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A sustainability plan can add financial benefits to your operations by reducing cost, helping protect the environment, and enhancing your company’s reputation.

A good plan should provide guidance and a framework to serve as a roadmap and toolkit to take a company to a viable sustainable future. It should also provide baselines of existing operations and mechanisms to report progress.

A sustainability plan will require stakeholders to change behavior. The success of a sustainability plan depends on the contribution of every member. Make sure you have the buy in from top management and the participation of the company’s employees.

Where to start a Sustainability Plan

Audit.  Assess where your company is in terms of facility operations and manufacturing processes. Identify areas of priority based on company needs such as maintenance necessities, government regulations, and areas where the company has a greater environmental impact. In California,  special attention should be placed in water conservation.

Priorities.  Develop a priorities list of sustainable  initiatives and/or behavior change initiatives. The priority list should  consider company’s vision, goals, social, and environmental indicators.

Cost Analysis.  Estimate the benefits and costs of your  priority list. Make sure you take into consideration rebates and incentives  available. Relay on low hanging fruit to increase the changes of your  sustainability plan to take hold on the company’s operations.

Sustainability Team.  Gathering support from existing employees or external stakeholders is an effective way to assure the implementation of a sustainability plan. A sustainability team is also helpful  in communicating the sustainability initiatives to all areas of the business.

Sustainability Plan. Decide on an action plan. Select and prioritize implementation programs and projects. Based on the selection of implementation programs, define specific tasks, responsibilities, costs, resources needed, and timing for each program and project.

Contributing to a sustainable future depends on having a long term vision that includes a sustainability plan that is profitable and can successfully enhance both the environment and society.

Have fun integrating sustainability into your company!

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