It's EOY: Are you on track to meet sustainability targets? [LEARNINGS FROM INDUSTRY]

More and more companies are making public commitments to sustainability issues ranging from deforestation and water to diversity and gender parity. What's the best way to ensure they're going to be met? Tracking sustainability goals depends on accurate information collected across the supply chain. Measuring carbon footprint, water and energy use means measuring your own facilities and your suppliers'. Evaluating impact to watersheds and forests means comparing your data against best available statistics from organizations such as the World Resources Institute and the Global Forest Watch. And ensuring goals for equitable hiring means a direct line to Human Resources. 

Here are some of the lessons we've learned from implementing company-wide sustainability goal-tracking platforms:

  • Quantify your targets: It's much harder to measure progress against qualitative goals like "more recycled content" or "aiming for equity" than it is against hard numbers like "100% certified" and "25% reduction in carbon footprint". 

  • Set up a verification and feedback workflow: Collecting data is only the beginning of measuring sustainability; in order to use the information it has to be validated. Take this as an opportunity to engage with respondents to fill gaps in data, correct errors, and ensure alignment inside and outside the organization.

  • Automation is key: Wherever possible, connect data feeds from existing platforms so that progress can be measured consistently and in real time. For example, a purchasing data feed can be used to measure product carbon footprint, and connected water meters can give you real-time insight into water conservation.

  • Do it in the cloud: Collecting information from all of the suppliers, auditors, and internal departments means setting up a secure platform for data collection across the supply chain - just like mySourcemap.

  • Focus on insights: Once you start to measure progress against targets, the results might be surprising. Use those surprises to find out what went wrong and where strategies need to shift to focus resources on the areas that need it most.

Interested in finding out more? Sourcemap offers a full-featured sustainability monitoring platform that can incorporate feeds from any existing databases. Learn more by requesting a demo.