Ways for Your Company to Chart Its Sustainable Goals, Metrics, and KPIs

Many corporations are trying to achieve sustainability, but it takes thorough planning and thoughtful strategy to reach these goals.

Sustainable growth is a common theme in many corporate strategies today, which comes at a time when countries face mounting pressures to combat the climate crisis.

Below, we’ll cover some ways you can track your company’s environmental goals so you can take actionable steps to reach them.

How Your Company Can Chart Its Sustainability Goals

A sustainability program can help your company in various ways, including building your brand reputation, aligning with new industry trends, and increasing operational efficiency.

One study from Bain & Company found that only 2% of companies successfully reached their sustainability goals, showing how crucial it is to set clear goals and use specific metrics to guide you on achieving them.

Take Danaher, for example — they’ve committed to reducing energy consumption by 15%, reducing GHG emissions by 15%, and reducing the percentage of non-hazardous and non-regulated waste sent to landfills by 15%. They’ve set clear targets and are taking action to hit them in five years.

So, how can your company follow suit and reach sustainability goals over the next few years? Below are five ways to help make sustainable change happen within your organization.

1. Set Ambitious Goals, and Take Action to Achieve Them

Consider using a SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goal-setting approach for your organization regarding sustainability. The bigger the goal, the better, and the more likely you will achieve it. For example, some corporations will make a goal to be carbon-neutral in 15 years, whereas others will make smaller goals like reducing carbon emissions by 30%.

While both goals are viable, larger goals can make more of a significant impact and motivate your organization to reach them. Ambitious goals yield ambitious outcomes, and your organization should prioritize this when thinking about how to be more sustainable.

2. Identify What Priorities to Measure

These are some examples of what companies will typically measure when striving to be more sustainable:

  • Supply chain mileage
  • Energy consumption
  • Carbon footprint
  • Water footprint
  • Product recycling rates
  • Waste reduction rate
  • Waste recycling rate

The examples above are KPIs that can identify areas of improvement within your organization and its current sustainability rating. Once you know what areas to improve on, you can make clear goals to be more sustainable.

3. Track Your Progress in Quarterly Milestones

One of the reasons why only 2% of companies reach their sustainability goals is because they don’t track the progress of their actions over time. Every quarter, you should rely on using a spreadsheet or other type of tracking software to measure your progress.

For example, suppose one sustainability goal is to use recycled, post-consumer waste in your supply chain. In that case, your first step should be to create an inventory of these materials and see if existing materials can be eliminated or replaced with this alternative.

Then, group them into categories, and each quarter, review your spreadsheet to see what progress has been made. Aside from spreadsheets, plenty of creative data sources are out there that can simplify the progress-tracking process.

4. Leverage Online Resources to Outline Sustainability Goals, Metrics, and KPIs

Use all the resources at your disposal as you’re exploring ways to track your company’s environmental goals. Because so many companies are trying to reach their sustainability goals, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are many online resources available to help you outline your goals, keep track of metrics, and identify your KPIs.

Below are four examples of software you can implement to manage your sustainability goals better:

  • Mapistry: This environmental compliance software is an all-in-one solution for maximizing sustainability compliance across several facility and regulatory areas.
  • One Trust: One Trust is the number one fastest-growing company on the Inc. 500 and includes using centralized, agile workflows to help with sustainability efforts.
  • CEMS: Your company can monitor your carbon emissions and pollutants using a continuous emission monitoring system.
  • ETQ Reliance QMS: ETQ Reliance QMS relies on cloud-based services and can provide you with advanced analytics to help track progress on your goals.

These options are only a few examples of digital platforms that your organization can leverage to make sustainability tracking much simpler and streamlined.

Consider using some of the tips above to help your organization meet and potentially exceed your sustainability goals. 

Reaching Sustainability Goals Will Take Time

Measuring sustainability can be challenging for both small and large companies, but it can reduce costs and save time in the long run.

If your company is interested in ways to track a business’s sustainability metrics and KPIs, consider using some of the tips above to increase your likelihood of meeting these goals. Understand that it will take time, and your organization may need to overcome obstacles to become more sustainable.