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Sustainability Plan | A Cheat Sheet for Smart Businesses

If the time has come for you to evaluate sustainability initiatives, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re starting from scratch or updating an existing infrastructure, there’s no one-size-fits-all sustainability plan.

That’s why HydroPoint has done the research for you. We’ve created a choose-your-own-adventure for sustainability planning. To help you start working out cost, complexity, and long-term implications, here are the questions you need to ask.

What Does Success Look Like?
To determine what success looks like, you’ll need to evaluate your current sustainability course. From your ecological footprint to your energy use and waste output, what is the current situation? Maybe your organization has systems in place, but you need to streamline where sustainability data is collected. If you don’t yet have sustainability goals and deadlines, you’ll need to establish your own. To do it correctly, you’ll need to benchmark your current use of things like electricity and water, then pinpoint problem areas.

What’s The Cost?
Two common ways to evaluate sustainability are the Return On Investment (ROI) or the Internal Rate of Return (IRR). Ask your solution provider for savings projections. Your ideal solution is a project with a complete ROI in under five years.

What Are You Measuring?
A holistic sustainability plan goes beyond energy in vs. energy out. Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) consider factors like the social impact, data integrity, and cost of implementation.

How Are You Collecting Data?
What are the touchpoints between your data and your sustainability framework? Whether you’re notified in real-time if there’s a spike in water use, or if you have to wait until your next billing cycle, consider how you collect data (and how quickly).

What Are The Risks?
Making organizational changes always comes with a set of risks. For sustainability, think about the worst-case scenarios. If certain technologies become outdated or obsolete, what will happen to your sustainability framework? You’ll want to look for reputable solutions that mitigate risk by offering options like warranties and renewals.

How Do You Implement?
Once you decide to invest in a sustainability tool, how easy is the product to install? Hopefully you won’t make a serious purchase, only to find that actually getting the system up and running is insanely complicated. Try to find plug-and-play options that come ready to install and start working.

How Do You Get Up To Speed?
Your sustainability framework is now in place, whether it’s a new documentation process or a new technology. How do you learn the new protocols, and how can you get others up to speed? Find retailers that don’t just sell you a product then disappear. Look for the company that will sell you a product, and then train you on the technology and provide ongoing support.

What Else?
Certain sustainability tools might provide outcomes that you weren’t looking for, but are still benefiting from. One example is that HydroPoint smart irrigation routinely reduces the number of stops a landscape contractor needs to make around your property, saving users overtime employee costs and greenhouse gas emissions.