27 May 14

Four factors that can make or break your sustainability plans

Screen_Shot_2014-05-27_at_09.30.06Championing your organisation’s sustainability strategy can be a challenge. You spend hours developing and refining your plans, ensuring that they provide you with the groundwork to achieve your targets. But even the best laid plans don’t always run smoothly.

There are many aspects that can affect your sustainability strategy. Being aware of these factors and including them in your plan, will help to make your sustainability strategy a success.

#1 – Support and commitment of senior management

Successful sustainability strategies often rely on support from senior management. This can manifest itself in several ways, including:

  • Providing the resource and budget to help turn plans into a reality
  • Embedding sustainability into the company’s overall strategy, so that it is not just seen as an optional extra
  • A confirmed commitment by the company leadership to sustainability

#2 – Flexibility within the Organisation

When it comes to sustainability strategy, knowledge is often held with a limited number of individuals. This isn’t necessarily a problem. But, as companies grow and employees change, this can lead to knowledge being diluted. 

Having a broader understanding of sustainability processes and strategy within the organisation helps to make the organisation more resilient to change.  It also means that time isn’t wasted having to recreate the wheel if key individuals leave the company.

#3 – Having the right data to measure the success of your sustainability plans

If you’re not measuring what is happening, then it’s hard to know if you’re meeting your goals. To support your overall sustainability strategy, you need a clear idea of what is going on throughout the organisation, regardless of your size or geography.

In short, this means: 

  • Deciding which data sets you need to monitor and record
  • Having a robust process in place to collect this data across the organisation consistently 

#4 – Embedding sustainability into the overall business strategy

Being able to entrench your sustainability strategy within the business strategy and values is an important hurdle to overcome. Failure to do so can limit the effectiveness of your strategy. If it is not perceived as business critical, then it can become more difficult to secure the necessary budget and support to make your strategy a success.

There are clear tangible and intangible values that can be improved with a successful sustainability strategy, including:

  • Brand value and positioning
  • Improved revenue generation
  • Risk reduction
  • Cost reduction

Communicating these benefits to internal and external stakeholders is a key factor to embedding sustainability into the organisation.

Find out more about how you can make your sustainability plans a success. Talk to us today.

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