As organizations strive to become more sustainable across their operations, identifying initiatives that deliver results becomes more critical. But how can a company get these important programs started in ways that are successful?
For starters, understanding that the journey towards sustainability is not one-size-fits-all is crucial. It is important to embark on this transformative journey with a strategic approach tailored to your own unique aspirations and challenges. This blog delves into four basic steps that will help to steer your company or organization in the right direction when launching a new sustainability initiative.
Step 1: Identifying Your Goals:
At the heart of your sustainability initiative lies the foundational question: what does it aim to achieve? Is it about enhancing reputation, meeting customer demands, or curbing operational costs? By pinpointing the objectives, you can effectively direct and manage its efforts. This involves analyzing energy inputs, scrutinizing waste streams, and identifying high-impact areas within your company or organization.
Step 2: Analyzing your energy inputs and your waste streams, where can you drive the highest impact?
Which utilities are your most utilized? What are the relative costs? Is there a bill you’re specifically trying to reduce? Or a utility you’re trying to eliminate (natural gas for carbon footprint?). What about waste streams? Do you handle large amounts of incoming or outgoing packaging material like flexible films or corrugate? What about wastewater, are there surcharges you’re trying to eliminate? You don’t have to know the answer to all of these questions, but understanding your overall situation will help you optimize for the next step.
Step 3: Conducting a Comprehensive Assessment:
The path to sustainability depends on an accurate in-depth assessment. Good information and data from steps one and two will help bring together the correct experts (energy, materials, water, etc) that your company needs to evaluate its operations. Then together you can assess and answer the optimal questions. What precisely do I need to reduce? How am I going to do that? By answering these questions, you pave the way for focused and effective strategies.
Step 4: Crafting a Tailored Sustainability Program:
With insights from the assessment in hand, you can now craft a sustainability program tailored to your own specific goals and challenges. Each recommended action needs to be paired with precise metrics, audit periods, and reporting mechanisms. Whether it’s investing in energy-efficient lighting or optimizing waste management, every step taken is strategic, measurable, and aligned with the company’s vision.
By setting clear measurable goals, conducting targeted assessments, and implementing tailored programs, the company is ensuring the longevity and resilience of the business. Taking these four steps you now have your sustainability off the ground and on its way to delivering on your company’s success.