How to define corporate sustainability objectives?

Tom Bengaouer
Responsable Communication & Marketing

Companies are increasingly focusing on environmental responsibility in order to protect the environment and improve their corporate identity. Defining clear and achievable corporate sustainability goals is an important first step in making this commitment a reality.

This article will help you to understand the steps to follow in order to define sustainability objectives for your company. You will discover how to assess your company's current environmental impact, how to identify sustainability opportunities, and how to set SMART goals for improving your environmental performance.

Why should companies set sustainability targets?

Setting clear environmental targets allows companies to measure their environmental impact and track their progress over time. This can help them make decisions to minimise their environmental footprint and communicate more transparently. By setting sustainability targets, companies can also create a concrete action plan to improve their environmental performance.

Setting sustainability targets can help companies improve their corporate identity with consumers. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the environment and are more likely to choose companies that care about it. By demonstrating their commitment to environmental protection, companies strengthen the commitment of their customers.

Setting environmental sustainability goals can help companies save money in the long run. By implementing sustainable practices, companies can reduce their energy, water and waste costs, while improving their environmental performance. This can help them avoid potential penalties and the costs of environmental regulatory compliance if they fail to act. It is therefore an advantage for companies that want to protect the environment and improve their environmental performance.

Key steps in defining corporate sustainability objectives

The first step in defining corporate sustainability objectives is to understand the company's current environmental impacts. This may involve an analysis of energy consumption, water consumption, waste produced, greenhouse gas emissions, etc. This analysis can be done internally or by a third party. This analysis can be carried out internally or outsourced through sustainability consultants.

Once the company's current environmental impacts are understood, the next step is to determine the sustainability opportunities for the company. These include implementing more sustainable actions to minimise the company's environmental footprint, such as using renewable energy, reducing waste, improving energy efficiency, etc. These opportunities can again be identified internally or outsourced to consultants.

The final step is to set SMART objectives. SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) objectives can help to ensure that sustainability goals are achieved and made clear. For example, a SMART objective for a company could be "To reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2025 by using cleaner energy sources". By setting SMART targets, companies can monitor their progress and ensure that they are working effectively to achieve their environmental goals.

How to measure the impact of the actions implemented in relation to sustainability objectives

To measure progress towards sustainability goals, companies should establish key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs can include measures such as greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, waste produced, water use, etc. These indicators help to ensure that sustainability targets are met on time.

These indicators allow companies to regularly review their progress towards their environmental responsibility objectives. For example, through the publication of an annual sustainability report that details the company's progress towards sustainability, as well as the challenges and opportunities for the future. 

Companies can also measure their progress towards sustainability goals through their stakeholders. For example, by choosing environmentally responsible suppliers. Discussing with other stakeholders allows them to receive advice and suggestions on sustainable initiatives they may have tried. By working together with stakeholders, companies can ensure that they take into account important environmental concerns and work responsibly to address them.

How companies can communicate their sustainability objectives

It is important for companies to clearly communicate their sustainability objectives so that stakeholders understand their commitment. Companies can use several communication channels to inform stakeholders, such as their website, social networks, annual reports and public relations events. Companies can also set up internal engagement programmes to inform and involve employees in their sustainable initiatives.

Companies can communicate their environmental labels or socially responsible business certifications. Consumers are looking for products and services that are sustainable and ethical. 


Setting sustainability goals is an important first step for companies wishing to become more sustainable. It can help them measure their environmental impact, minimise their ecological footprint, strengthen their corporate identity and save money in the long run. Key steps in setting sustainability goals include understanding the company's current environmental impacts, identifying sustainability opportunities and setting SMART goals. By following these steps, companies may be able to set achievable and ambitious goals for environmental protection and become more environmentally responsible.

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