Thursday, February 7, 2008

6 Steps to Implement Sustainability

If you want to implement sustainability concept in your organization or in your workplace, there are six steps that can be considered. These steps are logical and should be applicable accross any type of business and organization.

#1 Increase Internal Awareness

The most and first important aspect before implementing sustainability, or any other new initiative, is to obtain top management commitment. Without top management support, your effort is in vain. You will face great difficulty in convincing the staffs and creating sustainability culture. Therefore, you need to explain the benefits of sustainability for the organization and get their approval. These benefits should be explained in general for our earth and environment, but more importantly should be specific for the organization as well.

After you get support from top management, then you can start increasing sustainability awareness to other staff members. It is good if you can launch the program formally, for example by spending two or three hours explaining the organization intention and the importance of sustainability for the organization and the earth in general.

This internal awareness program should be continuous. You can post posters around the office and send periodic articles through email concerning sustainability, environment, and global warming. You even can make a competition or give awards to staffs who has showed commitment in implementing sustainability.

#2 Reducing Program

Other than awareness program, the easiest way to start implementing sustainability by reducing program. The good thing about reducing program is the direct benefit that the company will experience. For example, you can encourage everyone to print double-sided, reuse one-sided paper, refrain from printing unless really necessary, turn off monitor or computer when leave the desk for a considerable amount of time, turn off electricity equipment when leave the office, and many other potential alternatives.

#3 Sustainability Organization/Business Plan

The next step is to standardize sustainability concept into the organization. You need to integrate sustainability into the vision of the organization. You can start by identifying the different departments in the organization and set key performance indicators for each department. It is important to have a brainstorming session with all the heads of department to reach consensus concerning the indicators. If you set the targets by yourself, others may feel that you are forcing the issue thus affecting their performance.

#4 Implementation of the Plan

Of course plan means nothing without implementation. After you finalize the plan, you need to start implementing them. Ask the heads of the department to share the targets to other staffs. During implementation you need to keep record about problems and obstacles arisen. This process is trial and error, you may need to revise the plan before you come up with the best plan for the organization.

#5 Lesson Learned and Improvement

Any problem or obstacle during implementation is a good lesson for further improvement. You need to keep everything well documented. In fact, step 3 to 5 is a cycle that happen continuosly along the implementation of sustainability concept.

#6 Share and Promote

After you have achieved some success during sustainability implementation. You may want to share with others. After all sustainability is something that needs to be done collectively in order to achieve the ultimate result to save our environment and earth. This activity can greatly promote your organization and become a competitive advantage for marketing strategy. In addition, you may attract government attention towards the good things that you have achieved.

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