There’s a lot of buzz out there about sustainability plans and their benefits. But there’s not a lot of information about the nitty-gritty of putting one together. Here’s what you need to know.
Call in the professionals. There are many talented consultants and consultancy agencies out there that can help you work through the sustainability strategy process. They can use their expertise and experience to do the heavy lifting of strategy creation. But if it’s not in your budget – or you’d rather just tackle it in-house – it’s absolutely possible to create your own sustainability strategy. The rest of our blog series is dedicated to that, so read on.
Gather the team. Forming your sustainability strategy shouldn’t be a solo task. You want input from others in your company, so assemble a team or committee. This will provide a range of perspective and input, but it also encourages others take ownership of the project. That collective ownership will make it much more effective, long-term.
Understand your baseline. If you’re planning a route forward, you have to understand your starting point. That’s why a fulsome sustainability assessment is the vital first step in the process of building a sustainability strategy. Some things to ponder:
- How big is your carbon footprint?
- How much greenhouse gas do you produce each year?
- How much energy, gas and water do you consume?
- How much waste do you produce?
- Are you a good employer?
- A good community member?
Set your goals. Determine areas you’d like to improve in and create a list of goals. They can be big or small, but should be ambitious but achievable. Need some inspiration? How about:
- We want to reduce our carbon footprint by X amount.
- We want to reduce our energy/water use by X amount.
- We want our office to be waste-free.
Set your strategy to achieve them. Once your goals are set, research ways that will help you reach them. Even if you didn’t go with a sustainability consultant, don’t be afraid to reach out to other professionals for guidance. Energy CX, for instance, can help you reduce your energy consumption by giving you tips on conservation, renewable energy and more.
Set a timeline. Having a deadline gives structure and urgency to a plan. Set a completion date for each goal.
Put it in a nice package. When you’re done, organize it into a document. Your completed strategy will include your goals and plans, of course, but feel free to put your company’s flair into it. Consider adding a message from leadership, good news stories, employee quotes or pictures. This is the place to tell your sustainability story, so say it loudly and proudly.
So you have a sustainability strategy. Now what? We’ll address that next, in our last blog in this series.