C-suite leaders are looking toward one goal in 2023 — making their businesses more sustainable. Over 160 Fortune 500 companies in 23 countries have pledged to meet climate targets, but achieving long-term results requires ambitious sustainability goals.
Anyone in a leadership position can consider implementing these strategies to make their company greener by the end of the year. They’ll chart a path forward while minimizing a brand’s carbon footprint, so every business has a place in the fight against global warming.
1. Invest in Analytics
No one can make progress if they don’t know where they started. Leaders intent on meeting ambitious sustainability goals in 2023 must invest in analytics to understand what their company currently does that is or isn’t eco-friendly.
The data should include where the company stands on issues like water waste, carbon dioxide emissions and other forms of pollution. Asking questions is a helpful way to start, such as:
- How green are the executive office branches?
- Are production facilities putting the environment first?
- Are partnered suppliers also going green?
Gathering this information into one document will show everyone what needs work most. It will also chart the way forward, given that the data serves as a future point of reflection when judging the quarter or year’s progress.
2. Look Into Collaboration
Creating a positive environmental impact can come with a steep learning curve. Many companies make more progress by collaborating with existing businesses or nonprofit organizations already known for going green.
A brand that makes beach supplies for tourists could announce a partnership with a volunteer organization that directs beach cleanup efforts. It would create opportunities for collaborative brainstorming in addition to positive marketing campaigns with sustainably minded consumers who already follow or respect the volunteer organization.
Additionally, companies could immediately direct portions of their profits to gain a greater global outreach. While working on business-centric changes, the donations would begin making a positive difference for the environment in the corporation’s name.
3. Make Small Adjustments
It may feel tempting to plan sweeping organizational changes to make a company more sustainable, but minor adjustments help the planet, too. It also demonstrates the C-suite’s dedication to the environment by involving them personally.
The manager at the executive office could install a smart thermostat. It would adjust the building’s temperature automatically based on ongoing factors like opening the front door, closing windows and how many people are in a room at any given time. Other options, like partnering with a recycling pickup company or switching styrofoam coffee cups with biodegradable alternatives, would help the company get started on sustainable progress.
It may also save money. A recent study found that hand dryers cost less long term than restocking paper towels. Efforts to cut waste also reduce how much a company spends on daily office necessities.
4. Study Green Competitors
Understanding how industry competitors have gone green is another way for organizations to meet ambitious sustainability goals. Executive leaders can study the changes in real-time and replicate successes without trial and error.
It’s essential to note how competitors went green by reading their eco-friendly mission statements and any announcements about partnerships. Those key details carve a path forward, but they also call to consumers.
Research shows that helping the environment is a primary motivator for consumers purchasing products from new brands. Companies who learn from and outdo their competitors in assisting the planet will win over more customers. Those shoppers are more likely to remain loyal since eco-friendly changes within the company will remain ongoing.
5. Write a Climate Pledge
Companies write mission statements to outline what they stand for and what they hope to do for their customers. People read them to know what they should hold organizations accountable for, including helping the environment.
Every executive hoping to make their company go green should write a climate pledge. The final draft posted on the company website will set realistic, ambitious sustainability goals and make them known. It’s much easier to turn plans into realities when consumers and employees understand what the brand is working toward.
6. Get Everyone Involved
Executive-office employees can get more involved with eco-friendly goals set by their company. They may enjoy feeling like they’re making a difference with their jobs and stay with their employer long term.
Once a month, the team could enjoy a company-sponsored vegetarian lunch. While listening to an officewide presentation, they’d avoid eating meat that requires natural resources at high production quantities to reach consumers.
They could also use electricity-saving computers, LEB bulbs in office light fixtures and a low-flow faucet in the kitchen sink. Every small change involving more employees will create a team atmosphere that energizes people toward the company’s sustainability goals.
7. Remain Ready to Learn
Progress only happens when people are open to learning. Experts in environmental fields frequently publish new information regarding the successes and failures of current efforts to improve the environment. They may also find new challenges to overcome.
After setting and working toward eco-friendly goals, executives should keep an open mind to the continually updating world of sustainability. Books and articles from environmental leaders could reveal new problems that require solutions or encouraging news about ongoing efforts.
Employees and consumers should also provide feedback. They’ll feel personally involved and engaged, leading to more effort spent on making green progress. Each input source will refine the organization’s goals so continual efforts become the new normal long after 2023 ends.
8. Determine Metrics for Sustainability Successes
It’s much more challenging to gauge success without predetermined metrics. Those standards will change in each organization because companies have different environmental goals.
Metrics could include pounds of waste recycled compared to last year or kilowatts saved over a month. The outline should also name the company’s primary sustainability goal, like only producing 500 pounds of waste from the executive office in a quarter due to new recycling efforts.
Benchmarking progress with frequent updates is an essential part of achieving any goal. Leaders can schedule recurring meetings to ensure the company stays on track.
Meet Ambitious Sustainability Goals in 2023
More companies are going green because consumers seek eco-friendly brands and products. Setting and meeting ambitious sustainability goals are possible if organizations use strategies like these in 2023. They’ll create viable paths forward with meaningful change, no matter what objectives the leadership team sets.