Sustainability Roadmap

Overview of the roadmap

The Sustainability Roadmap identifies four Stages for building a sustainable organisation:

  1. Committing to be sustainable
  2. Taking action to be sustainable
  3. Embedding sustainability action in the organisation and supply chains
  4. Influencing and leading as a sustainable enterprise
Roadmap to sustainability

Overall there are 40 to-do actions Green Street has facilitated over the years to help organisations through those stages. Organisations can test where they are on the journey via the Sustainability Roadmap Survey (prototype version).

 

Sustainability Roadmap Journey Companion

OverviewStage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4

This is a travel companion for your sustainability journey. For each of the four stages, there's a short overview of the ten steps, together with links to relevant resources.


Tip: After clicking a resource link, click the browser 'back' button to return to this guide.


Stage 1: Committing to be sustainable

1. Commitment from leadership

Leadership is not always driven from the top but for most organisational change the commitment of the business owner or manager or chief executive is important. This can best be played out by what the boss actually does and indeed the whole Sustainability Roadmap tells us what that action might look like from a leader. 

At the same time a signed off sustainability policy is a great start. This might be accompanied by a documented business case for sustainability and maybe a sustainable business declaration of intent. Of course these documents are best developed in a collaborative way with staff and other stakeholders as well as with other organisations that are going through a similar process. 

 

2. Vision statement and strategy

A vision statement and strategic direction for a sustainable organisation usually are included as part of a documented sustainability policy. The process for gaining such agreements is super important and would usually involve engagement with staff and invited stakeholders.  This may be done in very small businesses through a basic sustainability planning process. 

Or it may be done in  a more detailed way through the use of an advanced sustainability planning process which is a detailed process for engaging people in discussion leading to an organisational plan to build a sustainable business. Not your usual process – includes subtleties of systems theory, neuroscience, appreciative inquiry and more while ensuring a practical plan is put in place built on personal and organisational strengths and a willingness to pursue ‘provocative propositions’ for practical action. Can be self facilitated or conducted by a Green Street Consultancy team member.

 

3. Staff take lead role in sustainability

Staff are often excited about the challenge of building a sustainable organisation and they frequently take it upon themselves to self educate about the whole journey.  The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and associated resources are great spaces for learning about sustainability.  Similarly, the  Green Street website and particularly the Green Street Badges are an easily accessible and detailed information source. The underpinning knowledge about sustainability is well documented in The Natural Step and particularly with their four system conditions being a great learning foundation.

Green Street has developed a Workplace Sustainability Facilitator Kit which helps to skill up people who are taking a lead role. The kit is also a good option for those managing the organisation.  The workshop on Building a Circular Economy Business is a terrific learning tool for all.

 

4. Communicates benefits

Most people these days are aware of the general benefits of sustainability to people and the planet and they also see the benefits to businesses and profits.  Some like to know the research, some like to know who else like them has done it, some like to have it all laid out and some simply want to do the right thing and trust their leaders and colleagues to sort the details of what to do and how to do it.  At the same time the likelihood of success for the organisation is dependent on the commitment staff have and we know that the more engaged staff are and the more they get to chat about it the more likely they are to commit to sustainability action. They are also more likely to think of more and better ways to do it, especially if existing good practice is acknowledged.

The Green Street Café concept was born so that people could engage in what is essentially a structured conversation yet with a distinctive relaxed café feel – coffee, cakes, creative placemats, music and more. Can be run in a dressed up workplace or in a café borrowed for the occasion. With the proper structure these events can be a memorable catalyst for staff engagement and exciting ideas for the future.

 

5. Measures waste, water, energy

Ecological efficiency is a core component of building a sustainable organisation and its nice to know what our current (in)efficiencies are so we can plan to improve. The Green Street Score is a simple yet impactful way of determining our use of energy, water and materials and provides guidance on what to do about it.  This scoring process has been checked for validity by the University of Sydney Sustainability Analysis Group so is a reliable tool, especially for the main targets of small to medium sized businesses. A Green Street Certificate is also generated to show what changes may be useful to make.

There are a number of other sites which provide information on workplace sustainability and ecobiz is a service which provides details on ecological efficiency in workplaces.

 

6. Measures overall sustainability  

The way we manage our waste, water and energy are important aspects of our overall organisational sustainability. At the same time the way we go about purchasing products is all important.  The embodied energy used in producing and transporting the goods we procure can often be greater than our direct energy use so it is important to look at what we buy or what we take in through our supply chain. 

The Green Street Score is a simple yet impactful way of determining our overall organizational sustainability and guidance is provided on what to do to reduce the score and improve our sustainability.  This scoring process has been checked for validity by the University of Sydney Sustainability Analysis Group so is a reliable tool, especially for the main targets of small to medium sized businesses. A Green Street Certificate is also generated to show what changes may be useful to make.

There are a number of other sites which provide information on workplace sustainability and are accessible with a simple online search.

 

7. Identifies opportunities for improvement 

The Sustainability Roadmap Survey is designed to cover all bases when deciding what opportunities may be taken up to improve organisational sustainability. Similarly the Green Street Score is a pointer to gaps to be filled. Having a sustainable organisation can be achieved through actions  as part of the circular economy innovations being undertaken worldwide. Green Street’s guide to collaboration to build a circular economy provides a clear flow of what process to use to maximise the benefits which come from adopting a circular economy approach. 

The Green Street Café approach is a great way to engage staff and other stakeholders in identifying opportunities for improvements in sustainable practices. The Green Street Café concept was born so that people could engage in what is essentially a structured conversation yet with a distinctive relaxed café feel – coffee, cakes, creative placemats, music and more.  Can be run in a dressed up workplace or in a café borrowed for the occasion.

 

8. Researches and implements innovations 

Finding out what others are doing is a great way to inform ourselves about what is possible and desirable as well as what is not. Research on what works and what doesn’t work and can be well used as part of a staff education program or a staff challenge to find a creative practice that works elsewhere.

Many industry associations have information on innovative practices and the checklists in Green Street Badges provide an excellent cross section of topics to search online.

 

9. Embed sustainability in role descriptions

If sustainability is to be acted upon and embedded in our organisations there is a need to include sustainability accountabilities in the role descriptions of all staff and managers. The ISO 14000 series relating to Environmental Management Systems provides guidance on what needs to be covered regarding system accountabilities.

 

10. Assigns budget and resources 

Many an innovation fails if a budget is not allocated to initiate and support the new concept. This is no less so for building a sustainable organisation than it is for anything else. In particular, ongoing support for staff is essential through mentoring, coaching, collaborative planning, celebrating achievements and involvement in professional learning programs such as Green Street’s Building a Circular Economy Business. 

The Basic Sustainability Planning Process provides a framework for deciding on budget resources to be allocated to meet the needs of developing a sustainable organisation.

 


Overview | Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4


Stage 2: Taking action to be sustainable

1. Encourages and rewards staff sustainability

Many people can see the point of building a sustainable organisation yet some need encouragement, engagement and recognition or rewards. The Green Street Café approach is a great way to engage staff and other stakeholders in identifying opportunities for improvements in sustainable practices. The concept was born so that people could engage in what is essentially a structured conversation yet with a distinctively relaxed café feel – coffee, food, creative placemats, music and more.  Can be run in a dressed-up workplace or in a café borrowed for the occasion.

People can access Green Street Quizzes which are a bit of fun as well as being information rich. And the Who wants to be a sustainability zillionaire? game also engages in a positive and fun way.

Maybe a Green Street Challenge could be mounted whereby staff are part of a challenge to see who can reduce their own personal household Green Street Score by the greatest amount or who can reach an aspirational number of household Green Street Badges.   

Work teams could join in a challenge to see who can implement effective sustainability practices through team effort which incorporates co-operative effort between teams. Of course rewards such as gift cards to the local organic shop or other sustainable enterprises always go down well.

 

2. Celebrates sustainability achievements

Nothing quite beats having special events or even simple acknowledgement of sustainability achievements.  This could materialise in the form of special gatherings which acknowledge personal and team efforts. Certificates are nice, gift cards are always winners and some organisations give special leave to those who have done extraordinary work.

 

3. Develops staff skills in sustainability

The Green Street website is designed to provide solid foundations for sustainability action via Green Street Scores and Green Street Badges .  Green Street   has developed a Workplace Sustainability Facilitator Kit which helps to skill up people who are taking a lead role. This incorporates topics such as advanced conversation skills, strategic questioning, inclusive facilitation skills, designing change management processes and knowing about the content of sustainability.  The kit is also a good option for those managing the organisation.  

The workshop on Building a Circular Economy Business is a terrific learning opportunity for all.  Likewise the online workshop on The Natural Step is a core source of knowledge as is the information on Sustainable Development Goals.

A special reading on Clues on Conversations provides guidance on the art of engaging in organisations and communities.

 

4. Collaborative action plan 

A special framework has been established to guide the process of devising an action plan for sustainability.  There’s a short version (specially set up for micro businesses (say 1-4 people) basic sustainability planning process and an advanced  sustainability planning process for any sized organisation.  Both frameworks assume that the organisation has completed the Sustainability Roadmap Survey and has completed the Green Street Score and Green Street Badges survey process.

As with any collaborative action planning process it is very useful to have skilled facilitators and this can be provided by skilling up staff via the Workplace Sustainability Facilitator Kit or via help from the Green Street Consultancy Team. 

The Green Street Café approach is a great way to engage staff and other stakeholders in developing an action plan for sustainability. The café process engages people  in what is essentially a structured conversation yet with a distinctively relaxed café feel – coffee, food, creative placemats, music and more. The process can be run in a dressed up workplace or in a café borrowed for the occasion and can be insightfully used at critical moments in the overall collaborative action planning process. .

The Sustainability Perception and Reporting Tool (SPART) will provide excellent starting data from staff, management, supply chains, clients and other stakeholders on important items which can give organisations a great view of what they and others perceive to be the current state of the organisations implementation of sustainable practices.

 

5. Reduces toxins and hazardous substances 

Some workplaces have an obvious presence of toxins and hazardous substances while others may not.  Usually industry groups and government agencies have detailed guidelines on the reduction and management of obvious toxins and substances which are part of the workplace processes and operations in particular industries. Such guidelines need to be researched, checked and implemented. 

The ISO14000 Environmental Management System series provides guidance on what critical questions need to be answered and the Green Street Consultancy Team has experience in establishing systems which meet the ISO14000 systems.

The not so obvious toxins which may exist in furniture, floor coverings, paint and other construction and furniture materials also need to be addressed, particularly when looking at procuring new items to replace the old and unusable.  The online tool regarding sustainable procurement policy and practice helps to cover this element.

 

6. Sustainable procurement practices

Core questions regarding sustainable procurement are incorporated into a sustainable procurement policy and practice online tool developed by Green Street which may be used when considering new purchases.  Of course the sustainable practices of the circular economy help limit the need for new purchases by looking at systematic ways to reuse, reduce, upcycle and exchange with others.  The guide to collaboration to build a circular economy provides a process incorporating sustainable procurement.

By incorporating sustainability into procurement practices organisations will meet many of the requirements of the ISO14000 Environmental Management System series and the guidelines of the Sustainable Development Goals and The Natural Step System Conditions. Green Street has used these internationally endorsed frameworks as the core underpinning of the sustainable procurement policy and practice online tool.

 

7. Encourage new ideas and examples

A culture of learning and improvement in a collaborative environment is important to the encouragement of ideas and the seeking out of improved practices which may exist in other organisations. Both online and face-to-face engagements within the organisation and between organisations are relatively easy to organise.

People can tap into the Green Street News online to see first hand what other organisations are doing and to find out real live places to visit or contact. 

Organisations may like to initiate a Sustainable Business Precinct or join one that may exist already so that the sharing of ideas and examples becomes a normal part of the way things get done to gain improved ideas as well as to acknowledge and celebrate the great work that goes on. 

 

8. System for measuring performance

There are many guidelines for successful delivery of sustainability practices.  Green Street has developed its Green Street Score, its Green Street Badges tool and its Sustainability Perception and Reporting Tool  to enable data to be gained which can then be used for measurement, rewards and improved performance.

These tools have different purposes but all are derived from the internationally endorsed guidelines of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Global Reporting Initiative and The Natural Step System Conditions.

 

9. Embed sustainability into decision-making

A sustainability framework has been incorporated into an action plan for sustainability which has a short version (specially set up for micro businesses (say 1-4 people) and a more detailed version for any sized organisation.  Both frameworks assume that the organisation has completed the Sustainability Roadmap Survey and has completed the Green Street Score and Green Street Badges survey process. The Sustainability Perception and Reporting Tool (SPART) also provides excellent starting data from staff, management, supply chains, clients and other stakeholders on important sustainability items. 

As with any collaborative action planning process it is very useful to have skilled facilitators and this can be provided by skilling up staff via the Workplace Sustainability Facilitator Kit or via help from the Green Street Consultancy Team. 

The Green Street Café approach is a great way to engage staff and other stakeholders in developing an action plan for sustainability. The café process engages people in what is essentially a structured conversation yet with a distinctively relaxed café feel – coffee, food, creative placemats, music and more. The process can be run in a dressed up workplace or in a café borrowed for the occasion and can be insightfully used at critical moments in the overall collaborative action planning process.

 

10. Comply with environmental regulations

Usually industry groups and government agencies have detailed guidelines on the reduction and management of obvious toxins and substances which are part of the workplace processes and operations in particular industries.   Such guidelines need to be researched, checked and implemented. There are other compliance requirements which are identifiable from sources in local government, state government and national governments.

The ISO14000 Environmental Management System series provides guidance on what critical questions need to be answered and the Green Street Consultancy Team has experience in establishing systems which meet the ISO14000 systems.

The not so obvious toxins which may exist in furniture, floor coverings, paint, airconditioning and other construction and furniture materials also need to be addressed, particularly when looking at procuring new items to replace the old and unusable.  The online tool regarding sustainable procurement policy and practice helps to cover this element.

 


Overview | Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4


Stage 3. Embedding sustainability action in the organisation and supply chains

(more info to be added here)

Overview | Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4

Stage 4. Influencing and leading as a sustainable enterprise

(more info to be added here)

Overview | Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4