Step Three – Sustainability Vision Statement

Step Three: Draft A Sustainability Vision Statement

Drafting a sustainability vision statement for your organization helps articulate how sustainability relates to your business or nonprofit, and is an important step for long-term integration of sustainability.  Setting a sustainability vision/mission/definition matters because once it’s defined in the context of your organization, you can more easily prioritize actions and goals.  Imagine sustainability for a restaurant as compared to an accounting firm.  The restaurant might include a commitment to a local and secure food chain, while the accounting firm might involve minimizing its professional footprint and supporting its local community.

Sustainability definitions and visions vary from organization to organization, but typically involves a measure of thought toward sustaining the economy, environment, and community for future generations.  Green Plus’ definition of sustainability involves all three – sometimes referred to as the “triple bottom line,” ” or the “three-legged stool” or the 3Ps (People, Planet, and Profit).

What makes a great sustainability vision statement?

  • An ideal statement is simple (two to three sentences, maximum) and describes what your organization means by sustainability.
  • If you’re able, convene a group of employees and management for input.  You might even consider including customers, investors and other important “stakeholders” in the process.  Hearing diverse views can uncover issues you might not have considered and inform your definition and statement.
  • Once you have your statement drafted, consider posting it publicly for employees and customers to see, on your website or at your place of business.  Such public pronouncements encourage a shared definition, build in a level of accountability and enable you to begin sharing your sustainability story with others.

Below, find a few vision statements from other organizations.

Riley Life Logistics vision statement:

“Seek to understand the future implications of our actions by focusing on the economic, social and environmental impacts of our business.”

The Taylor Companies vision statement:

“To develop sustainable business practices in our products and manufacturing processes that will benefit future generations through sustainable growth, both profitably and responsibly, while leaving a smaller footprint on the world.”

DuPont vision statement:

“Our vision is to be the world’s most dynamic science company, creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, and healthier life for people everywhere.”

For additional resources on vision statements, please visit the Green Plus Sustainability How To Guide.

Photo by Robert J Martin under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License

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