Every organization has vulnerabilities, obstacles, risks, or blind spots. The sSWOT provides an opportunity to highlight others who have a shared interest in addressing and mitigating those weaknesses. Ask:

Who else has similar weaknesses or faces similar risks from environmental challenges?

Start by highlighting factors that put your company at risk as environmental challenges impact markets. This can include risks to operations, reputation, brand, suppliers, products and services or employees. It can include obstacles preventing your company from supporting customers and communities that face environmental threats. It can include data or information gaps (for example, does your company understand its exposure to water risks or ecosystem degradation?). Gather input from partners on what they see as your company’s vulnerabilities, obstacles, risks, and blind spots.

Consider a wide range of partners who may face similar risks within and outside your industry. Other industries may have already confronted and addressed weaknesses that your industry is now facing. EMC, for example, is a leading global information technology provider and is working to address electronic waste (e-waste) hazards. They wanted to find a way to track the ultimate destination of electronic components at the end of their useful life. They partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund and the open innovation platform, Innocentive, to put out an open call for ideas. One of the winning solutions came from the fresh food industry, which suggested adapting the system they use (to track products like blueberries) with unique, nested labels that will help determine where different components end up at the end of the disposal supply chain.

Identify specific companies, customers, investors, governments and interest groups (civil society, other sectors) that would benefit from action to address identified vulnerabilities, obstacles, and risks. This could include companies with similar operations, raw materials, customers, or parties working to protect communities at risk.

BOX 11

Sanepar’s sSWOT analysis pointed out climate change as an environmental challenge, which can create risks or opportunities on sanitation activities. Looking for others who shared those risks or opportunities, the team identified potential partnerships, such as working with the state electric utility (which manages water resources for electric generation) and the meteorological institute (which provides climatic information for the region). Both organizations could face similar challenges in the next years due to climate change (variation in precipitation, temperature; intensity of winds, fires) and increasing water and energy needs in growing communities.