The first step is the application for a Metta quick scan. Those are executed by tird party firms specialised in environmental auditing. In this phase, companies and/or organisations provide the required information to the advisors themselves to limit the costs as much as possible. This can also speed up the process considerable. At the later stage, during the official audit, the validity and accurateness of the data is checked.
The Metta quick scan identifies - amongst other things - the impacts that can be avoided, reduced, restored and mitigated relatively simple within the company itself. That already results in an impact reduction, and in some cases a cost reduction, for instance in the case of energy savings or waste recycling. An additional advantage is that the company gets a clear overview and insight in where its impacts are situated within the firm. The residual impacts on the environment and landscape are then identified as well.
The residual impacts are then subsequently quantified for a defined period in the past. This can be done at 3 levels: a) per location or installation, b) for the entire company, or c) for the entire company plus it suppliers. This results in 3 levels of certification:
- Metta: an individual location or installation
- Metta Gold: the entire company (all locations/installations)
- Metta Platinum: the entire company plus suppliers
Based on the residual impacts the compensation needs are determined. The compensation is realised as local as possible; both in terms of geography, as well as in terms of the type of impact. For instance, waste water discharge is compensated with the restoration of a comparable amount of water of the same quality, leading to the rehabilitation of a watershed. When possible multiple options will be identified and formulated, which allows the company to elect the activity that resonates most with the firm, its employees, and its customers.
When the implementation of the compensation activies is commissioned, the company or organisation is entitled to the Metta certificate indicating the period over which the firm has achieved impact neutrality. This can be, for instance, a calendar year of various contiguous years. It is up to the company to choose the time period itself. It goes without saying that the implementation and successfulness of the compensation activities will be monitored and that monitoring results will be reported.