What does success look like when it comes to environmental sustainability and how are companies measuring the performance of their sustainability plans?



To what extent do you agree with this statement?:
"a company’s sustainability strategy is important to business success"

strongly agree
4% strongly disagree
4% disagree
15% neutral


To what extent do you agree with this statement?:
"a strong sustainability strategy is integral to business success"

strongly agree
20% neutral
4% strongly disagree

let's sum it up

The majority (78%) of candidates either agree or strongly agree that a company’s sustainability strategy is important to business success, and companies concur, with 76% of employers also agreeing / strongly agreeing with this statement. It’s evident that building a strong sustainability strategy is an essential part of business, but how do you go about putting one into place and measuring its success? Here’s what you need to know...

How companies are measuring success:

From establishing KPIs to enlisting the help of external companies for assessment, organisations are making their commitment to the environment clear through the ways they track and measure success. These are their key areas of focus:

Through comparison of other big organisations. We also speak with our businesses (catering, cleaning, information destruction companies) about what our sustainability plan looks like and how we can collaborate to achieve success. We aim for continuous improvement by asking for internal employee feedback about what we can do to maintain an environmentally friendly workplace (compost bins, recycling etc.) - employer survey response

We are working on different energy solutions to make the company sustainable for the future. - employer survey response

The impact of our sustainability practices are measurable, and this impact is measured and tracked regularly to ensure we’re on target to meet goals. - employer survey response

We have third-party companies employed to measure our rubbish and recycling habits for instance. We have moved one of our offices to a carbon neutral site. We are looking at suppliers to ensure they have a sustainability plan. We are looking at electronic waste plans. - employer survey response

We have Net Zero Carbon emissions targets and are measured against them. - employer survey response

Measuring against the UN Sustainable Development Goals. - employer survey response

How candidates expect companies to measure success:

Transparency, consistent communication, and benchmarking are a few of the ways tech candidates are expecting companies to measure and report on the success of their environmental sustainability plans. According to candidates, here is how companies can best communicate and report on the success of their strategies and initiatives:

I expect complete, transparent reporting that celebrates successes, and clearly acknowledges failures and shortcomings. - candidate survey response

I expect companies to check their compliance levels with respect to international and local community business standards and policies, and to analyse their sustainability performance based on customer feedback data. I expect them to evaluate the impact of their choice and source of raw materials as well as their disposal, to ensure they are reducing the waste and emissions which are being generated by their services. To conclude, making the safety, health and sustainability of life and our environment their topmost priority in all of their services and operations. Because that’s one of the key factors that leads to a long-term relevance and profitability of a company in the market. - candidate survey response

Establish sustainability goals (be it through staff education, cultural changes, workplace activities, etc.) and ensure regular reporting / check-ins are put in place to measure success / effort against pre-established goals. Reporting can be done internally via corporate comms, and provided in annual company reports - amongst other modes of comms and publications. - candidate survey response

Adopt a framework for measuring & reporting, set goals and targets for reducing emissions & waste, and climate & environmental impacts. Obtain buy-in and commitment from Board members, employees and suppliers to meet targets. - candidate survey response

Make the information publicly available in an easy to understand format, consult proactively with governments at all levels, avoid greenwashing in their marketing, and the board should announce a universal shift toward environmental sustainability across all sectors of the business effective immediately to achieve ethical and sustainable profitability in the long term. - candidate survey response

Better quantifiable metrics would be good to see. We can’t see what we can’t measure. A lot of reporting is currently based around bold aspirational statements but very vague actions. - candidate survey response

They should have annual environmental and sustainability performance reports where they showcase their achievements in meeting the intended targets. These reports should be available to all staff members at all levels. - candidate survey response

Using ESG diagnostic tools, the first part is defining sustainability and then creating a current state. Then measure the progression towards an aspirational future state. - candidate survey response

Impact, progress and actions of the plan should be measured frequently and the results should be made transparent in reports and publications. That way progress can be followed, action steps adjusted and organisations held accountable. - candidate survey response

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