The following are some of the key steps a company may consider when seeking to enable sustainability in its organisation.
|1||Agree sustainability focus areas||The sustainability team, Senior Management and the Board have to review various inputs and agree upfront on what sustainability means for their business, the key issues and challenges they may face, and the sustainability focus areas to enhance value creation for its multiple stakeholders. The focus areas should be aligned to the company's overall strategy and are supported by clearly defined goals for each area.
For further details please go to Focus Areas
|2||Establish annual resource needs||Resources required to support the sustainability efforts of an organisation should be identified upfront and included in the company's budgeting process. Resources include financial assets, property, employees, raw materials, customers and intellectual property.|
|3||Formalise responsibilities and reporting structure||A formalised sustainability organisation structure with clearly defined persons incharge, their associated roles and responsibilities and job descriptions with updated key performance indicators (KPIs) can be developed. A formalised sustainability reporting and governance structure can help drive sustainability maturity in the organisation.
For more information, please go to Current Industry Practices
|4||Set evaluation criteria||A defined set of criteria, which may include process and impact measures to assess sustainability projects along with targets, can be created to provide clarity to the Management or Board when selecting sustainability projects for adoption. Feasibility studies are conducted to support decision-making on whether to implement projects.
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|5||Use relevant measures to monitor progress of sustainability initiatives||To assess the success or the failure of projects, metrics or a dashboard should be defined for different stakeholders. It is good practice for companies to communicate their sustainability targets and metrics to relevant stakeholders to support achievement of targets.|
|6||Develop guidelines and templates for sustainability reporting||Develop internal reporting templates, guidelines, processes and responsibilities to ease the compilation and analysis of data that will support both internal and external sustainability reporting. Assurance / External verification should also be conducted to increase credibility of the report.
For more information, please go to Measuring and Reporting
|7||Develop a stakeholder engagement plan||Stakeholder engagement demonstrates a visible commitment to sustainability and a company should clearly determine the purpose of stakeholder engagement when embarking upon this. The company's key stakeholders and their main concerns should be identified, prioritised and mapped to help identify the material sustainability issues for the company. Outcomes of stakeholder engagement should be reviewed and reported.
For further details, please go to Stakeholder Engagement
A company's Board of Directors play an important role in developing a roadmap for sustainability Governance. Good planning of implementation procedures and proper governance mechanisms can help a Board successfully integrate sustainability into its mandate. Below, is a road map1 developed for Boards that are starting out and Boards that are ready to take it to the next level.
1 Adapted from the Conference Board of Canada: The Role of the Board of Directors in Corporate Social Responsibility (report, June 2008); Strandberg Consulting