11 ways to improve sustainability

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Top tips

  • Do it now
    Corporate Social Responsibility and “going green” are not trends, they’re here to stay and they’re increasing important differentiators for success of businesses so the longer you delay, the further behind you fall.
  • Examine every step of your operation
    From your supply chain to waste, as well as your products and services. What goes into your organization, what happens with it and what goes out? Understanding what happens at every stage is the first step to finding inconsistencies.
  • Start at the top
    While it’s important to have buy-in at all levels, commitment from the executive level is what will get the time and funding the project requires.
  • Commitment
    If you’re looking for a fast payoff and then a new challenge sustainability probably isn’t for you. It can’t be flavour of the month.
  • Realistic timelines
    Know what your organization is capable of and don’t aim too high, too fast. A slow improvement will be better for morale than missing a target.
  • Start small
    Even something like changing to recycled paper or switching off the lights can have a big affect so don’t try to take over the world right away. Let small successes boost enthusiasm and engagement so you can move on to the bigger tasks.
  • Visibility
    If you spend all of your time talking about sustainability but no one can see the results you’re going to lose the momentum.
  • Transparency
    Learn from other companies in Canada and around the world – there are lots of best practices out there so you don’t need to do it all on your own.
  • Build coalitions
    Find the people within and outside your organization who are interested and keen and build centres of excitement and activity to help implement your program.
  • Integrate with ongoing plans
    You don’t need to tear everything back to ground level and start over. Consider integrating sustainability into other annual assessments or long-term planning, so you can make changes that make sense for your company.
  • Mitigation vs offsetting
    Reducing carbon or waste is vital, but where you can’t mitigate impact, you can make an effort to donate to an organization such as Tree Canada to help offset emissions and carbon footprint.



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