The best intentions do not a plan make: turn corporate sustainability goals into action

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Companies across all industry sectors are committing to develop corporate sustainability plans. It’s no secret that a corporate sustainability plan can improve operational efficiency, reduce environmental impact, increase employee satisfaction, attract top talent and strengthen brand loyalty. It also can provide your company a competitive advantage by increasing its overall value, therefore attracting wealthy investors.

Once your company has committed to establishing a corporate sustainability plan and received engagement from the organization, the next critical step is to implement strategies that will help your company meet its sustainability goals. With the multitude of sustainable strategies and reporting standards available, it can be difficult to narrow the options, focus on the right metrics, and implement the best tactics.

But it may be easier than you think. What our Energy and Sustainability Services (ESS) team has found in helping clients turn their sustainability vision into a reality is that by initiating the following strategies, you’ll be well on your way to meeting your sustainability goals.

Prioritize sustainability goals
When developing your corporate sustainability plan, one of your goals might be to reduce energy consumption. Yet, when you breakdown the tasks to achieve this, you might come away with an extensive to-do list. To meet your sustainability goals, it’s important to prioritize specific goals and performance metrics. JLL’s proprietary Portfolio Energy Management program, led by experienced ESS professionals, utilizes proven approaches to help clients set customized and achievable goals and deploy scalable, strategic solutions. Our program’s track record is unmatched in the industry, delivering an average of 520% return on investment for our clients.

Invest in building system upgrades
According to the EPA, real estate’s energy consumption of electricity and natural gas is one of the primary contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. While it’s unlikely to get your buildings’ energy consumption to zero, you can improve the energy efficiency of your buildings by upgrading your Building Management System (BMS). Smart building technology combined with remote building monitoring and control systems can optimize your buildings’ operational performance and monitor in real time your buildings’ energy use. By upgrading your BMS with smart devices, you can accurately track and report your energy consumption, identify sources of wasted energy, and resolve issues faster – helping you to achieve your energy reduction goals.

Measure – and report – what’s important
In order to make certain you’re on track to meeting your sustainability goals, it’s important to measure and analyze your sustainability program’s performance on an annual basis. There are several reporting resources available to help you analyze your data and create reports, including the Global Reporting Initiative and the Carbon Disclosure Project.

When JLL’s ESS team sits with clients to map out their goals and set an action plan in place, determining relevant information for stakeholder engagement, selecting building data collection processes, and assuring data accuracy is a key step. Be mindful of all the teams and disparate systems that will need to feed into that reporting structure. However, it’s one of the more powerful elements to your program as creating sustainability reports will not only keep you on track to meet year-over-year sustainability goals, but also enhance your company’s image as a leader in fighting climate change.

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