This article was originally published by the Natural Resource Council of Maine on November 5, 2015. View the original article here.

Manomet, of Brunswick, is generating big ideas to make businesses and communities more sustainable with its Sustainable Economies Program!

Manomet’s Sustainable Economies Program has a long history of working with the forestry, agriculture, and dairy industries in Maine, and farther afield, as well as recent successes with our Grocery Stewardship Certification Program and the Downeast Fisheries Partnership. Our Sustainable Economies Program works directly with businesses and communities on practices that will enhance their economic viability and quality of life while also reducing their environmental footprint – a win-win for all involved. When we were looking to launch our next project, we wanted to take into account all of the lessons we learned through working with key stakeholders – like Cabot Creamery, Hannaford Supermarkets, the Downeast Salmon Federation, Ben and Jerry’s, the U.S. Forest Service, and more—to reduce their environmental footprint, to strengthen their economic viability, and to ensure quality of life for the people who engage with these businesses and communities.

That’s what led us to launch, a platform that gives businesses a way to improve their sustainable practices today and make strategic decisions for a more profitable tomorrow.

In today’s economic climate, sustainability is a key differentiator for customers and provides a business with a competitive advantage – in consumer and employee engagement and at the bottom line. Consumers today have at their fingertips the ability to research who they are purchasing from and working with, and they want to support businesses who are doing things the right way.  Businesses need to understand the competitive landscape and how their offerings fit into it in order to adapt and survive and give their customers what they want.

How does work? A business representative—whether the owner, CFO, or other manager—takes a 15-minute online survey covering a wide range of business practices. At the end of the survey, they receive a personalized assessment of their strengths and weaknesses, as well as insights into the opportunities and threats that lie ahead. Businesses learn how much they can save— both in cost and in resource—by implementing best management practices. The tool is set up so that at any time you can return and retake the assessment to find out how you’ve improved.

Whether you’re a CFO at one of Maine’s largest employers or a one-person shop, will help you focus on ways to improve life for your employees, customers, and community, making your business sustainable in all ways.

I hope that you’ll take a few minutes out of your day to take the assessment; if you have any feedback on the survey or your results, my team and I would love to hear from you.