Coro’s Blog: On Purpose

Make a Resolution, Reach Your Goal

Published on January 6, 2011

Considering a New Year’s resolution? Well here’s a good reason to commit. Research shows that “People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.”

The good news is that it’s not too late to make a New Year’s resolution. You still have time to commit to a new project, a new idea or a new behavior.

For organizations, a resolution is comparable to a commitment or a target. As with personal resolutions, sustainability commitments linked to targets are key drivers to reaching organizational goals.

But when an organization is just starting out, it is difficult to know what commitments and targets will have the greatest social, environmental and financial return. The Sustainability Strategy Roadmap I produced last year provides insight into a comprehensive, robust approach to developing commitments and setting targets. One important step is to conduct a benchmarking study of competitors, peers and other leading organizations. Many organizations find this helpful to situate their current practices and inform possible stretch objectives and targets.

I conducted such a study for The Co-operators last year: “International Scan of Sustainability Practices of Insurance and Non-Insurance Companies”. The study looked at the sustainability practices of 17 companies including 13 insurance/financial companies and three non-insurance companies. While focused on insurance and finance, the research results are generally applicable across industries. The report analyzes 20 topical areas such as sustainability governance and management, carbon management, product and service development and diversity management.

You might find this study helpful if you have already adopted a resolution to advance sustainability in your organization but lack concrete steps. If you are already implementing your sustainability commitment, the research can provide a context to assess your progress against sustainability leaders.

Either way, the New Year is a good time to set commitments and targets to improve your organization’s sustainability performance.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, sustainable 2011.

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