40+ Sample Sustainability Statements

What Is a Sustainability Statement?

A sustainability statement is a formal statement that seeks to promote sustainable practices and policies within an organization. Essentially, any industry can come up with a formal statement that reinforces their commitment to sustainability.     

According to an article published by Georgetown University, Germany ranks the highest when it comes to world recycling rates. It is then followed by Austria, South Korea, and Wales.

Important Concepts in Sustainability

To act or behave in a sustainable way can mean many things for different people. For some companies and corporations, it could mean minimizing their carbon footprint. For private individuals, it could simply mean adopting more eco-friendly lifestyle changes. There are various concepts at play and interlinked with one another when it comes to sustainability. The following examples below describe some of these major concepts and ideas. 

Social Responsibility. More and more companies are starting to realize the importance of being a more sustainable and socially responsible organization. Not only is there greater awareness nowadays, but those corporations who continue observing unsustainable practices are called out and sometimes even condemned for it. Being socially responsible essentially means you are not disconnected or detached from all that is around you. For years, a lot of companies and establishments have turned a blind eye to the social realities surrounding them and have failed to realize the negative impact some of their policies might have had on people and the environment. But replacing wasteful and callous policies with more sustainable ones can promote greater social responsibility not only within the organization but also outside the workplace. Environmental Conservation. Another key concept in sustainability is a high regard and commitment to the environment. The environment should be a top priority for those who want to become more sustainable. Whether it’s an organization or an individual, there are many ways to advocate for environmental conservation. Even the smallest act of conserving water and reducing single-use plastic is already a positive sustainable step forward. The goal is to safeguard, protect and preserve the environment and all that reside in it. And for companies and organizations, this essentially means incorporating and implementing company policies that promote the protection and conservation of the environment. In the same way, it also means replacing practices that negatively impact the environment. Mission. An effective sustainability statement is always action-oriented. Sustainability demands a deep sense of duty and mission. It shouldn’t be merely a fancy statement that is theoretical or hypothetical. It must be accompanied with practice and conviction as well. At its core, your statement should echo the need and mission to become more sustainable. The very word mission entails action and response. Further, it is also important to note that vision and mission often go together. Rarely can you separate the two. Although they ought to be distinguished from each other, both should be based on an organization’s core values. To illustrate, if a company comes out with a sustainability statement, the company’s core values must be reflected in the formal statement. The language and choice of words ought to be action-based and mission-oriented as well. Long-term Impact. When it comes to sustainability, you must always think long-term. From its very root word ‘sustain’, it means to keep going and to continue and persevere. So as much as possible, steer clear of short-sighted goals or quick fixes. These may solve issues immediately, but you should also think of the effects and impact in the long run. Thinking long-term requires you to consider the bigger picture too. A sustainable mindset makes it necessary for you to weigh the impact and consider the consequences of your actions. Ideally, it should not be limited to just your work or profession either; a truly sustainable attitude and mindset spills over to every aspect of your life. Your lifestyle and habits ought to be aligned with what is good and beneficial for your environment and community in the long run.

Tips to Become a More Sustainable Organization

There can be a number of ways to promote sustainability in your organization. It can be through little individual acts or dramatic and significant changes in the workplace. The following examples are just some simple yet powerful tips that can help promote greater sustainability in your organization. 

Go paperless. A lot of companies have already adopted a paperless policy. With the Digital Age already in full swing, it is only practical to shift to more eco-friendly ways and practices in the workplace. Going digital can save a lot of resources. And although it may be impossible to completely eradicate the use of paper in the workplace, there are still several ways to minimize or lessen the use of paper. Simple things like using scratch paper or initiating a paper drive are just some ways of doing so. Providing incentives that push employees to use up less paper is also a big help. If the goal is long-term sustainability, then organizations must have the will to streamline company policies in such a way that every member of the organization is encouraged to go paperless. Help the community. As discussed in the previous section, sustainability is all about keeping the environment and community in mind. In the context of structured organizations, this means taking in account the effects and needs of the communities most affected by your practices and policies. For example, a more sustainable approach is consulting the communities that you serve or are directly affected by your business. Instead of blatantly disregarding them without thinking twice of whether lives might be affected or not, you can proactively reach out and engage with these people. Helping the community and taking into account their interests is not only the more sustainable and humane approach, it also helps promote harmony and dialogue among sectors. Prioritize people. Sustainability acknowledges the need to care for and look after the environment. It acknowledges that resources are finite and who uses up these resources if not people? Thus, a sustainability statement also knows how to prioritize people and promote the responsible use and consumption of resources. When you prioritize people, you take into consideration their needs and individual circumstances. For a lot of traditional corporations, the bottom line is what ultimately matters at the end of the day. But a sustainable company or organization does not pursue mindless profit at the expense of its workers and employees. These companies consider human resources a most valuable resource and that conviction is factored in within their sustainability statement.

How to Create a Sustainability Statement

To create a sustainability statement, you need commitment to see it through. And if you are looking for quick and reliable sample statements to use as a guide, there are dozens of editable templates above to choose from. Select one that suits your needs then follow the basic steps below.   

Step 1: Identify the Objective

The first step in crafting a sustainable statement is knowing what your objective is. You need to be able to establish the direction you are going. What is the purpose behind your sustainability statement? Is it merely to impress clients and other stakeholders? Or are you really driven by the desire to promote more sustainable and ethical corporate practices? If sustainability is one of your company’s goals, then you must be clear and specific as to how you envision a more sustainable organization. Keep your objective brief and straightforward. Avoid making this section too lengthy or too vague.

Step 2: Establish a Vision and Mission

The next step is establishing a sustainable vision as well as a mission. As stated previously, how you envision a sustainable organization is key. What does a sustainable future look like to you? It pays to be creative and imaginative when coming up with a clear vision. In the same way, a mission statement that captures your objectives should also be included. The two usually go together. It is important to keep both your vision and mission brief but concrete. If you are unsure of how to write one, there are numerous sample mission and vision statements available that you can use as reference.  

Step 3: Be Specific and Concrete

It is important to note that a sustainability statement can be as detailed or simple as you want it. The fine details and content of your statement would greatly depend on your organizational needs and objectives. So once you have established a clear vision and mission, make sure these are specific and concrete. Choose your words carefully and try to use proactive language as much as possible. If applicable, you can even back your statement up with supporting data or figures. It may add more credibility and substance to your sustainability statement.      

Step 4: Formalize the Assertion 

The last step in creating a sustainability statement is to formalize and reinforce your commitment to sustainability. Asserting your commitment is one way of closing your statement. Although a formal declaration is not always necessary, it can give your statement an added boost. Again, keep in mind your choice of words. Brief but specific and action-oriented words are more effective in communicating conviction than passive language.    

FAQs

How do you write a sustainability statement?

To write a sustainability statement, you need to prepare an objective in mind. Ideally, the statement should also be reflective of the values and principles of the organization. Refer to the tutorial guide in the preview section for more detailed instructions on how to create a sustainability statement.

What is an example of sustainability?

Sustainability can be manifested in various and creative ways. A concrete example of sustainability is the regular practice of reducing waste, recycling, reusing and upcycling products.

What are the 3 main principles of sustainability?

According to an article by You Matter, there are three pillars of sustainability. These are the economy, society and the environment.

More and more organizations and establishments are coming to realize the importance and benefits of adopting a more sustainable strategy in business. Browse the wide selection of editable templates above, choose one that meets your needs and create your own sustainability statement today!