Best Practices for Adopting Sustainable Business Practices and Sharing Your Progress

Our industry is engaged in an important dialogue to improve sustainability through ESG transparency and industry collaboration. This article is a contribution to this larger conversation and does not necessarily reflect GRESB’s position.

Adopting sustainable business practices and sharing your company’s efforts via voluntary and mandatory sustainability reporting methods can be daunting – where should you start and what best practices should you follow?

This article aims to answer those questions by analyzing success stories from two WatchWire clients, Resource Label Group and Extreme Networks. Resource Label Group is a full-service label company providing custom label design and printing for a wide range of industries. Extreme Networks, on the other hand, is a global leader in cloud-based networking. While the companies may be in completely different industries, they both share a commitment to sustainability.

How WatchWire Supported Resource Label Group on Their Sustainability Journey

Resource Label Group turned to WatchWire to support its sustainability journey in numerous ways. WatchWire has helped Resource Label Group:

  • Automate utility and emissions data collection
  • Support international sites with multi-currency and measurement capabilities
  • Track GHG emissions to create a full picture of their sustainability journey
  • Streamline sustainability reporting by integrating with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager
  • Autoformat CDP data for seamless uploading to CDP Account

What best practices can we extrapolate from this instance?

  1. Acquire quality utility and emissions data. Without such data, your company is flying blind when it comes to sustainability goal setting and strategizing. Quality data you can trust gives you a complete picture of your organization’s sustainability progress. Knowing where you stand allows you to see where you need to go.
  2. Tracking GHG emissions is a must. You can’t manage what you can’t measure, and if you do not have accurate emissions data, how will you be able to control them and reach your sustainability/net-zero goals?
  3. Don’t ignore your supply chain. Tim Bohlke, Director of Sustainability at Resource Label Group, said it best: “More and more brands are beginning to understand that, in order to become sustainable, it is imperative to focus on their supply chain and use the correct materials.”

How WatchWire Has Helped Extreme Networks Navigate Sustainability Reporting

Extreme Networks chose WatchWire as their solution for utility bill management and sustainability reporting in 2021. Since implementing WatchWire, Extreme Networks has seen three main positive impacts:

  • Improved social governance, sustainability reporting, and goal tracking
  • Improved data quality and data aggregation, rather than having data spread across several spreadsheets and platforms
  • Visualization/trending of data and easy-to-digest analytics

Brian Larson, the Facilities Manager for Extreme Networks, manages the company’s data and is pleased to have all the company’s data in one place where it is easy to find and locate.

What sustainability reporting best practices can we take from this?

  1. Having quality data is a necessity for sustainability reporting – frameworks and reporting portals expect your datasets to be accurate and complete so they can give you the right results and/or rank you accordingly.
  2. Have your data all in one place. When reporting season rolls around, you may be reporting to many different frameworks. Copying and pasting data out of Excel spreadsheets is time consuming, tedious, and prone to error. An energy and sustainability management platform will often integrate with sustainability reporting frameworks, allowing you to simply export your data from one place to another.
  3. Seeing data trends is invaluable. Sure, your sustainability reporting results will show you trends in your energy use and emissions, but it is much better to see these trends before you start reporting. That way, you can take steps to resolve any inefficiencies (and report those efforts as well). In other words, data tracking allows you to fix issues before they show up in your sustainability reporting scores or as negative aspects on your company report.

Key Takeaway

The pressure for corporations to become sustainable is only increasing, and the popularity of sustainability reporting is rising in tandem. By following the six best practices listed above, your company can make sense of where it stands in the sustainability arena and better navigate the process of sustainability reporting.

This article was written by Beatrice O’Campo, Marketing Associate, at WatchWire.