How to Use Sustainability Data
And your Impact Report from O'land
Sustainability data is a big buzzword for a lot of businesses. For good reason! Having data is so important to your business for countless reasons. As they say, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” This applies to sustainability too.
When discussing sustainability and sustainable planning, we must sustain our strategies with proper data. There are many ways to collect and analyze this data, and it will mirror to us the facts we can not deny.
But it all depends on the proper usage of this data. Otherwise, we’ll go around in circles. Another key point is to target the right metrics to have valuable material to support the sustainability argument.
Because oddly enough, a good part of the business world still doesn’t take action to save the planet and living beings with enough urgency.
What is sustainability data?
At O'land we call it Impact Report. Sustainability data, or sustainability metrics, give us information about resource utilization & environmental impact.
Here are a few examples of sustainability data we can collect on products, services, and systems:
How much water is being consumed (in our case, via our drinking water stations).
What type of energy is being used, and how much?
Type of sourced materias (ie. recyclable, biodegradable, or neither of these options) ?
Is there any type of closed-loop logistics in the supply chain? And if there is, which volume is coming back to the manufacturer (ie. return schemes)?
How much waste is generated?
How much CO2 emissions and if there are measures to offset it, etc?
If the process to collect this data is done correctly, it will give us essential information, as numbers don’t lie.
From collecting such data, it is then possible to establish goals in a SMART way: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based goals.
For example: if a music festival produces 1 ton of plastic waste per day, what measures can be taken to reduce this production by 50%? A possible solution is to install water stations so people can get hydrated with no need to buy single-use plastic bottles.
Instead of selling water in plastic bottles, the producers can encourage people to bring their own reusable bottles or sell them at the festival - which makes a great souvenir to remember the good moments we spend with our friends at these festivals. This measure has managed to hydrate 65% of the Osheaga & Ile Soniq festival audience in 2019. And during Osheaga 2022, our data showed that we reached and served 2/3 of the audience with 85 000 refills.
As you can see, this is a SMART goal, and the data shows it is attainable and relevant. Share these numbers with your stakeholders and be transparent.
More and more people are valuing sustainability above immediate rewards. This is because it is no longer possible to deny human actions' impacts on natural chains by using resources in an unsustainable way and dumping non-compostable and toxic waste into the environment.
And if the benefit of maintaining life alone is not enough, numbers show that sustainable initiatives can be equally profitable.
Sharing the results and information collected by the sustainability consultancy with partners, investors, employees, and consumers makes it possible to engage the entire community for the greater good. We have already seen the positive feedback from our 2022 impact reports generated using this sustainability data. For an example of O'land impact report you can receive by working with us, please click here.
The numbers can be impressive and moving, but they need to be supported by our actions and result in a permanent change of mentality in relation to sustainability.