Our approach is collectively called the “Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development” – it is a comprehensive model for planning in complex systems. It is openly published and free for all to use. The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development has helped hundreds of different organizations around the world integrate sustainable development into their strategic planning and create long lasting transformative change. It is constantly being used, tested, refined and developed.

The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development is based on systems thinking; recognizing that what happens in one part of a system affects every other part. Think of a soccer team. We can’t understand why the team lost the game until we look at how each player – the goal keeper, defenders and forwards - all worked together on the field. We won’t learn much if we just study one member of the team. The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development gives an organisation the tools to look at the whole team, understand the rules of the game, define success, and move towards it together.

Any successful team must have a common language and understanding in order to facilitate cooperation. The Framework provides this shared mental model of sustainability by helping people across organisations, disciplines and cultures to communicate effectively, build consensus and ultimately move toward their vision. We use an upstream approach that anticipates and avoids problems before they occur, rather than reacting to their downstream effects.

This scientifi­cally rigorous Framework gives organisations the tools to perform a gap analysis using the lens of sustainability, and then work toward closing the gap. Furthermore, The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development complements other sustainability tools and methodologies, such as life cycle analysis or environmental management systems, by providing the context and strategic vision that makes them more effective.

Next: Understanding the Problem