The Importance of Ongoing Measurement and Evaluation

Measurement and evaluation (M&E) provide businesses with critical data points. Business leaders should follow these tips to gauge progress towards sustainability goals, understand trends, and save money.

It’s the final stretch. Businesses have performed the hard work of baselining, benchmarking, goal development, and implementation. Now it’s time for the easy, yet crucial, part – measuring progress!

Much like tracking financials, ongoing measurement and evaluation (M&E) offers critical insights. M&E helps business leaders understand the impact of individual sustainability initiatives and track progress towards long-term goals. It can also offer insights needed for informed adjustments to their sustainability roadmaps.

Tracking progress also supports transparency. Use data to link personal actions to energy or resource consumption. Share results. Remember, people generally want to do the right thing if convenient enough. Help them see the positive contributions resulting from their actions. Make it easier for them to choose to save.

Behavior-Nudging

Humans are curiously competitive creatures. Most of us recognize that humans often abandon logic after involving emotions. No matter how trivial, people go bananas for the opportunity to beat another human being. For example, have you ever watched someone drop $60 at a fair to win a stuffed animal they could have purchased for $15? Put this bit of behavioral science to work for your (and your company’s) advantage.

Link individual actions to outcomes. Introduce friendly competition in support of your sustainability initiatives. Offer small prizes for the winning people or teams. For example, some organizations host friendly energy efficiency competitions across different departments or buildings. Be creative. 

If your organization cannot disaggregate energy consumption by department or building, don’t dismay. You can offer a small party for reaching company-wide energy efficiency targets. Sustainability-related competitions illustrate employees can maintain a high quality of life while using fewer resources. And it can even be fun! When people understand their impact, they’ll often find the gamification enthralling.

The best practitioners understand sustainability isn’t something organizations do. It’s part of doing business. Changing organizational culture isn’t easy. It won’t happen overnight, but keep that M&E train rolling. Be creative. Remain resilient, stay focused on the end-goals, and by golly – keep at it! The results may surprise you.

Check out the final article in this series for practical tips to start your organization’s sustainability journey. For the entire picture, download the full publication titled “Nine Beacons to Chart Your Business Towards a Sustainable Future” here.

Are you ready to chart your sustainability journey? Could you use help creating the right sustainability goals for your organization? Contact Solutions in Sustainability today to share your long-term vision. We want to help identify the right Solutions in Sustainability for you.

About the Author

Alex Kaufman is a science communicator, clean energy specialist, sustainability nerd, professional engineer, travel enthusiast, and resident of San Diego, California. When not helping clients, you can usually find him cycling, hiking, reading, spending time with loved ones, or planning the next big adventure. He is open to speaking engagements. Contact him at alex@alexkaufmanpe.com.

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