As we enter a brand new year, full of brand new surprises, opportunities and possibilities, it’s without question an excellent time to review your sustainability strategy, and how you’re going to execute it this year. Here at Low Carbon Energy, we’ve helped countless businesses achieve their own goals with commercial solar panels – so we’ve had plenty of experience in providing advice on how to achieve sustainability goals.
Here are our top suggestions for the year ahead!
Get buy-in from your staff
This is one of the most important steps to any sustainability plan, and yet it’s one that can all-too-easily often slip under the radar. Sustainability strategies work best when everyone on your team fully believes in the mission – otherwise, the risk is that it can feel like just a box-ticking exercise, and let’s be honest, box-ticking exercises don’t always get done.
So, it’s worth taking the time to talk to your team before you embark on the first (or next) stage of your sustainability plan. Find out what they like about it, or if there’s anything that can be improved, and what you can do to help make it easier for them to play their part in achieving it. These kinds of discussions can also save you time in the long run – you won’t have to go chasing people to do certain jobs, because if they believe enough in the mission on their own, you can count on them to police themselves.
Gather data to support your plans
There’s no doubt that instinct and intuition both play a vital role in the formation of good sustainability plans, but cold, hard data is what actually helps get them done. It’s how you know what’s working and what’s not, and helps you to identify areas for improvement. Crucially, it can also serve as useful evidence for a certain approach if you’re trying to persuade your staff, managers, customers or partners of its viability.
There are lots of ways you can go about collecting and categorising this data. For the more simple and straightforward goals, you might find that your monthly or annual statements are perfectly sufficient for measuring your success (like reducing your energy expenditure for example). It’s particularly worth looking to see if there are any areas at the moment where you feel your data collection could be improved – such as within your supply chain, or customer feedback, or emissions production.
If your sustainability goals are more complex or long-term, it may be an idea to look at more specialised systems or services to help you collect, store and manage your data. And of course, you’ll need to account for your legal obligations under GDPR.
One step at a time
Sustainability strategies arguably bear some similarities to New Years’ Resolutions in that it’s important to be ambitious, but not overstretch yourself. Now, we’re not saying that you need to go in completely the opposite direction, and set them too small either. In fact, we talked about the importance of being ambitious in one of our last posts of 2023, when we discussed why it’s important to aim high when setting your sustainability goals.
However, there’s a careful balance to be struck. Trying to take on too much at once can be overwhelming, often leading to missed targets, reduced morale, and ultimately slow progress towards your sustainability goals. To avoid that happening, one of the best ways to tackle large goals is to set your ultimate aims high in the form of a ‘stretch goal’, but break up the progress towards it into smaller, more manageable milestones. As we’ve discussed previously, achieving these can help drive forward progress, and keep everyone motivated and on track.
Of course, these are just some of the most universal ways to help keep your sustainability targets on track – you may be able to think of plenty more of your own! Whatever the case, if your business energy supply is one of the areas you’re looking to make more sustainable in 2024, that’s exactly where we can help here at Low Carbon Energy. Our experts have over 60 years of combined experience in commercial solar, having helped SMEs and large corporations across a wide variety of sectors transform their business’ energy supply.
Each of our installations is bespoke, tailoring your solution on your specific energy profile, helping us to maximise carbon reductions and saving you thousands in energy bills. Feel free to look at our case studies for just a few examples of businesses which have reaped huge rewards from solar, such as Board24 and Haven Power. To find out how we can help you, feel free to give us a call today on 01282 421 489!