A growing number of companies are using public announcements of sustainability goals as a means of signaling their commitment to become sustainability leaders and to compete for superior positioning versus their rivals. But many companies are unprepared. That’s one of the findings of our latest syndicated research study, which we released today.
Despite the best of intentions, even some excellent companies are challenged to execute on the sustainability goals they announce. In our interviews with sustainability executives we found that management practices surrounding sustainability goals vary widely. So we decided to undertake this study, “Setting and Managing Sustainability Goals: Trends and Best Practices for Sustainability Executives,” to help sustainability execs benchmark their practices and learn from the leaders.
While most companies have effective procedures for managing financial and other operational goals, processes for managing sustainability goals are still maturing. A quarter of the sustainability executives surveyed for the study say their companies have set “aspirational” sustainability goals and lack a clear plan to achieve them.
The report analyzes data from a new survey of 32 senior sustainability executives at major companies in North America, Europe and Asia. Over forty percent of respondents say progress on sustainability goals is reported to senior management only semi-annually or annually. More frequent reporting offers better control and lower operational risk, but gathering environmental data is still cumbersome at many companies.
The report finds that CEO support, operating executive accountability, ties to compensation and regular progress reporting are the best practices of managing sustainability goals. It also highlights the most common sustainability goals at leading companies and the role of public versus internal sustainability goals.
For fuller overview of the report or to purchase a copy, click here.
Feel free to post comments or questions about the report or drop me a line directly. I’d love to hear from you.