The Global Sustainable Enterprise System (GSES) is an overarching, scalable, and leading online sustainability platform based on the underlying international standard.
The GSES System is a comprehensive, Software-as-an-Service ("SaaS") platform that offers various services, including product lifecycle management, supply chain management, supply chain risk monitoring, data validation, and certification of organizations, processes & products.
The GSES System
The Global Sustainable Enterprise System (GSES System®) consists of 2 main levels and underlying standards:
- Global Sustainable Enterprise Standard (processes/organization level)
- Sustainable Footprint Standard (products/projects)
The standards are open source and managed by a broad international range of experts, stakeholders from diverse industries led by the National Sustainability Institute of the Netherlands. GSES System® is the golden standard for sustainable, social, and holistic performance of organizations, supply chain & products. GSES system is applicable for any kind of company, business, or industry. 1. The Global Sustainable Enterprise Standard®
The Global Sustainable Enterprise Standard measures organizations on all facets of sustainability at the organization level. The Standard is based on GRI and ISO High-Level Structure and compliance with UN Global Compact, OECD Guidelines, and Responsible Business Alliance. The GSES System Standard is suitable for SMEs & Corporates, and the private sector. The GSES System Standard measures the following levels and pillars:There are 2 levels of measurement:
- Organization level
- Supply chain level
The translation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) of the United Nations are also included in the GSE Standard. By integrating this into the overall GSES System, we provide organizations with tools that help them support the SDGs2. GSES Sustainable Footprint Standard®
In an extension of the GSES System® Standard on an organizational level, we developed a three-stage generic product certification which measures products/projects, building & raw materials solution for the generic measurement of products/projects, buildings & raw materials. The Sustainable Footprint Standard measures on 3 pillars: Health Footprint®, Environmental Footprint®and Circular Footprint®.2. GSES Sustainable Footprint Standard®
In an extension of the GSES System® Standard on an organizational level, we developed a three-stage generic product certification which measures products/projects, building & raw materials solution for the generic measurement of products/projects, buildings & raw materials. The Sustainable Footprint Standard measures on 3 pillars:Health Footprint®
The Health Footprint (HF) will focus on the product and not on processes. The focus and KPIs are aimed at the harmfulness to health of used substances, during the usage phase of a product. The focus will be on substances that are LEED compliant and BREEAM toxic compliant. This should be included in the Bill of Material of products. These are, on the one hand, toxic substances that are in the product and on the other hand, substances that are NOT in the product.
There is also a connection with the European REACH list (prohibited substances). In addition, the ambition is to record whether substances of the list of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC, European list, Dutch version) and CMR substances (carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction) are present or not.
The Health Footprint takes into account:
- Toxic substances (LEED, REACH),
- Bill of Material substance list,and in research:
- CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction) substances,
- Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs)
The following aspects are taken into account in a qualitative analysis:
The following aspects are additional EF-indicators and/or are taken into account at an organizational level by means of the GSES CE pillar or as an informative statement:
- Use of scarce materials.
- Product lifespan.
- Circular business strategy is subject at the organizational level through the CE pillar of theGSES
- Improvement strategy
Certification of the EF score comes with the obligation to obtain the EF certification within 2 years. This will give an even more complete picture of the sustainability performance. In addition to the EF certification, there is also the obligation to ensure company-wide circularity (CE pillar) within 2 years.
If the impact of energy and other environmental emissions is also to be considered, then the EF must be determined. This EF method is based on life cycle assessment (LCA). The EF is based on the:
- ISO 14040/44
- ISO 14025
- European PEF
The Circular Footprint (CF) is part of the product certification standard of the GSES System – Sustainable Footprint Standard. Next to the Circular Footprint, the Sustainable Footprint Standard consists of the Environmental Footprint (EF) and the Health Footprint (HF). The three topics (CF, EF, and HF) give a comprehensive picture of the sustainability performance of a product, the production process, and the supply chain.
The CF focuses entirely on the use of materials in a product and its circular performance. The calculation method is based on both material usage (input side) and post-use processing (output side). The calculation in weight does not take into account the specific flow of material. The circular performance of the input and output side result in a circularity score. With the CF, the Sustainable Footprint Standard of GSES allows for a pragmatic start for calculating and certifying a circularity score for products. Hence, it fills a gap because there is no standard/calculation method for the circularity of products yet. The CF method is very accessible, in principle anyone would be able to use the Excel model of the calculation method provided by GSES or the online calculation tool on the GSES platform (BoM calculator) to calculate the CF score. That is because only the flows of materials are included.
Circular Footprint Standard – CF is based on existing standards:
- MCI index of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation
- Cradle to Cradle standard
- Platform Circulair Bouwen (CB) ’23 standard (Circular Construction ’23 standard)
- Meetmethodiek losmaakbaarheid (method for calculating separation index), Dutch Green
- Building Counsel (DGBC), nov 2019
The following aspects are taken into account in a quantitative analysis:
- Input side: use of recycled, biological and reclaimed materials.
- Output side: effective recycling/reclaiming and the possibility of composting biological material.
- Separation index: the ability to separate parts or materials after use to make refurbishment, re-use or material mono-streams possible
Certification of the CF score comes with the obligation to obtain the EF certification within 2 years. This will give an even more complete picture of the sustainability performance. In addition to the EF certification, there is also the obligation to ensure company-wide circularity (CE pillar) within 2 years. Circular Economy on an organizational level (CE pillar based on BS 8001)
In order to do so, the company must certify circularity management within the GSES System by means of the Circular Economy pillar at an organizational level, which is based on BS 8001. The CE pillar at organizational level includes circular business models, raw material procurement, supply chain transparency with regard to CE. For this pillar, see the GSES handbook (Global Sustainable Enterprise Standard 2.2).
The CF is in a standardization phase. It is linked to international developments in the field of measuring circularity and input from all industries and sectors so that the latest insights and findings are taken into account.Verification and Certification
All audits via the GSES System, including the Global Sustainable Enterprise Standard & the Sustainable Footprint Standard, are independently validated and audited by Control Union Certifications.
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