Benchmarking your company's environmental performance is the first step to building a successful sustainability program and hedging against growing uncertainties. Strategic, data-driven decisions are made based on the competitive position a company would like to hold. Without clear, accurate benchmarking, there is limited justification to improve environmental performance.
And yet, quantitative, performance based, benchmarking is extremely difficult to do for sustainability. Data is not usually available, it is poorly organized, and it is hard to compare on a single scale.
In a recent survey of 57 sustainability professionals conducted by ecoOS, it was clear that benchmarking was an important part of current sustainability programs, but there was significant room for improvement.
The majority of respondents used soft measures: “specific standards and regulations,” for benchmarking. Volkswagen's fall from its leadership position recently brought to light the futility of this strategy. While regulations and industry standards are important data points, to drive real change in an industry, companies must focus on benchmarking performance.
Businesses need benchmarks that:
Capture industry specific key performance indicators so businesses can optimize for the most impactful metrics.
Are adjusted by resources, products, and revenues so businesses can become more efficient and decouple their financial performance from negative environmental impacts.
Are valuable to companies who may have only partial environmental data throughout their operations.
The sustainability industry is waiting for benchmarking that “speaks business” with the ease and power we regularly expect when we compare financial performance. Big data analytics and cloud computing have allowed us to begin realizing this vision.
ecoOS makes benchmarking simple. Contact us to try ecoOS’s cloud-based platform to find out how your company measures up.