Sustainability Assessment Framework (SASF)

Is a comprehensive assessment framework for the evaluation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) products and services in terms of environmental, human rights and utility aspects as well as benefits

SASF was designed and developed through an open and transparent process which included the involvement of GeSI members and external stakeholders. In late 2015 a pilot program was launched, in which a number of GeSI companies tested a draft version of the SASF for robustness and practicality within a business environment. The goal moving ahead is refining the Framework on the basis of the feedback of GeSI members, as well as further improving the engagement with the external stakeholders who already provided their input during the first phase.

General objectives of SASF

  • Strengthen ICT sector as significant player for achieving sustainable development goals
  • Enable companies to evaluate and improve their product portfolios with a robust and comprehensive instrument
  • Address sustainability issues of products and services in a coherent manner providing the basis for benchmarking and voluntary agreements

Current applications: 

1. Product Development and Innovation

  • Ensuring that central elements of product sustainability have been considered
  • Understanding product sustainability not just as technical design choices but in its broader ecosystem, e.g. Human Rights aspects

2.  Product Improvement

  • Identifying relevant improvement opportunities
  • Tracking improvements over time, creating a track record for products
  • Demonstrating how investments in overarching, company and process-related sustainability issues (e.g. human rights due diligence) influence product sustainability

3. Selective Assessment

  • Focusing on the most important hotspots for the sustainability assessment
  • Selecting one thematic area (e.g. Human Rights) for the sustainability assessment and improvement strategies
  • Scope and depth of the assessment is adapted according to the objective of the assessment as well as available resources within the company

4. Key Products

  • Identifying key hotspots to focus sustainability efforts
  • Tracking progress in sustainability of key products
  • Identifying cross-cutting issues that influence many products

5. Process Optimization

  • Identifying and working on sustainability efforts which increase sustainability of a range of products (waste management and recycling systems, Human Rights due diligence, hazardous substances)
  • SASF allows for identification and prioritization of key weak points and maturity of sustainability management
  • SASF provides guidance what needs to be implemented to “check of” indicators

6. Communication and Marketing

  • Promoting product marketing by providing product specific sustainability information, hence addressing the green market segment (LOHAS) 
  • No product label, but communicating certain sustainable benefits of a product at POS, e.g. “our key products in the field of xy have high performance regarding climate protection due to our SASF assessment”