What is corporate sustainability?
While a common goal of almost all organizations is profitability and growth, corporate sustainability recognizes that an organization should also have societal, environmental and community related goals. These form the three pillars of corporate sustainability and serve as the larger purpose for companies, employees and shareholders. Corporate sustainability incorporates business strategies to create and solidify long-term stakeholder value while focusing on aspects of people, planet, and profit.
Developing VGOCs Corporate Sustainability Plan
Although the Vital Group of Companies has always valued corporate sustainability, we had never developed these goals into a formal plan. We felt that the initial research and development of this plan needed not only input from within our organization but third-party insight. Our long-standing relationship with the NAIT alternative energy program was the perfect opportunity.
We formed an internal corporate sustainability team of VGOC employees and paired them with a group of capstone students from NAITs Alternative Energy Technology program. In January 2020, Kat McDougall, Jeff Antoniw and Joni Fraczek began working with our team to develop a corporate sustainability plan specifically designed for VGOC.
The students began by collecting information on the following aspects of VGOC that relate to corporate sustainability:
- Understanding of day to day operations
- Organizational goals – interviewed VGOC management for current business, growth, social, environmental and community goals.
- Community engagement – studied past community engagement projects and future plans
- Environmental assessment – analyzed greenhouse gas emissions from energy and vehicle sources. Completed a waste/recycling management analysis.
- Certifications – inventory of current certifications and developed list of potential future certifications.
- Employee survey – survey was taken by each VGOC employee to assess employee satisfaction, engagement, and corporate culture.
Throughout the process, the NAIT team was diligent with engaging VGOC to ensure that the final product would align with our internal goals. The information collected was used to develop corporate sustainability goals which form the foundation of VGOCs new corporate sustainability plan.
VGOCs corporate sustainability goals
The final plan outlined the corporate sustainability goals for VGOC as well as a step by step plan to achieve those goals. Some of the goals in our plan are:
- Decrease landfill waste while continuing to prioritize composting and recycling
- Reduce company transportation emissions by incentivizing carpooling, and purchasing company bikes for use during lunch/breaks.
- Increase the frequency of employee/manager check-in meetings to further improve company culture
- Implement quarterly review of corporate sustainability initiatives and goals
- Work towards a certification like B-Corp, BOMA Best or Climate Smart to demonstrate that we are committed to corporate sustainability.
Get started with your Corporate Sustainability Plan
In today’s business environment, corporate sustainability is a necessity for companies looking to create value not only financially, but socially and environmentally in the community and with its employees. A corporate sustainability plan shows the public and other stakeholders that the company is committed to making a positive impact in the community.
If you or your organization is interested in learning more about how corporate sustainability planning can benefit your organization and community, the VGOC corporate sustainability team can help. Our team of sustainability experts are well versed in various certifications that will help your organization demonstrate your committed to sustainability. Contact us for more information.