Published on : July 31, 2012

How to Develop a Robust Sustainability Strategy for Cost Reduction

How to Develop a Robust Sustainability Strategy for Cost Reduction

Our goal should be to create a simple message around the returns of sustainable investments which will allow organizations to make fast decisions for executing their projects. Sometimes the amount of contradictory information can make this process difficult.

Every organization has a unique way of running their enterprise and varying expectations when reducing costs. A strategic roadmap must be implemented during the early stage of the initiative for identifying the main focus area. This roadmap also might help to analyze current performance gaps and to improve initiatives to help realize achieved benefits. Sustainability value drivers should be investigated and captured during the visioning session with key project members’ involvement. This helps the organization to identify the baseline for their metrics.
Organizational characteristics are also important to analyze the gaps for any future recommendations. Before any scenario is suggested, the organizations’ social and environmental characteristics should be analyzed as well.

Alternative scenario development is another important task for the organization to establish during the implementation phase. During the recommendation phase, suggestions will be strategically chosen and implemented for the selected scenario to move forward with. The suggestions also have to include alternative ways to measure the identified scenario. Recommended strategies do not mean anything unless alternative ways are created to measure during the life cycle of the asset.

Identifying the right team before kickoff and establishing team members’ involvement during the strategic phase are two extremely important factors for the accuracy and timeliness of the project. This process should be initiated before work begins.

Chart illustrates the different areas to explore before the strategy development
Sustainability, in general, is not only related to physical assets. Strategic development should cover the areas beyond the physical portfolio of the organization. Organizations can generate growth, reduce cost and add value to their brand by implementing strategies under seven different areas during the life cycle of the project. Either one or multiple areas can be considered as part of the scenario development.

Alternative Ways to Identify Cost Savings

Once the scenario is selected along with an implementation strategy, it needs to be transferred into the real world for real time savings. The Project team is responsible for developing regular updates on various dimensions such as frequency, environmental impact, ROI, project cost and time-to-implementation.
Every organization sets up their goals differently to reduce cost. During final analysis, sustainability components offer measurable benefits in the following areas: energy efficiency, green house gas (GHG) emission, water consumption, building performance, environmental management, land and building utilization, workplace management, technology enablement, and waste.

An important question to ask before assessment begins is “Does my organization present opportunities for integrating sustainable practices in order to identify gaps, improve initiatives and realize their benefits?” If the answer is yes, then a holistic approach for sustainability strategy has to be considered by bringing the right team on board. Decision makers should also think about creating a robust strategy by envisioning the different cycles which will occur during the life time of the project.

About the Author

Renée-Marie Stephano is the President of the Medical Tourism Association™. Ms. Stephano is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Tourism Magazine, Health Tourism Magazine and Healthcare Development Magazine. Having a background in international marketing and relations, health law and litigation, she provides a valuable service to the Medical Tourism Association™ in these fields. She may be reached at Renee@MedicalTourismAssociation.com