Sustainability Planning: A Strategic Approach


Lesson: A worthwhile Sustainability Plan is like a great recipe - mixing the right ingredients in the right order to deliver exceptional results.

Many organizations want a comprehensive approach to sustainability that achieves their overarching vision. They are looking for clear goals, a defined timeline, a workable process and overall control of expenditures. RPM’s sustainability plans provide that clarity. They are specifically tailored to suit each organization’s needs, structure, and mission.

Our plans combine the right ingredients – vision, measurable outcomes, appropriate projects, operational considerations, incentives and training – combined to suit your organization. We sit on your side of the table, bringing in our team’s collective decades of expertise and network of partners to fully support implementation.

Step 1: We start by meeting with the client’s key decision makers to understand their core principles, what they have accomplished, what they feel needs to be done, learn about “hot buttons” issues, and budget cycles. It is also important to understand in-house customer resources that will be available to support plan implementation. Together we create goals that are attainable and define a step-by-step process on how to achieve them.

Step 2: The outcome of our meeting with customer management is an overall plan specifically tailored for their needs. It is essentially a “straw man” proposal. We ask our client to review it, give feedback and adjust it. RPM then develops a final draft that includes a Vision Statement, Defined Objectives, Measureable Goals, and a Step-by-Step Process.

Step 3: The Step-by-Step process will be comprised of components related to the objectives and interest of each customer. While most plans focus on reducing water and energy usage, some also include waste reduction and healthy environment strategies.

Where possible, we will strive to identify opportunities to supplement the process with utility and other available incentive programs. Below are two examples that are common to a majority of plans.

  • Measurement and verification of energy/water reduction opportunities – Critical to any plan, we first develop a baseline of current consumption. It is difficult to measure success if you don’t know where you are starting from. RPM will help define appropriate metrics, identify software to match the customer’s needs, and create a process to input and maintain the data.
  • No Cost/Low Cost opportunities – Here, the focus is centered on operating each facility in the most efficient way possible to generate operational savings that are often overlooked in project-centric approaches. We look at system parameters such as supply and return temperatures, operating hours, and flow rates. Savings can be in the 2-10% range depending on existing conditions. 

Our plans are intended to serve as “living documents,” used in daily operations as well as long-range planning and adapted over time to respond to changes within your organization. Please contact us for more information.