In recent years, companies have realized that focusing on sustainability is essential within their practices and for this, a strategy is required. Since climate change and resource scarcity are becoming more noticeable, companies that are prepared for these changes will have an advantage.
Implementing a sustainability strategy is the way in which the company defines the path towards achieving its purpose, taking care that its impact is positive from the three main dimensions: economic, social and environmental. That’s why in today’s article, we intend to make sustainability available to everyone. Over the years, we have seen that many entrepreneurs were interested in incorporating a sustainability strategy in their companies. However, they do not feel knowledgeable enough to start this process.
For this reason, in this article we explain 6 simple steps to implement a sustainability strategy. Interested in learning more? Grab a pen and paper and take notes from our tips below. Enjoy!
Do a Materialism Analysis
It is to make a diagnosis of the issues that are most important to the stakeholders of our company. That is, employees, customers, consumers, suppliers, neighbors and authorities or institutions. A materialism analysis consists of asking these interested parties (stakeholders) which economic, social and environmental aspects are the most important due to their impact, positive or negative. From all these topics the priorities of the materialism analysis will emerge, normally between five and ten topics.
Define Objectives and Strategic Goals
Once the material issues have been prioritized, it is necessary to define specific objectives and goals for each of them. Establishing what actions we should stop doing or correct, what others we need to start doing, and what we should continue doing or reinforce. Each of these objectives and goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and have a set time frame.
Define Key Performance Indicators
In order to measure the objectives, it is necessary to set the sustainability indicators, which will help us to determine the progress in each material issue. Once defined, we must set their initial value, or starting point. As well as its target value for a defined period of time, normally one year.
Implement a Plan for the Execution of Said Objectives
The implementation of the plan requires:
• communicate the program to everyone involved,
• define individual and collective responsibilities in each goal,
• allocate the necessary resources for its execution,
• and incorporate the fulfillment of these goals in the employee performance evaluation program. So that they feel truly involved and part of the strategy.
Report and Periodically Monitor the Progress of the Programs
This is necessary to disseminate internally and externally the company’s efforts and results in terms of sustainability. For this, a sustainability report and a control panel (or Balance Score card) must be defined that allow monitoring and seeing the progress of each indicator. There is a wide variety of sustainability reports and certifications on the market. The company must decide which one is best for it to adopt according to its commercial or public image needs.
Choose a Sustainability Management Tool
It is recommended that the company adopt a sustainability management software. In this way, you will be able to maintain, in an organized manner over time, the record of sustainability indicators.
Browse to Get Ideas
Online, you can find great sustainability strategies from established brands. For instance some well-known companies with sustainable business practice are:
- Estée Lauder
- And more
There you are! With those tips you can now develop your own sustainability strategy to help your company thrive. What are your thoughts on sustainable business practices? Let us know in the comments below.