Sustainability is a hot topic these days. But what does it mean for your business? And how can you measure it? As the manager of a small business, you may not have the resources to hire an environmental consultant or set up a comprehensive sustainability program. However, there are several ways that even small businesses can assess their current level of sustainability and make progress toward becoming more sustainable.
Create a sustainability strategy.
- Define the problem. Before you can begin to solve a problem, you must first define it. This is particularly important when it comes to sustainability because people often have different definitions of what makes something sustainable or not. In order to measure and report on your own sustainability strategy, you need to first define what “sustainable” means in your context–what are the goals that we want to achieve? Why do those things matter? And how will we know if we’ve reached them or not?
- Set goals for yourself. As with any goal-oriented process (or life), setting clear objectives will help keep things on track: what do I want from this process? How can I measure that progress towards those outcomes has been made over time? Having these answers in mind will make it easier for everyone involved in creating and implementing their own personal sustainability strategies at work or school
Conduct an audit.
An audit is a review of the current state of your business and its performance, with the goal of improving it. It’s important to think about sustainability as part of this process because it helps you understand how your company measures up against best practices in sustainability reporting–and if those metrics are important enough for you to pursue further.
To conduct an audit:
- Get a good grasp on what sustainability means for you and your organization. This may require some research into best practices, but also just talking with people in your company who have experience working with sustainability issues–or even someone who’s never heard the term before!
- Start documenting everything related to sustainability at work (for example, meeting minutes from meetings held about these issues). Keep track of what’s been done so far and consider including any relevant documents (such as policies) in this collection too.
- Look at what types of data exist internally within each department or team–whether they’re quantitative or qualitative–and evaluate whether each piece could be useful when measuring progress toward goals like reducing carbon emissions over time.”
Understand available resources and tools.
There are many online tools available to help you measure and report on your sustainability. Some are free, or have a low cost. These tools can be used to measure resource use, environmental impact, and social responsibility.
To get started with measuring your organization’s sustainability performance:
Calculate your current level of sustainability.
To get started, you’ll want to figure out how your company measures and reports on sustainability. Companies can use a variety of metrics to measure their progress toward achieving their goals–the most common are those that measure carbon emissions, water usage and waste generation.
- You might track the number of miles driven by employees in private vehicles (or public transit) per year. This gives you an idea of how many miles each employee is driving every year. It also helps give context for other data points about car usage–for instance if there are any outliers among your workforce who drive more than others or who don’t use cars at all because they live close enough to work that they can walk or bike instead.*
Set goals for improving the sustainability of your business practices.
You have a problem. You want to solve it, but you don’t know where to start. You need a plan of action, but there are so many options!
First things first: define the problem before starting on a solution. Then set goals for improving the sustainability of your business practices–and make sure they’re ambitious enough that they challenge you while remaining realistic enough that they can be achieved within a reasonable time frame (e.g., three months).
Don’t worry about what other people’s goals are; focus on achieving yours instead! And remember: don’t aim too high or low–you’ll only end up disappointed either way if things don’t go according to plan (or even worse than disappointed).
Develop metrics to measure progress toward your goals.
Before you start measuring and reporting your sustainability, it’s important to define the problem that you’re trying to solve. You should know what success looks like and how you will measure it. Defining these things before beginning a process is much easier than trying to get good data at the end of the process.
Once you have defined your goal, set up metrics and targets for yourself (and/or other people involved). It’s important that these metrics be specific enough so that they can be quantitatively measured over time but not so detailed as to be overwhelming or confusing. For example:
- If one of my goals was “I want to lose 10 pounds in 6 months,” I would define my target as losing 1 pound per week over 6 months = 6 * 1 = 6 lbs lost! This seems like an attainable goal because I’m realistic with how much weight loss I expect per week and also ambitious by aiming high enough within this timeframe that if everything goes accordingto plan then we’ll reach our overall objective together!
Report on progress and communicate results to stakeholders.
As you progress through your sustainability journey, it is important to report on progress and communicate results to stakeholders. One of the best ways to do this is by using social media. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are excellent tools for communicating with customers and other key stakeholders about what you’re doing in the area of sustainability. In addition, these platforms can be used for sharing stories about employees who have made a positive impact on their communities or environment through their work at [your company].
Using social media channels makes it easy for people outside the company–such as consumers–to learn about what’s happening within the walls of [your business]. But don’t forget that there are internal stakeholders too! Communicating with employees can be just as important as communicating externally; they need information so they know how their actions affect sustainability efforts overall
You can improve and measure your company’s use of resources, as well as its impact on the environment, in order to reap the benefits of being sustainable
You can improve and measure your company’s use of resources, as well as its impact on the environment, in order to reap the benefits of being sustainable.
- Environmental sustainability: This is a measure of how well you are doing at reducing your environmental impact. It includes things like reducing waste and conserving energy.
- Business sustainability: This includes things like improving financial performance (profitability), increasing employee satisfaction/engagement, reducing risk exposure and improving customer experience through increased customer loyalty/retention rates etc..
We hope that by now you’re convinced of the benefits of measuring and reporting on your company’s sustainability. Measurement and reporting can help you identify where improvements are needed, track progress toward goals, and communicate results to stakeholders. By implementing these tools, you’ll be able to measure your success as well as share it with others who care about what happens in our world today–and tomorrow!