Sustainable Business Certifications in Uncertain Times

foxflo Sustainability Partners
4 min readJan 5, 2021


To push society forward we need a group of hard working, inspiring researchers to provide creative solutions to businesses across the world. Turnstone Think Tank has done just that.

The non-profit research center is dedicated to providing environmental, social and governance (ESG) insights to small businesses. As a small research center, Turnstone has a goal to provide research and content that business leaders can rely on and trust. In the beginning, the group will collaborate with companies to bring light to their pressing ESG/Sustainability issues. The research center publishes their findings to their website, and this Medium blog, so stay tuned! They operate as a non-profit research center to provide solutions to prevalent ESG issues.

Why ESG? Believe it or not, there is an entire financial sector based solely on these principles. Not only do investors care about ESG issues, but loan providers are starting to place an emphasis on these principles as well. Not only is the big money backing these principle, but world-wide governments are too! In an consultation by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures it states that in “December 2019, 120 countries and the European Union announced that they are working to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 — an early indication of potential future policy and regulatory changes for companies in those jurisdictions.” An enormous amount of pressure is being placed on businesses to start strategizing solutions to lower environmental impact. It is clear that governments and financial institutes are pressuring businesses and requiring change.

Today, there are companies that specialize in providing sustainability benchmarks for businesses. These benchmarks are important and give businesses standards that they can follow to improve their ESG metrics. Companies like Sustainability Accounting Standard Board, Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, Future Fit, and Sustainalytics are major players on providing companies with ESG-linked standards. These standards are important when considering whether a company will find sustainability success in the future.

These standards are great for businesses and investors alike, but they fail to provide tangible solutions to businesses. Every business is completely unique. No two businesses are alike, so grading businesses with benchmarks or standards is extremely challenging for business owners who are busy maintaining their everyday operations. Large corporations nowadays are able to designate entire portions of their business to research and implement sustainability solutions specific to their business. The benchmarks are crucial for these corporations to impress their investors and politicians.

The problem starts with small and medium sized private companies just starting to get a foothold in investor and government relations. As a business grows it is bound to run into sustainability issues. For a business of this size, pressing sustainability issues can be crippling. These businesses must be very adaptive and spend much-needed capital on solving their specific ESG issue. Every business situation will be different and require lots of resources. Once the issue is solved there is no guarantee that there is another issue hiding within their business structure.

Turnstone gives a unique perspective on how this issue should be tackled. To properly assess and diagnose the ESG problems that businesses face takes an unbiased evaluation. Of course business owners will have a bias due to their financial, time and emotional attachments. To provide a lasting solution to businesses, Turnstone designates a team of highly-specialized unbiased researchers to directly collaborate with owners and employees.

The specialists’ first task is to provide a rating based on the benchmarks established by industry leaders, like Sustainalytics. The idea is to provide the business owners a fully immersive report that is comparable to competitors and larger corporations. Next, Turnstone specialists work to provide tangible results for the businesses by collaborating with owners and employees to make lasting changes in business strategy and design. After much collaboration and implementation of solutions Turnstone will reevaluate the business. Turnstone will then go as far to provide businesses with a certification acting as a seal of approval that will help with marketing for new customers, investors and building trust with the government.

Ratings companies do a great job providing standards for businesses with fully operational corporate sustainability teams to offer real-time solutions for corporations, but fail to address the needs of small to medium size businesses.

Unfortunately, small to medium size businesses may not have the resources to establish a fully operational team focused on sustainability. This halts growth for these new businesses as they may miss financing opportunities or even be fined by the government imposing ESG related regulations. Turnstone offers a new and improved way at implementing the ESG standards set by industry leaders.

The turnstone certification is the key for growth in sustainability for startup, small and medium sized businesses across the world. It is an opportunity that many businesses will take advantage of. Right now, Turnstone is calling all leaders, researchers, developers, influencers and contributors to help them with their mission to provide ESG Certifications to businesses! Check out their website here!



foxflo Sustainability Partners

You have a sustainable business to run. We want to help. Let’s find lasting solutions. #business #education #design #tech #startup #life