Last week marked the start of autumn, leaving just three months until we say goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017. It’s a great time to start thinking ahead about all the things you can do to boost your sustainability and CSR performance next year.
For many businesses, now is the time of year in which their planning cycle begins. They’ll be looking back at their activities, achievements and expenditure so far, and starting to piece together goals, targets and budgets for next year.
It makes sense to incorporate your sustainability and CSR aims into this activity too, so that you’ve time to work up the right policies and strategies needed to deliver on your ambitions.
Here’s what you should be doing between now and the end of the year.
October – take stock
Before you can give any real thought to making improvements, you need to get a handle on where you’re starting out from. There are lots of ways you can do this, including making use of our Sustainability and CSR Performance Review – it considers up to 30 separate indicators and codifies your performance against each as either Beginning, Improving, Suceeeding or Leading, giving you real insight into how you’re currently doing and where improvement opportunities lie.
Of course, there other ways to undertake a situation analysis – the important thing is to do this soon, so you have time to digest the findings.
November – formulate an outline of your plans
Once you know where you’re starting from, you can start to think about what improvements are possible, prioritise them and sketch out plans for making progress next year.
When prioritising, we tend to use this simple rule of thumb: focus on the things that will deliver the greatest overall benefit for the lowest overall effort and cost. For example, you might well be able to install rooftop solar on your factory to reduce your electricity costs and deliver climate savings, but a more modest investment in energy-efficient lighting and heating might achieve the same end-result. And don’t try biting off more than you can chew.
December – allocate responsibilities and communicate your plans
So, you now understand exactly where you’re starting from, where opportunities are possible, which you’re going to pursue and how you’re going to do it. Now, you need to assign someone to implement these plans and get everyone lined-up behind them.
Whoever is tasked with delivering on your plans, they need to be accountable for their success – personal accountability paired with responsibility is a powerful combination.
But remember, they can’t do it on their own, they’ll need help from everyone in the organisation, which is why it’s important to engage your colleagues, clearly communicating your plans and how they can play a part in executing them. And, if you need it, don’t shy away from getting expert help from outside your organisation to keep you on track.
Three months might seem like a long time, but it’ll vanish quickly if you’re not careful. So what are you going to do first and when are you going to do it?
If you want our help, just fill in the form below and we’ll get right on it.