Sustainability Goals

March 27, 2012

Sustainability and its related goals are often referred to as “Beyond Compliance”, among other phrases.  This implies that the business focus moves past compliance, i.e. the regulatory aspects of environmental and social performance, which are otten thought of as “cost centers” and housed in the EHS department. 

This shift of focus or approach moves from a mitigation approach to a strategic approach of driving business value, most often from four main business drivers: operational cost savings, creating new revenue streams from products and services that solve customers env/social issues, brand and reputation improvements, and risk reduction across the value chain.

In order to move into this more strategic approach, environmental and social performance must improve significantly.  Performance is most often structured with end goals, which serve as targets to strive for, to attain, and to surpass. 

Performance without good communications, both internally and externally, results in sub-optimal benefits for an organization.  Communications need headlines or tightly wrapped messages or stories to get points across, and sustainability goals often serve in this role. 

Thus, Sustainability Goals are often where “Performance Meets Communications”.  If you think of this overlap, with a Venn Diagram, then the intersection of Performance and Communications is where Sustainability Goals reside.

 

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