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Sustainability Planning

Sustainability planning is a concept focused on meeting the present needs of our communities without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainability plans are designed by organizations and developed as a roadmap to address the diverse needs of the individual institution. To help member organizations develop and enhance their sustainability efforts and choices regarding sustainability planning, reporting standards, metrics and materiality, certifications, programs and more, SBR has compiled this list of useful tools and key resources.

Sustainability Plans

Sustainability planning is intended to articulate an organization’s vision to create a more sustainable business and provide a blueprint that outlines goals and initiatives, and how and when identified initiatives will be accomplished. The plan provides the framework for the organization to move to a higher level of sustainability, balancing costs with environmental benefits and the impacts to the stakeholders involved.

Beginning a
Sustainability Plan

Sustainability Plan Worksheet

Growing & Reducing
Your Footprint

Example Plans by Industry

The logos on SBR’s member page are linked to the organization’s sustainability plans, when available. Please note that members can be viewed by member industry, if you would like to search plans for e.g. manufacturing, construction, waste management etc.

Sustainability Checklist

Having a strong sustainability checklist helps to identify SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, & time-bound), select and prioritize goals that help you reach your objectives, and define responsibilities.


SBR’s recognition program’s requirements encourage companies to implement a comprehensive sustainability plan. This includes systematic benchmarking, identification of further environmental efficiency opportunities, and quantification of results when improvements are put into place.

Engagement in the Process

It is important for an organization to have its employees, stakeholders and shareholders engaged in the sustainability process. An organization that successfully engages its employees is one that integrates sustainability strategically and makes it applicable to employee responsibilities, as well as facilitates collaboration, communication and the exchange of ideas.


Read More:

The Road Ahead, KPMG Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting
Profits with Purpose: How organizing for sustainability can benefit the bottom line


Materiality assessments help identify an organization’s most “material issues” that cause significant economic, environmental and social impact. Materiality assessments should inform both reporting and strategy. A Materiality Matrix is a visual diagram that is to be used as a guide in that decision making.


There may be regulatory requirements for mandatory carbon and chemical reporting. However, if your aim is to establish a benchmark against which to measure future reductions, or to make your emissions public in an annual report, then you have greater freedom to determine your own parameters.





Sustainability certifications are voluntary norms and standards relating to environmental, social, and ethical issues. Certifications help consumers and stakeholders understand that the company has gone through a third-party verification process regarding sustainability.

Read More:

BCorps Certification
LEED Certification

Standards and Reporting Frameworks

Sustainability reporting can help organizations to measure, understand and communicate their economic, environmental, social and governance performance, and then set goals, and manage change more effectively. A sustainability report is the key platform for communicating sustainability performance and impacts – whether positive or negative.

Read More:

The Five Reporting Frameworks You Should Know
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

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