Agenda 2030: Goal 6, clean water and sanitation for all

Sustainability plan: what it is and what it is for
Sustainability plan: a strategic document that an increasing number of companies are choosing to prepare, especially among medium- and large-sized businesses. What is it and what are the differences with the sustainability report? We discuss it in this article.

What is a sustainability plan
To explain what a sustainability plan is with a fairly simple definition: a sustainability plan is a strategic document that defines the goals and actions that an organization or company commits to take to become more environmentally, socially, economically, and in the relationship management. As a result, we are talking about an important tool for addressing current challenges related to climate change, natural resource depletion, and corporate social responsibility. But what are the elements of a sustainability plan? Let’s look at them together:

Objectives and strategies.
A sustainability plan focuses on the long-term goals an organization wants to achieve to become more sustainable. These goals may relate to reducing environmental impact, increasing initiatives for the enhancement and well-being of human resources, and a stronger commitment to the local communities in the areas where the company operates. Goals, in other words, are goals to be achieved in the medium term, but they should not remain theoretical. In fact, the sustainability plan also identifies the strategies, resources and actions needed to achieve these goals. For example, to reduce its environmental impact, a company might put in place more stringent supplier selection procedures, or choose to invest 1 million euros over three years in adopting new green production technologies.

Each action in the sustainability plan, based on a given strategic goal, must be planned. This means that it must be planned in a logical sequence, taking into account available resources and identifying a defined implementation date.

Measurement and monitoring.
The preceding two points have a clear consequence: a sustainability plan requires rigorous measurement and careful monitoring of progress toward established goals. Therefore, just as in the sustainability report, it is necessary to identify sustainability indicators that measure the impact of actions taken on people, the community, the environment and the company itself. Regular monitoring serves to evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies and actions taken and to make any corrections to improve it.

Participation and involvement.
All significant stakeholders should be involved in the preparation of a sustainability plan: employees, suppliers, customers, local communities, and investors. This makes it possible to make related strategies and actions more concrete and in line with the needs and expectations of those who come into contact with the enterprise. In addition, it serves to set realistic, relevant, measurable and achievable goals.

What, however, is the difference between sustainability plan and sustainability report? We can explain it with a comparison: the sustainability report takes a snapshot of a company’s existing situation, the sustainability plan indicates the direction and goal to improve it.In other words, the sustainability report presents a detailed and transparent overview of the sustainability actions taken, the results achieved, and the impacts generated over the course of a year. The sustainability plan, on the other hand, focuses mainly on future goals and the strategies to be put in place to achieve them.