According to a study conducted by Gartner in collaboration with TRIRIGA Inc., a Las Vegas IBM company specializing in facility management software, after surveying 130 sustainability professionals, a sustainability chasm was discovered. The name of the study conducted by Gartner and TRIRIGA Inc. is Crossing the Sustainability Chasm: Strategies and Tactics to Achieve Sustainability Goals.
This study was helpful in identifying barriers to sustainability, as well as successful tactics to help businesses to overcome these barriers. A successful sustainability strategy must include tactics. But as any business leader knows, implementing a successful sustainability strategy is challenging for many reasons. Implementing a new strategy means bringing change.
What is the sustainability chasm?
This study references a sustainability chasm as a deep divide between organizations in their sustainability goals. The study then divided these organizations into three groups to break everything down. The three groups were identified as: Achievers, Planners, and Stragglers.
An explanation of the three groups:
Achievers: The Achievers group worked quickly to achieve their sustainability goals, because they were also quick to grasp the overall economic and environmental benefits of successful sustainability. The achievers accounted for 34 percent of the study’s participants and successfully implemented energy and environmental programs.
Planners: The Planners accounted for 58 percent of the study’s participants and are still in the planning phase of sustainability. At this point in time, respondents are presently measuring, studying and analyzing important energy and environmental data before moving forward. They have set goals, are planning, but have yet to implement a plan of action.
Stragglers: The Stragglers only accounted for 8 percent of the study’s respondents and have admitted that at this point in time, they have no sustainability strategy.
Important Key Successful Tactic Findings during the Study
The Achievers who have successfully implemented sustainability within their businesses use these tactics:
- Achievers always involve the executive management of their companies.
- Achievers use internal sustainability teams who work to evaluate and implement plans of action.
- Achievers believe that sustainability is a top-five priority for their organizations.
- Achievers have set aside sustainability budgets.
- Achievers consider energy efficiency one of their highest priorities.
- Achievers support their sustainability initiatives with enterprise-class technology.
Tactics to Approach the Divide and for Successful Sustainability
The analysis of this study has concluded that one of the most important tactics of the organizations who have successfully achieved their sustainability goals was the fact that they deeply included the involvement of executive management. Forty percent of the Achievers reported to having executive management involved, whereas only 20 percent of Planners and Stragglers reported executive management involvement. It seems that having an internal team also plays a large role in the successful implementation of a sustainability strategy, with 60 percent of Achievers reporting internal team involvement compared to only 9 percent of Stragglers.
When creating your strategy and tactics, it’s important to set aside a dedicated budget for your sustainability plan of action. When creating your strategy, identify your organizations top sustainability initiative goals. These initiatives include:
- Energy efficiency improvement
- The reduction of operational waste
- Resource management and/or supply chain improvement
- The reduction of operational water use
- Greenhouse gas emissions reduction
- Renewable energy procurement
It’s important to note that seventy percent of Achievers ranked improving energy efficiency as a priority, with the reduction of operational waste as their second top initiative. To learn more about this study, see the complete report disclosed to the public by Gartner and TRIRIGA, Inc.