How to choose sustainability goals that clients expect

When your potential client decides to review your sustainability goals, they are expecting to see measurable goals that tell a story that you really do care about environmental sustainability.  Its tough to resist the temptation of choosing goals that are only aspirational.

Beneficially reusing acids and caustics to treat process wastewater'

“Because we operate industrial wastewater treatment facilities, we can provide our clients with an easy way to get rid of acids and caustics and give them a sustainability story about generating clean reusable water,” shares Mark Lob, AWS Iowa Operations Manager.

If you choose aspirational sustainability goals, (no real teeth or accountability) you are really saying that you are not able to help clients achieve their environmental sustainability.

Commit to choosing measurable sustainability goals and you will be empowered to help your clients enhance their business.  Your clients need and expect you to have defined, measurable and achievable environmental sustainability goals.  Here’s three ways to get started.

Know your clients’ environmental sustainability goals

Before you begin to brainstorm, understand the sustainability goals of your clients.  It does two things. Firstly – it creates a dialogue about measurable sustainability goals that align with your business. Secondly – if your clients have aspirational sustainability goals, you will be able to better understand how you can help them transition to measurable sustainability goals.

Know what you can measure 

Metrics are the lifeblood of measurable sustainability.  You will end up wasting a lot of time formulating a plan if you don’t have access to accurate recycling metrics including waste to energy, beneficial reuse, fuel blending, landfill, water purification and oil recycling.  The 4 tenets are a good starting point.

Know the profitability of your sustainability goals

For your business to enhance the environment for the next century, it’s challenging to ensure sustainability goals will maintain both profits and environmental stewardship.  If not, you might find yourself unintentionally “greenwashing” your efforts.

Start with measurable sustainability goals in three major areas: workplace safety, the environment and your client’s business to achieve greater long term cost reduction and top line revenue.

Quick Review

1) What are your client’s sustainability goals? How have you aligned your sustainability goals to enhance their business?

2) How do measurable sustainability goals impact your client relationships?

3) How do measurable sustainability goals impact your long run costs and revenue?

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