RFF Arctic has awarded Forregion funding to SoBOS,a research project between Grayn and NORSUS, which puts social life cycle assessment (S-LCA) in focus in the development of a digital system for sustainability accounting.
Social sustainability is about identifying and managing the impacts, both positive and negative, that businesses have on people - including employees, local communities, and supply chains. Factors that promote employee well-being, attract and retain talent, contribute to sustainable social development, ensure ethical supply chains, reduce risk, and build consumer trust will have increasing importance in the years to come. By integrating social sustainability into their practices now, businesses can create positive ripple effects and promote sustainable growth.
The increasing interest in social sustainability, both nationally and internationally, as well as the lack of easily understandable digital solutions for systematizing and quantifying S-LCA, created the basis for SoBOS. Project partner Grayn, is already developing digital solutions for collecting, systematizing, and analyzing sustainability data. The company operates in the B2B market and aims to make it easier for businesses to achieve their sustainability goals. This is achieved through the use of easy and time-saving solutions that visualize the impact of implemented measures and include automatic data harvest, machine learning, the use of digital twins, and big data.
Stina Skånhoff is one of the founders of Grayn and the company's CTO. Regarding the project, she says:
"Grayn works to highlight the connection between sustainability, profitability, and a company's impact on the environment and society. We see that there is a great need for user-friendly and concrete tools for transparent and traceable sustainability data. The project with NORSUS gives us the opportunity to expand the current system with indicators for social sustainability to quantify the positive ripple effects a company creates internally among its own employees, and externally, for example, in local communities and in the supply chain."
Clara Valente, project manager at NORSUS, has long been involved in the development of LCA methodology for socio-economic aspects. In SoBOS, she, along with senior researcher Mehrdad Ghorbani Mooselu, is responsible for defining indicators and frameworks that will be used to measure social sustainability in Grayn's platform.
Clara explains that «LCA is a tool that has traditionally been used to evaluate environmental impacts, but S-LCA expands this approach by including assessments of social conditions and impacts. The method also takes into account the entire value chain, from resource extraction and production to distribution, use, and disposal. It can be very useful for businesses, decision-makers, and stakeholders to gain insight into the social consequences of their actions and contribute to more sustainable and responsible decisions.». Important aspects highlighted include equality, diversity, and human rights.
SoBOS includes project partners from across the country and will be completed by the first quarter of 2024. The goal is to use the knowledge from the preliminary project to develop a main project that will have even greater ripple effects and positive impacts on the project partners.