The Ultimate Guide To Measuring And Reporting Sustainability Efforts

The Ultimate Guide To Measuring And Reporting Sustainability Efforts


I know what you’re thinking: “Sustainability? Isn’t that a buzzword?” It’s true, sustainability is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot these days. But it has a very specific meaning, and if you’re running or working at a company where you can make an impact on the environment, then it’s worth digging into this topic. This guide will help you do just that by walking through the steps involved in measuring and reporting your sustainability efforts.

Measuring and reporting sustainability efforts will help you get there.

  • You need to measure your progress.
  • You need to report your progress.
  • You need to set goals and milestones.
  • Have a plan, and make sure the right tools are in place!

Finding your baseline is the first step.

A baseline is the starting point for your sustainability efforts. It’s an important piece of information to have, because it allows you to measure your progress and make sure that what you’re doing is working.

A baseline can be anything from an employee survey or customer satisfaction survey, all the way up to a high-level assessment of where your business stands in terms of sustainability compared with similar companies in your industry. The idea behind gathering this kind of data is that once you know how far along (or not) your organization has come on its journey toward sustainability goals, then it’ll be easier for everyone involved in those efforts–from executives down through frontline employees–to focus their efforts more effectively on improving performance over time.

Identify areas to improve.

Once you’ve identified the problem, it’s time to set some goals. The most important thing to remember when setting these goals is that they have to be specific and measurable. This will help keep you on track, so that you know when your efforts have been successful and what needs improvement in the future.

Once again: don’t worry too much about what other people are doing or what their expectations might be–you can always go back later if necessary! It’s better to set ambitious but realistic goals than ones that are too easy for yourself (and potentially make yourself feel guilty). And remember: even if it takes longer than expected (or maybe even longer than planned), remember that progress is still progress!

Set a target date for when the improvements need to be achieved.

You need to set a target date for when the improvements need to be achieved. This can be done by using a calendar and setting deadlines for each step in the process. For example:

  • Decide on a date in April when you will start measuring your sustainability efforts.
  • Set another date in June where you will determine what metrics are important and how they should be measured.
  • Choose another date in October where you will identify ways to improve these metrics over time based on what has been learned since starting this project (like more efficient lighting or better recycling practices).

Make sure you have the right tools in place to get there.

Before you start measuring and reporting, it’s important to make sure that you have the right tools in place. The right tool is going to vary based on your situation. For example:

  • If you’re an organization with a large budget and many employees, but only one sustainability initiative that needs measuring and reporting (like an energy efficiency program), then it makes sense for your team to use some sort of software program like SAP Sustainability Management or Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail/Consumer Goods/Services (Dynamics 365). These systems are designed specifically for this type of work, so they’ll be easy-to-use while still providing all the capabilities necessary for success–and they won’t break the bank either!
  • If instead you’re part of a small nonprofit organization with limited resources but several sustainability projects underway simultaneously (like replacing old light bulbs throughout its office building), then using something like Google Sheets may be more suitable because it doesn’t require any installation or training time; everyone already knows how Google works anyway!

If you’re using employees, set up a training schedule that meets your needs and budget.

If you’re using employees, set up a training schedule that meets your needs and budget.

As a small business owner or manager, you may feel like you don’t have the resources in place to conduct sustainability training. However, this isn’t necessarily true! You can make it happen with some careful planning and budgeting. The first step is identifying what kind of information your employees need in order for them to be successful at their jobs–and then making sure that they receive it.

For example: if one of your team members is responsible for managing inventory levels but has no idea how much space each product takes up when stored at the warehouse (or even how many products there are), then he won’t know how best to make decisions about which items need more space or less space on shelves; therefore he won’t be able to maximize efficiency within those parameters correctly.*

Set up regular check-ins to keep things on track.

You should also make sure that you have the right tools in place, and the right people on your team. If your organization is still new to sustainability reporting and measurement, it’s important to set up regular check-ins so that everyone can stay on track and continue learning from their experiences.

If you don’t already have a plan for regular check-ins, here are some things to consider:

  • How often should we meet? How many people should attend each meeting? Should these meetings be in person or virtual?
  • What type of agenda do we want each meeting to cover (e.g., reviewing progress against goals)?

These questions will help determine how often and what format each meeting takes place in order for everyone involved with sustainability reporting efforts at your organization feel comfortable sharing ideas about how things are going–and where improvements could be made next time around!

You can make improvements happen with these steps!

  • Set goals and targets.
  • Establish a target date for when you’ll be finished with your project, then set interim goals along the way. This will help you stay motivated as you move forward and keep track of how far you’ve come (and how much further you still have to go).
  • Create a plan of action with clear steps on how to get there–and stick to it! It’s important not just because it shows people what they can expect from their sustainability efforts, but also because having all that information in one place makes it easier for others at work or elsewhere in life who may be interested in helping out with their own projects down the line.
  • Check back regularly: As soon as something changes at work (or anywhere else), update any existing plans accordingly so that everyone stays informed about where things stand now compared with where they stood before these new developments took place.”


When you’re ready to take your sustainability efforts to the next level, measuring and reporting will help you get there. The first step is finding out where you stand, which is something that every company should do at least once a year. From there, set targets for improvement in areas like employee engagement and waste management so that everyone knows what needs improving and by when. Once those goals are set up, it’s important to keep them on track by setting up regular check-ins with employees or customers who will help report back on progress made towards achieving those goals–and then celebrate when they reach them!

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