How do you create a sustainability strategy?

¿What is a sustainability strategy?

A sustainability or corporate responsibility strategy is a prioritised set of actions. It provides an agreed framework to focus investment and drive performance, as well as engage internal and external stakeholders. Good strategy involves not just prioritisation, but making a decision to really focus on certain issues.

You may have already heard that our planet isn’t looking so good—and that the industrial world is to blame.

From carbon emissions to deforestation, the world’s businesses create a lot of environmental problems we’ve only recently started trying to reverse. As a single organization, it can be hard to understand how you can make an impact on a global scale. However, striking a balance between business and sustainability is a huge deal. The health of the environment is on everyone’s minds, with over two-thirds of consumers saying that it’s important for brands they choose to be more sustainable. 

Let’s talk about sustainable strategy creation, and how it could look for your team.

 

Decide What Sustainability Looks Like for Your Company

Because every company is different, sustainable strategies won’t look the same from one business to the next. As a first step, you’ll need to consider what sustainability looks like right where you are. Along with stakeholders, you should comb through your business practices to see where sustainability can play a bigger role.

This can mean anything from how you choose to invest company money to the vendors you partner with. You may want to consider the products and services you develop or the waste you create. Brainstorm ideas with your team to decide what you can do. Here are a few points to get you started:

  • Go paperless, or reduce the amount of paper you use on average
  • Ditch the plastic in terms of both what you buy and the products you create
  • Recycle your office waste where possible
  • Reduce the amount of waste you create, and try not to over-produce
  • Consider the ethics of your network and supply chain, and work with those who have similar sustainability strategies
  • Be strategic with your shipping and transportation
  • Create a sustainability team to create ongoing measures
  • Embrace renewable energy where you can
  • Encourage green commuting options
 

Again, depending on the type of business you run, you may need to consider some or all of these points. The nuances should be hashed out with your stakeholder team until you have an idea of the commitment you can make.

 

Set Goals and Commit to Them

As with any change you hope to see in your business, it’s important to envision where you’re going and the milestones you’ll pass to get there. Set goals for your organization as a whole, and make sure everyone within your organization understands your new initiative. You may have to reinvent your systems and processes to make this work!

And as any good marketer knows, it’s never enough to just set and forget a goal: you have to track your progress as well. Establish a system or schedule to help you measure your performance over time. This can help you hold yourself accountable and see where you need to improve.

Your sustainability changes shouldn’t stay within your organization, either: share them with the world! This helps show your commitment, generate trust, and hold you accountable—making it a great way to ramp up your latest marketing strategies while also helping the environment. If you’re not sure how to make these changes work for your marketing, or if you don’t have an established sustainable strategy, take some time to understand why having one is so important!

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