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More and more, and for a variety of reasons, organizations are talking about setting or scaling up sustainability targets. For facilities, this might mean steps as ambitious as building renovations, but more likely, changes to processes and products to comply with sustainable cleaning standards. But these standards aren’t your only measure of success. Managers also need to maintain a standard of clean, and since budgets are always tight, ensure that the investments you’re making in sustainable cleaning bring a good return for your balance sheet.
Sustainable practices can provide a return on your investment in a variety of ways. You can increase worker productivity, extend the useful life of equipment and building assets, and even lower costs by consolidating products and diverting waste from landfills. But how do you measure the savings you’re realizing, and demonstrate the success of your efforts to your community?
Steps for Measuring Your Sustainability Success
1. Define your objectives.
Define the key performance indicators (KPIs) that your organization will track to measure success, both financial and qualitative, and make sure that key stakeholders in your community are aware of and agree with the indicators you select.
2. Set a baseline.
Start by conducting a site-based assessment to measure and document where your organization stands on your KPIs before you implement changes to your program.
3. Establish a cadence.
Determine how often you will measure against your KPIs to see the results of your program changes. Measuring too frequently is inefficient and can make it hard to recognize progress. Waiting too long can mean wasted opportunities to pivot or enhance changes you’ve made to realize better results. Decide what’s right for your organization, and make a commitment to yourself and your community to maintain the measurement cadence you set.
4. Analyze your results.
As you collect new data points about the effects of your program changes, take the time to think about what the data is saying. Use the information you’re collecting to refine your program and determine where you want to focus new efforts. Calculate savings and decide where you’re going to reinvest the time and money you’re saving through your process changes.
5. Communicate frequently.
Share your successes with your community and make sure that your staff and community understand and celebrate the difference your program changes are making. Sharing your success can help generate momentum and support for future initiatives.
For more information on the ROI of sustainability, with specific suggestions on program changes that you can make, take time to listen to a prerecorded webinar featuring AICS President Dave Frank.