How to get started with sustainability? The magic word is industry benchmarking

Jul 22, 2022

Thousands of SMEs with 250 or more employees will be new to the topic of sustainability due to the CSRD reporting requirement. Many of these newcomers start from scratch: There is no sustainability manager or organization for sustainability yet, little knowledge and the complexity is high. So how to get started? Newcomers can take a shortcut to quickly get their bearings and be ready to act and make decisions. The magic word is "industry benchmarking." This provides newcomers with answers to 5 questions:

1️⃣ How is sustainability structured and tangible?

Industry benchmarking compares the sustainability of industry trailblazers by sector and criteria. These give newcomers a tangible structure to hold onto for entry.

2️⃣ Who are the pioneers in our industry and with customers?

Each industry has about 5 to 10 companies that position themselves in the market as clear sustainability pioneers. In benchmarking, newcomers get to know pioneers in their own industry or in customer industries and can orient themselves on them.

3️⃣ Where does the market stand differentiated by topics

When looking at the pioneers, newcomers can see where the market currently stands at the top in terms of sustainability. It is important to note that pioneers are not top per se in all areas, but that the picture is differentiated.

4️⃣ What are best practices in the respective fields of action?

In order not to reinvent the wheel, newcomers can orient themselves on the best practices of the pioneers. In benchmarking, newcomers get to know between 20 and 40 best practices in a structured manner, which they can discuss and select in order to tackle them themselves in perspective.

5️⃣ What are the prerequisites we need in sustainability management to get started?

An important insight from the benchmarking report is what preconditions other pioneers have created to be able to start and act systematically with sustainability. These prerequisites are the logical next step to start yourself.

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