The key goal of a Sustainability Audit is to identify the community’s goals, needs, challenges related to People, Planet, Profit.
This is an iterative process. Your initial list may undergo several discussions and revisions.
Some common methods used in conducting the audit include:
– Charrettes: “An intensely focused activity intended to build consensus among participants, develop specific design goals and solutions for a project, and motivate participants and stakeholders to be committed to reaching those goals.Participants represent all those who can influence the project design decisions.” http://www.nrel.gov/sustainable_nrel/pdfs/44051.pdf
-Search Conferences: Search Conference is a planning method that enables people to create the most desirable future for their community or organisation. This is a plan they can take responsibility for carrying out themselves. http://www.peopleandparticipation.net/display/Methods/Search+Conference
Conducting the Sustainability Audit will also assist participants to identify relevant local data sources as well as provide a practical way to begin organizing Stakeholder Engagement and Collaboration.
TIP-Recruit a broadly a representative group of stakeholders to participate in the Sustainability Audit, e.g., elected official, public officials, citizens, academics, subject experts, business executives, non-profit executives, etc.
TIP-Structure the process so that you complete this step in a timely fashion without creating an impression that you are either rushing through this Step and/or you are limiting discussion, debate.
The Sustainability Audit provides the essential frame work for STEP 4 developing your Project Plan.