Sustainability focus vs. funding Reply

Michael Koploy of Software Advice recently wrote a blog highlighting the importance of data collection within sustainability. He asserts that sustainability programs require “automated data collection, Business Intelligence (BI) tools, and the development of data-minded sustainability teams.”

These ideas are consistent with our previous blog entry, “What gets measured, gets managed…and reported” and is also supported by the results of our recent comprehensive sustainability survey on Current Sustainability Trends.  For example, our survey revealed that approximately 75% of the respondents measure environmental concerns like air emissions, water, waste, and electricity, but only 29% take the extra step of voluntarily reporting.

There are many challenges associated with data collection including the difficulty of gathering the data, the lack of priority, the high investment of time and money, and that companies are just risk adverse.  Our survey supports this notion revealing that most companies lack the resources and funding for sustainability initiatives. In fact, half of the responding companies expected no change in available funding for sustainability projects in the future.  Conversely, our survey also found that approximately 80% of EHS and facility managers see sustainability as an agenda item now and in the immediate future. So how do we address the importance of sustainability without the funds or resources needed?

Koploy offers solutions to this common problem – the use of Business Intelligence (BI) systems and data-minded sustainability teams. BI is a set of tools to analyze large sets of data. For example, using these systems to track carbon emissions often uncovers cost savings in terms of energy use as well as reduced emission levels. Similarly, sustainability teams that are “data-minded” are more efficient and more accountable if they are able to track and quantify metrics. It becomes increasingly more important for companies setting goals and tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to do so in a manner that is strategic and streamlined. Companies cannot afford to mine or collect data that is not directly related to a strategic objective.

Do you want to know more about how your industry peers and competitors are defining and addressing sustainability and what challenges they are currently facing?  For a nominal fee, you can download our complete comprehensive survey report and analysis on Current Sustainability Trends.   Contact Julie at for more information.