Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is FuturePlus?

FuturePlus is a revolutionary, sustainability self-management tool. Helping your organisation to understand, manage, and measure sustainability ambitions, FuturePlus supports and enables your transition through every process, from putting simple, actionable plans in place to developing comprehensive ESG reports.

Why does FuturePlus include diversity and inclusion, social and economic themes, as well as climate and environment?

Sustainability is often referred to as ‘environmental sustainability’. However, we believe that sustainability comprises five interconnected themes:

  • Climate

  • Environment

  • Economic

  • Diversity and Inclusion

  • Social

Sustainable development only happens when we have a balance running across all five themes.

Striving for positive environmental goals and objectives, organisations should make efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, waste, water and resource usage, mitigating their negative impact on the environment. To perform well, organisations must consider their operations, factory or office locations, and the communities they operate in. 

To have a positive social impact, they should communicate and collaborate with a diverse range of stakeholders in an inclusive manner, invest in communities, source ethically, and understand their supply chains. They must treat their employees fairly, and this means effective non-discrimination and inclusion policies, flexible working hours, equitable opportunities, good governance, and paying fair wages.

There is much more, but we will help guide you through these topics as you work with FuturePlus.

We aren't a 'sustainable company'. Why would I use FuturePlus?

The short answer is, of course, to become more sustainable.

It is also important to note the commercial and business reasons to be sustainable. By prioritising sustainability across our five themes of climate, environment, economic, diversity and inclusion, and social, research shows that businesses:

  • Are more attractive to investors, customers, and consumers

  • show greater returns

  • are better employers

  • attract higher calibre recruits

  • have lower risk profiles

Who is The Sustainability Group?

FuturePlus is part of The Sustainability Group, a consultancy practice that helps companies achieve greater performance through a focus on both financial and non-financial objectives, enabling them to play their part in the creation of a profitable, just and sustainable world. 

FuturePlus is our online sustainability self-management tool that helps organisations to understand, manage, and measure their sustainability ambitions. The revolutionary tool supports and enables your transition through every process, from putting simple, actionable plans in place to developing comprehensive ESG reports.

How can FuturePlus help us to improve our social and environmental impact?

Once you have created a FuturePlus account, you can access comprehensive support designed to help you understand and progress against your sustainability goals. 

The FuturePlus team are here help you make the most of the features and benefits of FuturePlus membership, which include:

  • A dedicated FuturePlus Advisor, on hand whenever you need them

  • Access to free resources, guides and tools to help you achieve your sustainability ambitions

  • Dynamic ‘Actual’ and ‘Ambition’ scores that help you track your progress and goals

  • Alignment of your sustainability targets with the UN Sustainable Development Goals

  • A Sustainability Roadmap outlining your strategy and targets over a 3-year period

  • A downloadable and bespoke progress report for you to share with your stakeholders 

  • Access to the FuturePlus IMPACT CERTIFIED badge

How much advisory time do we get with the subscription?

We can advise you on how you achieve your objectives and don’t set formal time caps; we ask that people apply a reasonable use policy.

Subscription Plans

Why do I have to sign up for 12 months?

FuturePlus is a subscription-based, self-management tool for organisations that want to become more sustainable. However, this cannot be achieved quickly. Sustainability is a dynamic and ever-changing concept, which is why FuturePlus is specifically designed to be your navigating partner on this journey.

Your 12-month subscription will automatically renew at the end of each subscription billing period unless you choose to cancel it.

How much does FuturePlus cost?

The cost of FuturePlus is dependent on the size of your organisation. Please refer to our full pricing list.

Are there different payment options?

Your 12 month FuturePlus subscription can be paid for using Credit Card or Direct Debit.

We are open to discussing alternative payment options for this period (i.e. quarterly or annual payments via invoice). Simply get in touch with your FuturePlus Advisor to discuss this further. 

FuturePlus Methodology

Why am I asked to provide evidence?

We require evidence from organisations in order to make certain the information you provide is correct and to validate your scores. Data validation and verification is essential to ensuring the FuturePlus scoring system remains fair and balanced.

Will FuturePlus measure my carbon footprint?

FuturePlus is not a carbon accountancy tool and will not measure your carbon footprint. However, we do ask for information about your greenhouse gas emissions and how you measure them. If you would like some help in measuring your carbon footprint, please let the FuturePlus team know. We work closely with FuturePlus partners that can help and we will be happy to advise, and we are here to support you.

What are the FuturePlus indicators based on?

The FuturePlus measurement tool has approximately 200 indicators (questions) for micro and small businesses and slightly under 300 for medium-to-large organisations. 

The intelligent question set expands and contracts according to an organisation’s size and in response to the answers an organisation provides, allowing businesses of different sizes, geographies and sectors to be compared fairly.

Our indicators are researched and adapted from a variety of best practice sources and industry standards such as recognised ESG certification schemes and indexes, the United Nations Global Compact, Government and NGO frameworks, investor coalitions and initiatives, as well as the addition of our own impact-focused metrics. 

Each of our indicators is mapped against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, a universally recognised collection of seventeen interlinked objectives designed to serve as a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. 

In order to keep FuturePlus members up to date as progress is made in technology, sustainability research and risk analysis, our ‘living’ question set is periodically updated with new and amended indicators to reflect the most current and critical areas of sustainability innovation and development. 

FuturePlus is compatible with and can be used alongside several other ESG indicators, including but not limited to: GRESB, GRI, SASB, PRI, MiFID, SFDR, TCFC, and BREEAM.

Who verifies the work FuturePlus does?

FuturePlus was developed by two senior executives from the commercial sustainability and not-for-profit sectors, passionate about sustainability and combining decades of industry experience between them. Our wider team is made up of sustainability professionals from a range of backgrounds and sectors. 

FuturePlus offers an impartial, third-party verification of your sustainability practices and policies, ambitions, and goals, benchmarked against UN-developed frameworks and checked and verified against the highest standards of social and environmental best practice.

On top of this, whilst no global (or national) recognised standard exists for the verification of Sustainability, FuturePlus has been used regularly by large commercial organisations for projects and processes that are themselves verified, such as a recent IPO in New York, where a globally recognised bank validated and used the FuturePlus methodology for the ESG component of the S1 IPO application. FuturePlus is now regularly used for ongoing listed company reporting. 

FuturePlus scoring

How is the score calculated?

The FuturePlus Actual score represents the positive impact of an organisation at the fixed time it completes or updates its assessment. It is a measurement of current achievements across the five key themes of Environment, Climate, Diversity and Inclusion, Economic, and Social impact.

A robust scoring methodology is implemented to comprehensively evaluate an organisation's performance across the themes, with the significance of each indicator captured by a weighted score, reflecting its influence either internally within the organisation or externally in the broader context. This approach acknowledges the varying degrees of impact that individual indicators have.

Our algorithm scores the response to each indicator with a positive, negative, or neutral score dependent on the theme, subcategory and relevant impact. This allows for a more nuanced representation of how an indicator aligns with ESG goals and recognises progress, setbacks and neutrality as important.

By integrating such a comprehensive scoring methodology, FuturePlus underscores its commitment to a thorough evaluation of ESG factors, facilitating a holistic understanding of an organisation's performance across sustainability themes.

The Ambition score quantifies the goals an organisation pledges to meet across the five themes and additional subcategories over a 3-year period by adding additional weighted scoring for each ambition set by an organisation to the total Actual score. We provide organisations with two scores because we believe it is vital for current impact to be shown alongside future ambition, and for progress to be transparently tracked via the scoring system over time. 

Both Actual and Ambition scores are out of a total of 500. The scores are broken down across the five themes to provide organisations and investors with a transparent understanding of both impact and ambition in each area. Each individual theme is scored out of a total of 100.

To find out more please view our methodology.

How do I know what other organisations have scored?

You will have the opportunity to make your scores public by sharing it on your digital platforms, social media, and/or as part of your sustainability reports.

What is an Ambition score?

The Ambition score is your intention to improve your organisation’s sustainability. FuturePlus provides both a dynamic baseline score for where you are (your Actual score) and an Ambition score for where you would like to be. The 'Ambition' element of our rating provides a weighted score, but it also builds a bespoke Sustainability Roadmap for your organisation to start making sustainable changes. Your score will improve as you make progress towards your ambitions.

What is a good score?

FuturePlus scores are out of 500 and reflect the positive impact companies are already making (their Actual score) as well as the impact they have committed to make in the future (their Ambition score).

At FuturePlus, we believe that every company has the responsibility and capacity to improve its impact on people and the planet. In line with that ethos, lower scores aren’t ‘bad’, but rather only indicative of where companies currently are in their sustainability journey. As the scores are dynamic, we expect Actual scores to improve the longer companies are on the platform with us. That is also why we don’t set thresholds on what is a ‘good’ score.

The assessment looks at all aspects of sustainable business practices and often requires engagement from different individuals within an organisation. Verification involves providing responses and evidence for all questions within the assessment. However, FuturePlus does not provide certification based on a pass/fail model. We are proud to work with any organisation demonstrating the intent to improve the sustainability of its business practices, and all organisations are asked to revisit and reconfirm their declared positive actions on an annual basis.

Using your subscription

What is the Sustainability Roadmap and how do I use it?

The Sustainability Roadmap is essentially a project management plan. FuturePlus collates all of the ambitions and timeframes you have committed to and helps you to guide and steer the changes you need to make for a more sustainable organisation. The Sustainability Roadmap can be downloaded into a CSV file or into leading project management software. Here, you can delegate, keep track, and work towards your goals using your organisation's preferred system.

I need additional help. Can I speak to someone?

Absolutely. You can contact us at: [email protected]

What can the FuturePlus Sustainability Report be used for?

Like your scores, the FuturePlus Sustainability Report is yours to use as you like. Many of our subscribers have chosen to share it with investors, stakeholders, and in response to RFP proposals and tenders.

What certifications do we get from completing FuturePlus?

Upon completion of your FuturePlus assessment, you will receive your scores, a tailored report, and access to our IMPACT CERTIFIED badge.

What happens after our assessment is verified?

Once your assessment has been verified, the FuturePlus team will be on hand to help you make the most of the features and benefits of FuturePlus membership, which include:

  • A dedicated FuturePlus Advisor, on hand whenever you need them

  • Access to free resources, guides and tools to help you achieve your sustainability goals

  • Dynamic ‘Actual’ and ‘Ambition’ scores that help you track your progress and goals

  • Alignment of your sustainability targets with the United National Sustainable Development Goals

  • A Sustainability Roadmap outlining your strategy and targets over a 3-year period

  • A downloadable and bespoke progress report for you to share with your stakeholders 

  • The ability to instantly share your FuturePlus data in response to procurement requests, without having to redo the assessment

When can we use the FuturePlus IMPACT CERTIFIED badge?

Once your assessment has been verified, you will be awarded your FuturePlus IMPACT CERTIFIED badge.

You can use the badge on your website, email footer, marketing materials and more, to show that you have made a commitment to measuring, monitoring, and improving your social and environmental impact.

Your FuturePlus Advisor will be in touch with more details on how to access and use the badge once your submission has been verified.

Can we add additional users to the platform?

Yes. You can add as many users to the platform as you like. Though we would recommend no more than around 10 to ensure efficient project management. 

Ask your FuturePlus Advisor to help you add users, or the primary account holder can add users themselves by visiting the 'View Organisation' tab in the top right-hand corner of the Dashboard.