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and the degree to which it utilizes feedback in adaptive management. SSV benefited from the fact that all initial partners used environmental management systems (EMS) in their own work. An EMS is a set of processes and practices that help an organization reduce environmental impacts and improve efficiency; it operates in a “plan-do-check-adjust” loop that SSV incorporated into the partnership’s operation. SSV’s advisory council (a group above its board) oversees the partnership’s EMS, thus freeing up the board to focus on the strategic vision and other matters. Some panelists drew a distinction between a partnership’s goals (high-level, unifying themes), and its objectives (individual pieces, generally used for reporting). For GCI, even as its structure and day-to-day objectives change, the goals it initially established continue to guide the partnership as the field of green chemistry advances. Global Water Challenge, which has a high-level goal of universal access to clean water and sanitation, sets annuals goals as well, then reflects on its pursuit of those and determines whether or not the objectives it has set are moving it towards the goal.

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