And, in many parts of life, that's okay.
As Lewis Carroll wrote, "if you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there".
But in most companies, it's helpful to have a strategy before you start on a project. It doesn't need to be a 20 page document with gantt charts and diagrams, but just a sense of where you're going over two years.
An example roadmap might look like this (just a sample, and more detail would be needed). Put a person's initials next to each action.
- Conduct baseline assessment. What CR activities are we doing now?
- Gather all utility bills and costs
- Benchmark competitors and customers to see where they are going
- Meet with local electric utility to see what programs they have in place
- Attend a local seminar or webinar on sustainabity approaches
- Subscribe to some leading online journals to educate yourself: justmeans, environmentalleader, the green biz are examples.
- Gather other environmental and CR data, such as waste, water, employee volunteering, customer queries
- Brainstorm an analysis of where the company's risks lie by using a What-If or other HazOp approach. Look across the entire supply chain. For example: product waste, a hazardous chemical used, high electric bills, community animosity, key supplier risk from potential use of children, etc.
- Conduct an energy audit at a "simple" facility, such as an office building.
- Meet with CEO to get a sense of his or her vision for the program
- Build and write down a charter for the sustainability initiative
- Identify representatives for an executive steering team. For example: CEO, COO, Business Unit Leads, VP of HR
- Identify participants for a sustainability implementation team. For example: A Plant Manager, head of Facilities/Real Estate, a key Product Manager, HR business partner
- Hold initial meetings with both of these teams
- Execute some early quick wins, such as a lighting retrofit
- Develop an internal and external communications program. Work with your Communications group; they are experts in this!
- Design some high-visibility, but low-cost programs, such as recycling in the office, composting in the cafeteria, low-carbon vehicle parking spots
- Put together a short annual report, with data, and maybe some initial goals and targets.
- Assemble your first GHG inventory using Scope 1 and 2 emissions. e.g., electicity, steam, gas, oil, vehicles. Develop a pareto of ingredients.
- If applicable, answer CDP. Keep the answers high-level for now