Most companies promote sustainability in some form, but not everyone knows how to create an effective sustainability program. When it comes to making your business sustainable, you can’t rely on a one-size-fits-all solution. You have several options that will depend on the size and structure of your company, the level of commitment you have for change, and even where you’re located. This post offers guidelines for getting started with a sustainability program.
Steps on How to Create a Sustainability Program
1.Build a Team
According to GetSmarter, “sustainability is key to ensuring a resilient future for all”. If you want to create a sustainable business, you can’t do it alone. You’ll need support from the upper levels of the company. If you want buy-in from your management, show them that sustainability is good for business. Many companies turn sustainability into profit centers, saving money on energy bills, reducing waste, and increasing revenue. Once your managers are on board with the plan, create a program steering committee to guide your efforts.
2.Adapt and Evolve
Women’s leadership in sustainability is growing, but there are still barriers. If you’re hoping to convert your company into a sustainability leader, you’ll need to do more than create a sustainability committee that gets it done. You’ll also need to create an infrastructure on top of your team to begin the process of implementation. Create an implementation team on top of your existing leaders, or hire someone fresh in sustainability to create a plan on how you’ll fully integrate sustainability into the business.
3.Minimize Your Environmental Footprint
Once you know how to create a sustainability plan for your business, the next step is to make it happen. Please start by looking at your business, its waste, energy and determine how to limit or eliminate those things. You’ve already formed a committee of leaders, so discuss ways to minimize the effects of waste, chemicals, electricity usage, and more. Be sure to consider all elements of your business – transportation costs and waste disposal included. Collaborating with your suppliers can also help reduce waste and costs.
4.Boost Your Culture
Sustainability is a team effort. If you’re hoping to make the sustainability effort more sustainable, you’ll need to get more workers on board. It’s often far easier to change a culture of employees already on board than to convince new hires that this is important work. Lead by example, and encourage employees to go green wherever possible. You may also want to offer monetary incentives for environmentally friendly habits. For example, pay workers who bike to work or buy reusable coffee cups.
5.Focus on Action
It’s important to know how to create a sustainability program that works, but you should also understand how it fits your business goals. Is this a one-off or part of the ongoing evolution of the company? If you’re hoping to create a sustainability program that can be continued and developed, you’ll need to build sustainability into your business strategies. Ask why your company needs to become more sustainable and make it clear how this fits with your goals.
The process of creating an effective sustainability program for your company requires action, collaboration, and thoughtful planning. Once you’ve created your team and chosen your direction, it’s time to get started. Keep track of changes and make adjustments as needed to create something that works for you.