Seven Tips for Becoming a Sustainable Company

by | Jan 27, 2010

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sustipsBuilding trust is one of the key aspects of a good corporate sustainability program, according to a report, “Top Seven Sustainability Practices: the Sun > the Parts” (registration required).

Here are seven tips to improving sustainability within an organization from the report, which was developed by SDialogue, a sustainability communications firm.

1. Setting Sustainability Goals & Measuring Success

Companies should ask themselves what value sustainability can create for the organization, as well identify the costs of not evolving more sustainably. Consider aligning sustainability goals with broader corporate goals.

2. Stakeholder Engagement

Whether its customers or board members, identify who needs to be engaged and what information will move them. Social media is an emerging way to connect with stakeholders.

3. Sustainability Issues Mapping

Start with a grid identifying sustainability challenges, issues, sources and opportunities (see the attached image for an example).

4. Sustainability Management Systems

Institute a set of activities and auditable performance objectives.

5. Product Life Cycle Assessment & Product Design

Determine the full range of environmental and social damages that can be attributed to your products or services, then determine the least harmful ways of delivering the product or service.

6. Sustainability / CSR Reporting

Depending on the size of a company and its public profile, it may make sense to develop a formal sustainability report. Go with Web versions to save paper.

7. Integrating Sustainability into Your Brand

Green marketing doesn’t have to be a niche product or service. If sustainability is integrated into a company’s operations, sustainability can be the main selling point of the whole product line.

Having a corporate culture that fosters sustainability is the most constructive way of seeing sustainability permeate the product or service line.

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