chain.

Checkmark Start Assessment

This survey should take 15-20 minutes to complete.

Components of Sustainable Supply Chain Management

The GAIA Model is based on maturity model concepts from the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and developed using detailed research in supply chain sustainability practices.

Based on that research, GAIA determines overall maturity by assessing six fundamental components of sustainable supply chain management:

Your Company & Supply Chain

The Maturity Stages

Together, the six components define the maturity of supply chain sustainability programs. The maturity of a program is defined in the model across four stages:

Stage 1: Genesis - Engage

The genesis of your company’s commitment to corporate sustainability, this stage is about getting informed on the issues, understanding the landscape (both internally and externally), assessing your areas of opportunity and discovering where you need help (and how you can get it).

If your organization is in the “Genesis” stage, it’s likely focused on short-term goals. Sustainability is a reaction – it’s viewed as compliance, not opportunity. Supply chain processes are disconnected from larger corporate environmental goals and objectives, and there are no written standards to follow for collecting, retrieving or storing supply chain data. Success hangs on just a few people (like yourself), who may feel the lack of support from the rest of the organization.

Strategy & Vision

Near term & tactical. Focus is on compliance.

Organization & Culture

Sustainability advocate is unofficial and not in senior management. Organization is functional with little to no coordination.

Process & Policy

Designed for minimum compliance. Locally developed. Scope covers specific activities.

Information & Communications

Operational information is segregated. Sustainability communication is focused internally at a local level. Limited information and few communication tools.

Workforce & Skills

Skills are functionally focused, with few cross-functional requirements. Training is ad hoc, with no structured requirements.

Management Systems

Sustainability oversight is at the task level. Metrics are at the task level and used intermittently. Focus is on short-term return from projects.

Stage 2: Advancing - Execute

This stage is about advancing and innovating across your company’s landscape – from your own operations to your most immediate suppliers. It’s a multi-faceted process that ranges from building sustainability plans and proving the business case to implementing, measuring, reporting, scaling and beginning to take a public stand on issues and policies.

In the “Advancing” stage, your organization is starting to think in terms of a slightly longer, more strategic timeline for green integration into the supply chain. Processes and policies have been developed to comply with corporate goals and objectives, but the channels for collecting, retrieving and storing supply chain data are still informal. You’re not alone in your mission, but decision making is still restricted to a few key people – and your supply chain partners are just beginning to engage.

Strategy & Vision

Short term (1-3 years) and focused on incremental improvement. Focus on proactive compliance.

Organization & Culture

Sustainable supply chain management is a collateral duty for a mid-manager. Coordination across functions is informal and based on social networks.

Process & Policy

Designed for proactive compliance. Locally developed and coordinated across functions. Scope covers multiple activities.

Information & Communications

Operational information is visible across the company but not readily shared. Sustainability communication is focused internally at a local level. Separate supply chain and environmental information and communication tools.

Workforce & Skills

Skills are primarily functional, with some cross-functional awareness. Training is anticipatory and recommended by management, but not mandatory.

Management Systems

Sustainability oversight is at the task level but considers the overall process. Metrics are at the task level and applied inconsistently. Sustainability implied as part of budget overhead.

Stage 3: Innovating - Execute

Just like we mentioned in stage 2, this stage is about advancing and innovating across your company’s landscape – from your own operations to your most immediate suppliers. It’s a multi-faceted process that ranges from building sustainability plans and proving the business case to implementing, measuring, reporting, scaling and beginning to take a public stand on issues and policies.

If your organization is “Innovating,” that typically means its environmental and supply chain strategies are coordinated, and personnel across units or departments are implementing those strategies. At this stage, your organization is using formal standards for collecting, retrieving and storing supply chain data and has made accessing that data easy. Supply chain partners and other stakeholders are engaged – not fully perhaps, but you can certainly see the progress.

Strategy & Vision

Mid term (3-5 years) and focused on delivering outcomes. Focus is on pollution prevention. Supply chain and environmental strategy coordinated.

Organization & Culture

Sustainable supply chain management is a designated duty at the management level. Sustainable efforts are coordinated as needed across supply chain functions.

Process & Policy

Designed based on corporate responsibility tenets. Corporately developed and standardized. Scope covers functional requirements.

Information & Communications

Operational information is visible across the company and among key supply chain partners. Sustainability communication covers internal audience as well as external partners and stakeholders.

Workforce & Skills

Skills are cross-functional for a limited set of employees. Training is organized and structured, but not mandatory.

Management Systems

Sustainability oversight is at the program level and focused on performance improvements. Metrics are based on standardized metric sets and applied fairly consistently. Sustainability expressed as a distinct part of the overhead budget.

Stage 4: Accelerating - Lead

To lead on corporate sustainability means bringing your company’s business and environmental goals into seamless alignment. You’re accelerating environmental innovation and actively advocating for smart environmental policy, advancing sustainable business practices to alter the landscape across entire industries and business sectors.

In this stage, your organization has fully integrated green initiatives into its supply chain. It takes an outcome-driven, visionary approach and operates on a long-term, strategic timeline. Supply chain processes are central to achieving the corporate mission and fulfilling well-defined goals, and practically every department is involved in helping the organization meet those goals. You use formal standards for collecting, retrieving and storing supply chain data – data that provides the full picture you and your supply chain partners need to plan future initiatives.

Strategy & Vision

Long term (5+ years) and focused on transforming. Fully integrated environmental and supply chain strategy with sustainability as a key value driver.

Organization & Culture

Sustinability manager reports to chief executive officer (CEO) level. Sustainability efforts are coordinated through designated executive council and tied directly to corporate strategy.

Process & Policy

Designed to implement corporate missions and minimize risk exposure. Corporately developed with supply chain partner, stakeholder, and stakeholder input. Scope covers supply chain operations.

Information & Communications

Operational information is available and shared across the supply chain in real time. Sustainability communication targeted to a variety of internal and external audiences.

Workforce & Skills

Skills are fully cross-functional. Training is organized and structured. Training is mandatory and focused on growing specific skill sets and employee careers.

Management Systems

Sustainability oversight is formal and at the program level focused on outcomes. Metrics are used on all tasks and tailed to corporate requirements as needed. Costs are tracked across the product lifecycle. Sustainability is a dedicated budget line item.

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