You can't manage what you don't measure.

Sustainability is no longer simply a ‘nice to have’ – it has become an essential component of a well-run organisation. When a manufacturing company in Barnsley started receiving requests for Life Cycle Analyses (often abbreviated to LCAs) from their customers, they were able to ignore them for a few months but soon realised that not only did they need to know what an LCA was, but how they could provide them. A couple of years later, they are on top of a whole range of sustainability indicators, including carbon emissions and recycling. 

At Sheffield Sustainability Network, we realised from the beginning that organisations, particularly smaller businesses, needed help to get them on a sustainability path so that they could survive and thrive. We developed our own self-audit questionnaire which is still available online. This questionnaire was carefully designed to ask participants about their organisation's knowledge and actions on sustainability with the sole purpose of helping them take action.

The company in Barnsley needed help, but their starting point was acknowledging what they knew and what they didn’t. By making a plan, getting help where needed and putting systems in place to measure and report how they were doing, they put themselves in a strong position for the future.

Please try our questionnaire and use it to understand what you are doing, what you need to do, and where the gaps in your knowledge or capacity are to get things done.

[questionnaire link to embed:]

And remember don’t get overwhelmed, make a decision and ‘Just Do One Thing’ (everything else will follow).

And when you know what needs doing, there’s even more help from Sheffield Sustainability Network’s broad and expanding membership, some of whom you will find on our LinkedIn Forum.

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