Sustainability is a big topic nowadays, and it can feel like an intimidating one to approach. There is so much information out there about what’s happening to our planet, the importance of being environmentally friendly, and sustainability - which can make knowing what sustainability goals to set difficult. Once the goals have been decided on, it doesn’t stop there - actually achieving sustainability goals within a company can also be a difficult task.
If you’re not sure where to start, here is a framework to kick off your company's journey to being more sustainable.
The first step to making sustainable changes to anything is to get a conversation going about it. You need to open up a conversation about the following:
It is important that this conversation is started with all employees - that could be with a presentation, a meeting or a group chat - get people talking about what sustainability means to them, what they think the business is doing for the planet already and in what areas they think that it could be doing more.
If you want your business to be more sustainable, environmental values have to run through the entire company, and you can only achieve this if the whole team is on the same page.
Without values, it’s difficult to know what you want to achieve and therefore, difficult to set goals. Values also help the whole team to be on the same page, in preparation to start working towards your goals. Some questions to consider when finding your values are:
These should help to give you a rough guide when you’re creating goals and should provide some purpose and motivation for the team to work towards them.
So you’ve started a discussion around sustainability with employees, and you’ve discovered your values - now you can start actually setting goals and creating environmental initiatives for your business.
A good way to go is to start with small wins:
OnOnce you have implemented some of these smaller changes, it’s time to start looking at the bigger changes that are going to have the most impact. These changes will depend on what industry you work in but some core areas to look at are:
Business goals can’t be achieved without everyone in the business working towards them. Once environmental initiatives have been set up, the first thing to do is to make everyone within the business aware of what they are and what role they will play in achieving it.
It can be easy for environmental goals to feel abstract and this can make it difficult for people to get involved. Creating specific goals for each team or even each team member can help to keep everyone on track and make sure that you are actually achieving what you set out to achieve.
If you’re reading this, then you’ve already started this step! Start off by reading some articles about sustainability in your industry (if you also work with digital products then you can check out this article to find out more about sustainability in the digital world). If you’re struggling with setting values, it might be worth doing some research on climate change and what effect your particular industry is having on the planet.