Why is this important?
Sustainability is often a cross-cutting topic within a company that requires the cooperation of multiple business divisions. Clear goals which are ambitious but nonetheless achievable promote constructive and coordinated cooperation and ensure that the sustainability strategy is implemented. The process of developing sustainability goals can itself be used to raise awareness of the topic internally and give all sorts of employees the opportunity to participate in developing and implementing the sustainability strategy.
What do the terms mean?
An objective describes a desirable state which is to be achieved by a specific time in the future on the basis of corresponding behaviour. Quantitative goals are linked with a figure, such as reducing energy consumption by 20%. Qualitative goals describe a state which is to be achieved. These should likewise be formulated such that it can be clearly ascertained whether the goal was achieved or not by X point in time, e.g. setting up a company playgroup or achieving climate neutrality.
Here, operationalising means making the goal achievement measurable. The objectivity, reliability and validity of the data need to be ensured. Measurable means that the goals are defined as clearly as possible and that the plan and time-frame up to goal achievement are clearly stipulated. Only then can it be determined whether and to what extent the goals really have been achieved and whether adjustments are needed (see also criterion 6: Rules and Processes).
What needs to be borne in mind?
Please endeavour to state both quantitative and qualitative goals and relate the goals to your company operations as a whole and your core line of business. Please note that it is the overarching objectives of your sustainability strategy that are considered here. You can give more detailed accounts of more specific goals under the relevant criteria in the ’Environmental matters‘ and ’Society‘ sections.
If your company has yet to set itself sustainability goals, please outline the process you wish to adopt in order to develop such goals and state the point in time by which the goals are to be defined.