About the REFOCUS Program

The REFOCUS Sustainability Program Model

Currently viewing:  Refocus Home / Guidebook / Introduction to REFOCUS / About the REFOCUS Program / The REFOCUS Sustainability Program Model

The REFOCUS Sustainability Program Model describes the anatomy of a transformational sustainability program. Below is a flower-like visual representation of the Sustainability Program Model in addition to a brief description of what each component covers.  

Refocus Development Model


In this module participants are stepped through the process of building the capacities needed for a sustainability program to improve organizational performance. These capacities are like the roots of a flower. While they are not visible on the surface, they are crucial to the program’s success. Without well-established roots, a flower will lack nourishment and strength. Without strong Leadership, Change Management, and Measurement Capacities, the projects undertaken through a sustainability program will generate limited (demonstrable) benefit. It is important that a solid foundation is established before taking action, but naturally building capacities is an ongoing process that cannot ever be completely perfected.  

A. Leadership Capacity

We will look at how lacklustre leadership can hold a sustainability program back, as well as the kinds of skills and abilities that effective sustainability leaders possess.  As part of building leadership capacity, we will examine what is involved in assembling a solid leadership team and developing a strong program vision.

B. Change Management Capacity

We will examine why implementing change is difficult. We will highlight what change management is all about and why it’s important to success. As part of developing change management capacity, we will look at what is involved in assembling a change management team, as well as techniques for effectively engaging stakeholders and formalizing change.

C. Measurement Capacity

We will look at what you need to know about measuring economic, social and environmental sustainability. We’ll explore how to build the level of capacity a successful program needs and how damaging it can be if we fail to build the capacity. To employ the measurement capacity developed, we will lay out the steps involved in building a project assessment framework that can be used to assess the business case for sustainability projects.


This module defines a repeated cycle of steps that participants execute as part of ensuring limited resources are invested into the projects that return the greatest benefit to the organization. Like a flower blooming each year, this is the actionable process repeated on an annual basis to generate results. The steps include: Understand Your Impact, Select the Best Projects, and Report on the Results.  While this process is the most visible part of the program, the results generated are largely enabled or constrained by the how soundly the program has been set up.  To be successful over the short- and long-run, it’s critical to balance building capacities with making progress and generating tangible benefits.

1. Understanding Your Impact

We will look at the importance of collecting data and discuss how to ensure the most valuable information is not missed. We will highlight a variety of data collection techniques as well as the importance of defining and following a plan. To make best use of the data collected, we will explore best practices for analysis.

2. Selecting the Best Projects

Here, we will look at how to uncover, assess, and prioritize project opportunities.  We will define how to efficiently short list potential projects and select and implement a group that generates the greatest possible benefit using the resources available.

3. Report on the Results

We will examine why credibility can be just as important as the actual results generated.  We will highlight the many benefits of reporting annually. Practical techniques for developing a strong report will be provided. We will look at the amazing and often unexpected long-run impacts of sharing success, learning, and continuous improvement.

Currently viewing:  Refocus Home / Guidebook / Introduction to REFOCUS / About the REFOCUS Program / The REFOCUS Sustainability Program Model