Home Business & Finance Driving sustainability to business success
Monitoring and measurement of environmental risks, plans, practices, and performance indicators forms the basis for continual improvement. External unattached assessment, as well as internal, will identify business improvement opportunities and shortcomings and provide unbiased intelligence. Effective decisions are based on the analysis of data and information.
To survive in this global marketplace, an organization needs to determine the factors that are critical to its company's success. Being environmentally conscious or working in the green economy is at the forefront of the minds of employees, the public, the government, and your stockholders.
Many governments, as well as companies, are committed to sustainable development, having a vision of stimulating economic growth and protecting our environment without having a negative impact on future generations. Emphasis is being put on procurement, leading by example and embedding sustainable development into policy with transparent management.
Your operations or products can affect the environment in a positive or negative way. The past several of years, the focus has been on climate change and energy conservation.
The process in the management system that focuses on the measurement of business success is defining one's objectives. In order for objectives to be managed, look at the process or system your organization is using for tracking them throughout the organization. Many companies have people busy working on projects and assignments, and when asked where this information is recorded, it is outlined in many areas in the company, from project management software to Six Sigma programs, or made-up matrix documents.
For top management to lead the company, it is important that the management team is focused on working on the most important projects, as defined by the needs and expectations of not only customers but also legal and corporate requirements. It is important to remember that people within your organization know where problems exist and will observe whether resources are applied to them.
Are you doing the right things at the right time? Companies have a life cycle, and it is important to know the stage you are in. In the beginning of the book we spoke about the grey tsunami and the fact that many managers today are leaving companies for retirement in the next five years. Have you set one of your goals to ensure that the knowledge bank is captured before your managers leave your employment? Do you have an exit strategy for these managers?
In order to know if your objectives (what you want to achieve and why) support your goals (big picture) or intentions for success, you need to have measurables (key performance indicators). The objective needs to outline what you want to do, how it is to be quantified, and what the completion date for the objective will be. Following the SMART methodology, objectives need to be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timed. We all know the phrase “What gets measured, gets done.”
Once objectives have been outlined and are in a tracking system, you develop a strategy or strategies for how you will meet them. Details or execution steps outline how to meet your strategy, who will be responsible, and timelines.
Return on investment (ROI) may not always be the measurement of success; it may be your own metrics showing that you have made progress toward the objectives that support your goal to improve value in the area of environmental management.
Focus: Environment – Prevention of Pollution
1 Are objectives and targets (projects) ongoing throughout the year and at different levels throughout the organization, supporting the organization's principles and goals?
2 What areas are your objectives and targets focused on?
3 Did the organization, when establishing and reviewing its objectives, consider:
a. Its significant environmental aspects and impacts? Environmental risks?
b. Legal and other requirements? Compliance?
c. Technological options?
d. Its financial, operational, and business requirements?
e. Views of interested parties?
f. Targets and programs to implement to achieve goals?
4 What methodology does your organization use for setting objectives (Six Sigma, Lean)? Do you look at alternatives before selecting action programs or projects?
5 What objectives and targets in your business would you feel proud of today?
6 What measurement have you used with your key objectives for the last quarter? This measurement should tell you whether you have completed the objective successfully.
7 What system(s) do you have in place to track or monitor the objectives at different levels within your organization?
8 Has your company capitalized on the funding available for improving heating and air conditioning or lighting retrofits?
9 What systems do you have in place to measure your successes or failures?
a. Nonconformance system – identify what they are – tracking how they are managed
b. Corrective action system
c. Preventive action system
e. Audit types: internal, third party, supplier
f. Best management practices
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