What is decomposition?

Decomposition answers the questions of what drives shared value (Environmental + Social + Business Value) in sustainability, in how many ways, and to what degree. By progressively unpacking the implications of the responses, tailored to your organization, a clear picture of the true impact of your sustainability decisions becomes clear. 

Why does it matter?

By breaking down intangible concepts like "workplace enhancements" or "water stewardship" into their tangible parts, business value can be quantified and demonstrated. In the real world, where many competing priorities fight for a share of resources, demonstrating concrete value can be the difference between sustainability projects that get funding and come to fruition, and those that exist only as ideas.

In order to help individuals and organizations looking to make a strong business case for sustainability, DSD has built a Decomposition Workbook to provide clues as to where to look for value, catalyze new thinking, build knowledge,​ and support benefit quantification, monetization, business case development and ultimately better, more sustainable decisions.

How does it work?

This workbook has been designed to support the development of concise business cases and presentations as they relate to sustainability investments. The exercises are organized into three broad steps and will aid the user in clearly articulating the investment opportunity, mapping stakeholders and defining investment expectations and decomposing and monetizing the investment opportunity benefits:

  • Step 1: Framing the Project

  • Step 2: Stakeholder Analysis

  • Step 3: Defining and Quantifying Value Creation: Decomposition, Quantification & Monetization


The workbook also provides guidance on where value creation opportunities may reside within the value chain, and key functions and stakeholders whose support will be need to ensure realization of forecasted benefits.

Putting plans into action

Once you have worked through the workbook, take your notes and planning data and input them into the decomposition worksheet template. (The template was designed with flexibility in mind, to allow for adaptation and customization for your organization.) By gathering all of your assumptions and ideas in one place, you'll have a much clearer view of the complete picture and can proceed with making the business case for your investment.

Download the full workbook here. Then download the worksheet template here.
A Practical Approach To Making Intangibles Tangible

Decomposition Tools

© 2018 by Driving Sustainable Decisions

Founded by ALO Advisors, Antea Group, and Fundación FEMSA.