The Embedding Project, lead by Dr. Stephanie Bertels, helps businesses identify how well sustainability is embedded into their culture. We were hired to build a tool to facilitate the assessment process.

When the Embedding Project begins working with a company they conduct an assessment to establish a baseline.

With input from people across the business, they answer 60 practices organized into 13 pathways. Once the assessment is complete, the team from the Embedding Project compiles a report to show the business where sustainability is well-embedded and where more work is needed. To help the company further embed sustainability, they provide a set of resources curated for the areas they need work.

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Assign people to questions

With 60 questions to answer and multiple answers gathered per question, Dr. Bertels and her team needed a tool that would help them manage the assessment process from data collection to report generation.

Already having a data visualization for assessment result, we started by building features to manage the assessment process. The assessment setup view allows Dr. Bertels and her team to assign practices to the people they would like to have respond.

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People assigned questions

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Respondents receive an email with a unique URL to a page containing only the questions they have been assigned. A unique URL makes it possible for respondents to complete their questions without requiring a login. This was done to reduce the work required to participate as the questions can sometimes require significant effort to answer.

The Embedding team manages responses from their assessment view and, together with their contact at the company, decides on the final answer for the question.

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Once this process is complete, the results are visualized. We developed several visualizations. The wheel visualization provides an overview of the company’s maturity.

The reverse bar chart provides the same information but is intended to give a sense of progression with less of the bar shown as there is less work to do.

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The site also provides a set of resources to help companies improve in specific practices. Resources can be navigated via text links or by clicking on an interactive wheel that mirrors the assessment result visualization.

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We built a system Dr. Bertels to help her manage her teams work as they help businesses better understand how sustainability fits into their culture.


Client feedback

“From the start we knew this was a project that would need to grow and evolve. I wanted to be efficient in how we built it out so that we wouldn’t find ourselves outgrowing our site and needing to start again. Jeff and his team ask smart questions that helped us to understand and anticipate both our current and future needs.”

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Stephanie Bertels PhD
Associate Professor at SFU, Director of Centre for Corporate Governance and Sustainability