Sustainability is not a destination, but rather a journey. Along the way, there are many opportunities to gather data and measure your progress. Measuring and reporting on sustainability efforts can help you keep track of your goals and make sure that your efforts are having an impact. This guide will walk you through some of the common ways companies measure their environmental performance and how they communicate their results with investors.
At the outset of a sustainable journey, it is important to establish a baseline.
The first step in any sustainability journey is to establish your baseline. This means understanding what you are currently doing well and where there is room for improvement, as well as identifying critical metrics that will inform your strategy moving forward.
In order to do this, it’s helpful to use the ESG framework (environmental, social and governance) when assessing performance across all areas of your business including: physical footprint; supply chain management; product design & innovation; employee engagement & diversity; community engagement; financial performance & governance
Use the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) framework to help analyze your performance.
The ESG framework is a comprehensive approach to measuring and reporting on sustainability. It looks at all aspects of sustainability, including environmental, social and governance factors.
ESG can be used to measure and report on environmental, social and governance factors.
There are many tools available to help you measure and report on progress towards sustainability goals.
There are many tools available to help you measure and report on progress towards sustainability goals. The most common include:
- Carbon footprinting, which calculates the amount of carbon dioxide emissions produced by a company, product or service. This can be done at either an individual or organizational level and is often used as a baseline for measuring future reductions in emissions.
- Life cycle assessment (LCA), which assesses all impacts throughout a product’s life cycle from raw material extraction through manufacturing, use and disposal/recycling/disposal*. LCA has been criticized for being too complex for companies without extensive technical expertise; however it does provide valuable insights about resource use efficiency across multiple stages of production that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to quantify using other methods alone.* It also helps identify opportunities for reducing resource consumption during manufacture so that products can be made more efficiently while still performing as intended.*
- While LCAs can take weeks or months depending on complexity; carbon footprinting software applications such as Carbon Footprint now make it possible do this kind of analysis yourself without needing expensive consultants – although they may still need some assistance from someone who knows how these systems work!
Regular reporting is critical to communicating your progress and driving impact.
Regular reporting is critical to communicating your progress and driving impact. It helps you track progress and understand how you are doing, identify gaps in your sustainability strategy and communicate this information to stakeholders. Regular reporting should be done at least annually, but more frequently when significant changes have occurred or if there are key milestones to be reached. The frequency of reporting can vary depending on the size of an organization; however it’s important that each report focuses on a different area of focus so that it doesn’t become too overwhelming for readers who may not be familiar with every aspect of sustainability efforts within an organization.
For example, if one year there was a large amount of new data collected about energy consumption or waste management practices then these results could be reported separately from other areas such as greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets achieved during that same timeframe
Measuring & Reporting Sustainability Efforts
Reporting is an important part of the sustainability process. It allows you to track your progress and identify areas where you can improve, as well as celebrate your successes.
There are a few key components that go into reporting:
- What do we want to report? You should have a clear definition of what performance measures are important for your organization or department. This can include anything from greenhouse gas emissions down to waste diversion rates or number of employees participating in volunteer opportunities. The key is that there needs to be consistency across all areas so that you’re comparing apples-to-apples (or oranges).
- How often should we report? The frequency with which you choose to report will depend on how quickly data changes over time, but generally speaking quarterly reports tend not only give accurate information but also provide enough time between each cycle so people don’t get bogged down with too much information at once!
We hope this guide has helped you understand the importance of measuring and reporting sustainability efforts. It can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and mindset, it doesn’t have to be! We encourage you to start by establishing a baseline, using an ESG framework like we described earlier in this guide. Once that’s done, it’s time for action: start collecting data on your progress towards goals (and don’t forget about regular reporting).