Sustainability KPIs Workshop Recap

Last week we hosted our Sustainability KPIs workshop with Haltech Regional Innovation Centre and The Innovation Factory Hamilton! We were absolutely pleased with the turnout and getting to share our knowledge with the community!

While we know some of our network was unable to attend, we didn’t want you to miss out on it. Keep reading to get a recap of all the topics we covered in the workshop and gain access to our Sustainability KPIs Workbook to help your organization build out your own KPIs!

The Purpose of the Workshop

In speaking with organizations through our work, we have wanted to further understand their sustainability and impact reporting needs and challenges. What we heard is that KPIs are always top of mind – how to design them, track them, how to align them with their mission and values, and how to make them relevant to their organization.

When we started planning this workshop it was with one goal in mind.

To share insights and pave the path for you to walk away with an understanding of how you can design your own KPIs to improve impact and accelerate your sustainability journey.

How can you assess if you are creating business value that aligns with your mission? You measure it.

Without analyzing data we do not know how we are performing and managing risks, especially environmental and social risks.

The ability to quantify and communicate impact can lead to access to capital, improve employee retention, and amplify a company’s reputation. It all starts with your strategy, or figuring out what exactly you want from your efforts.

Sustainability Strategy

Everything starts with strategy – a good plan that aligns with your business values. It is crucial that you start by ensuring you have a solid strategy. Tracking and reporting will do little for your business if you do not know what you are working towards.

6 steps to build a comprehensive plan:

  1. Define your overall goals, objectives, and motivations.
  2. Identify and look at your stakeholders – what do they care about?
  3. Look and determine impact areas – where can you have the most significant impact?
  4. Look at KPIs.
  5. Setting targets – choose a framework that works best for you so you can work towards goals and targets as well as benchmark your success!
  6. Monitor and measure your progress.

Building Goals

Once you have an understanding of your strategy, you need to start setting goals. Building out SMART goals is the best way to do this. Whether you know this format or it is something new to you, it is an integral part of building out your sustainability KPIs.

  • S – Specific: What do you want to achieve?
  • M – Measurable: How will you know when you have accomplished this goal?
  • A – Achieveable: How can this goal be accomplished and what initiatives will you do to get there?
  • R – Relevant: Does this seem worthwhile?
  • T – Timebound: When can you accomplish this goal?

In order to track, monitor, and analyze metrics, you need to know what you are working towards. 

With the current environmental crisis and the crackdown on regulations, you need to know that you are going to achieve what you are saying you are going to. Building out your goals this way will get you there.

Here is an example SMART goal:

“Reduce the company’s carbon footprint by 20% over the next two years by implementing a sustainability plan that includes energy efficiency measures, switching to renewables, and other initiatives .”

If you are measuring impact your goal will be determined by the risk you are willing to take and the contribution you are seeking to make. 

Choosing Sustainability KPIs

The next step is choosing KPIs to work with to track and measure that goal. 

With that same example, goal let’s think about some potential sustainability KPIs!

“Reduce the company’s carbon footprint by 20% over the next two years by implementing a sustainability plan that includes energy efficiency measures, switching to renewables, and other initiatives .”

  • The obvious sustainability KPI would be the change in the company’s footprint over time.
  • Changes in scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions may be tracked to know where reductions are being seen and how to adapt their plan for the future.
  • As well, they may want different KPIs for each of the initiatives included to see how they are translating back to overall emissions reductions.

You can work with as many KPIs as you think will be beneficial for your business. If you are working with regulations, there will be certain things you need to track. Having more KPIs will give you more workable data, and better insights.

That being said, when setting goals and choosing KPIs you don’t want to spread your organization thin.

In the world of sustainability and impact, you need to be strategic in what you want to achieve. There are a lot of different areas in which a business can improve but you cannot do it all at once. That is why your strategy is so important in this process. 

Our Downloadable Sustainability KPIs Workbook

In the downloadable workbook below, we have chosen the SDGs to focus on for building KPIs. You will find relevant KPIs that your business could track for each of the 17 goals. This is by no means a comprehensive list, there are many more that you could measure but think of this as a jumping block if you are using the SDGs as a framework!

Click the link above to download the KPI workbook and start your journey today!

What’s Next?

Start tracking, measuring, and reporting!

This can be hard for many organizations, you may want help from technological services to help you with your journey and make it easier for your organization.

In the workshop, we included a quick demo of our sustainability data management and reporting platform. This included a walkthrough of our free Sustainability Scorecard which can help you assess how you are performing when building your strategy and benchmark against the UN SDGs. As well, we demonstrated how using technology can help organizations track and report with ease!

Want to learn more?

Click here to book a strategy call to help build your KPIs and understand how ScriptString can help you!


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