Creating Your Sustainabilty Goals

goals.jpgSo far, we’ve learned how to create a sustainability vision for your organization using facilitated discussions and stakeholder engagement, and the importance of benchmarking your organization’s current sustainability standing. Now, it is time to use this information to create your organization’s sustainability goals.
Creating Your Green Goals
Use both your vision and assessment to help you determine your targets and what will be important to evaluate and change in your organization. Before writing down any goals, reread your vision and analyze this result of your assessment. Referring back to your vision – your organization’s sustainability compass – will ensure you are aligning your goals with your original intentions. Use the data gathered from your sustainability assessment to determine the most cost effective and influential areas for improvement.
Be Realistic!
When determining your goals, be realistic. There’s no point in making goals that are unattainable; this only leads to frustration and less support for your sustainability initiatives as you begin to implement them.

When working with clients, we’ve found it most effective to keep goals to a short list. Write down only the goals you can attain in an allocated time fame. It’s easy to get carried away and end up with 50 goals to achieve but in the long run this will seem daunting, overwhelming and appear expensive to your executive staff. Narrow your list to the 6 – 10 most important goals.
When writing your goals, keep these questions in mind:
– Is this goal in alignment with your vision?
– Does this his goal help us move from where we currently are to where we want to be?
– Does this goal support our definition of sustainability and our values?
– Does this goal help us turn our weaknesses into strengths?

Look at what you would like to achieve in six months, one year and three years. Think about the questions below:

– What changes are you likely to see if you begin implementing your six-month goals?
– What will you be willing to commit to in the next six months or a year?
– How ready is your organization for larger, complex change?
– What is the best way to move you closer to your sustainability vision?

That is all for now! Next week will touch on creating your organization’s sustainability action plan. I want to add that this chapter is an excerpt from chapter 3 of my book, The complete Idiot’s Guide to Greening Your Business. Miriam Karell of Three Point Vision helped write the chapter.

Heather Gadonniex, LEED AP, is the co-founder of Green it Group, a sustainability strategy firm that focuses on helping organizations develop, measure, manage and market their sustainability initiatives. Ms. Gadonniex is also the co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Greening Your Business, published by Alpha Books (with Trish Riley). Contact Heather at, or visit the Green it Group website.

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