How Mature Are Your Company's Sustainability Practices?
Environmental responsibility initiatives and sustainability efforts impact not only the survival but also the growth of every organization. The business benefits of investing in sustainability are immense; however, most organizations have room to grow in navigating the complexities of measuring and reporting their progress.
How far along the sustainability journey is your organization, and how can you help move the needle towards realizing value from sustainability investments?
This assessment will evaluate your sustainability maturity across four key investment priority areas: organization (e.g., people, culture), reporting and measurement, partner and supplier management, and physical resource management. You will receive customized, comparable results and recommendations based on your responses. These four questions should take no more than 2 minutes to complete.
If applicable, which of the following organizational sustainability initiatives is your company investing in? (Select one per row.)
If applicable, which of the following partner and supplier sustainability initiatives is your company investing in? (Select one per row.)
If applicable, which of the following reporting and measurement sustainability initiatives is your company investing in? (Select one per row.)
If applicable, which of the following physical resource management sustainability initiatives is your company investing in? (Select one per row.)
Our study shows that mature, sustainable organizations are more likely to see:
- Improved efficiencies and compliance.
- Improved brand reputation, customer acquisition, and loyalty.
- Reduced waste and energy use.
- Decreased costs.
- Improved employee recruitment and retention.
What can you do to improve your sustainability practices? Register below to see how you compare to aspirational, committed, and engaged organizations across all four sustainability disciplines and get personalized recommendations based on your results.
Your maturity result: Engaged Committed Aspirational
Having the right leadership guidance, technology tools, and external partners are key to mature sustainability practices. They will help lead organizations like yours to successful business outcomes with the right mix of investment priorities. Based on our assessment, your organization is currently engaged committed aspirational. Your maturity level takes into account your scores across all four sustainability investment priority areas (see details below).
This score translates to your company's sustainability initiatives being at the aspirational maturity stage. When examining how aspirational organizations in our study compare to their more mature peers, Forrester recommends firms like yours in the aspirational stage take the following steps to jump-start their sustainability practices:
Evaluate your firm's sustainability priorities across products, resources and operations.
A comprehensive sustainability assessment requires your firm to consider a wide array of individual initiatives. For example, product lifecycle sustainability initiatives include creating sustainable product designs, using environmentally friendly materials, and assessing products in the circular economy. Other important sustainability activities include managing carbon, water, energy, and environmental resources; monitoring critical plant operations; building and facilities management; and supply chain processes.
Prioritize addressing regulation and efficiency.
Begin your sustainability journey by implementing programs to reduce your company's carbon footprint, improve resiliency to climate or weather events, or embrace corporate responsibility and sustainability practices. It is important to identify key metrics for evaluating the impact of these sustainability activities.
Focus on compliance-related sustainability initiatives.
Your initial sustainability strategies and initiatives should focus on complying with one or more industry standards, regulatory standards, or frameworks. Examples of these standards or frameworks include Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).
Identify dedicated personnel or a team of executives who are responsible for sustainability strategy.
Your sustainability strategy will not improve unless you have personnel focused on it. You can identify one executive or a mix of organization stakeholders (e.g., staff from compliance, HR, facilities, operations, etc.) to collaborate on sustainability priorities and initiatives. A starting point for this team is to identify where the biggest gaps exist in your sustainability strategy.
This score translates to your company being at the committed stage of sustainability maturity. Forrester recommends committed organizations like yours take the following steps to advance their firm’s sustainability initiatives to the ranks of engaged firms:
Expand internal and external partnerships.
Successfully achieving sustainability goals often requires your firm to collaborate with a range of internal and external partners. For example, achieving sustainability goals in your firm’s owned or leased spaces will require internal collaboration with operational stakeholders, facilities managers, technology personnel, human resources executives, and compliance managers in addition to employees. You may also need to proactively identify external partners (e.g., facility systems, transportation, supply chain) to help your organization achieve its sustainability goals. Look for external partners with industry specific expertise, technology leadership, and financing options to further advance your sustainability initiatives.
Invest in reporting tools for carbon emissions or environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors.
Do not risk losing customer or investor trust by falling short of sustainability goals or being unable to clearly demonstrate progress made. It is important to invest in reporting tools to identify metrics and methods to track progress toward meeting corporate sustainability goals.
Extend opportunities to improve sustainability in company-owned or leased spaces.
Move beyond upgrading old systems to improve efficiency and use sustainability initiatives to address a range of future opportunities such as: engineering innovation to improve the sustainability of materials, investing in circular economy and asset upcycling, and using AI-driven energy analysis.
Identify an executive who is responsible for your firm’s sustainability strategy.
At first, it may be sufficient to manage your sustainability activities and strategy in a matrixed resource approach. However, for ongoing success, you will likely need a devoted leader (e.g., chief sustainability officer, C-level executive) to translate your corporate sustainability vision into reality.
Congratulations, your score translates to your sustainability initiatives being in the advanced, engaged maturity stage! However, this is no time to rest on your laurels. There are still proactive steps you can take to extend sustainability. Based on results of your engaged peers, Forrester recommends that engaged organizations like yours take the following steps to further advance their sustainability initiatives:
Extend your sustainability reporting capabilities.
Your firm might have siloed sustainability data that makes it challenging to create detailed analytics reports for key locations, stakeholders, and operations. Enhance your reporting functions to capture insights on sustainability programs and to enable you to create reports for individual roles, customer-facing requirements, operational processes, and individual departments at a regional, local, or global level.
Differentiate based on sustainable priorities and roadmap initiatives.
It is important to recognize that sustainability is a matter of corporate differentiation. Identify ways to set your firm apart by committing to initiatives such as decarbonization or establishing a master sustainability plan and roadmap that identifies all your sustainability activities spanning efficiency renewables, greenhouse gas emission reductions, and supply chain relationships.
Demonstrate your sustainability commitment to a broad array of stakeholders.
It is not enough to talk about your sustainability commitments. You must display your firm’s sustainability competence and integrity to customers who make purchasing decisions based on using sustainable products and employees who make employment decisions based on corporate sustainability initiatives.
Think strategically about your sustainability initiatives.
A wide array of internal and external stakeholders in your company use sustainability insights and initiatives to guide their activities. For example, investors increasingly demand climate risk disclosures from firms that they fund, often asking for an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) report from firms under investment consideration. Employees also make employment decisions based on corporate sustainability priorities.
Learn more about the insights from our study:
Read the full Forrester report commissioned by Johnson Controls
Ready to get started?
No matter where you are in your sustainability journey, from have a plan to need a plan, Johnson Controls is here to help make the pathway easy. Our global team of sustainability experts is ready to help your organization meet your net zero goals while optimizing the performance of your buildings. Contact us today at +1 866 669 4780 for solutions and technologies tailored to your needs or visit our website for more information.
Methodology And Disclaimers
In this study, Forrester conducted a global online survey with 2,348 global sustainability strategy leaders across 25 countries and 19 industries to evaluate the progress that sustainability-minded companies have made in achieving their goals. The study began in August 2021 and was completed in September 2021.
Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy and completeness of this assessment, Johnson Controls and Forrester are unable to accept any legal responsibility for any actions taken on the basis of the information contained herein.