Successful Sustainability Strategy Series: Tip #3 — The role of metrics

We’ve discussed the value of a proactive strategy and quantifying financial gains in building a sustainability strategy.

Today we’ll look at another critical component of a sustainability strategy that is the heart of the adage “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

3. Understand the Role of Metrics: Before you make your first step into the world of sustainability – before you install that first compact fluorescent lightbulb – it’s imperative to understand you need to know where you’re at.

Along the lines of the lightbulb example above, it can be as simple as starting with an energy audit of your plants, offices, sites and other business units. If you know where you’re at, you can begin to set goals and targets, key elements of any successful sustainability strategy. The progress achieved through each action and each campaign within your sustainability strategy will be much more significant if they can be measured against where you were at when you launched your strategy.

Without defined, tracked sustainability metrics, you have no sustainability program. Not only will you be unable to monitor the success of sustainability initiatives and continually improve sustainability performance, you won’t be able to tie such initiatives to ROI and you won’t be able to share your track record with stakeholders.

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