“As a first step, companies should understand which sustainability issues are aligned with the business strategy and where goals create financially material business value. For example, a water-intensive industry such as mining or food production would begin by asking how much water is required to realize its revenue growth ambitions and then determine if sufficient water is available in the future in the regions and supply chains where it does business, given that other water users in the region will be competing for the same limited supply. . . .
“Companies need to rethink the way they set sustainability goals and set fewer, but more meaningful targets. The first step is to apply a more disciplined approach that focuses on material issues and uses data to link the goals to the business, environmental and social context and desired outcomes. SustainAbility’s Targeting Value report provides a roadmap, tactics and best practice examples for setting sustainability goals. Using a ‘better goals’ mindset to leapfrog over current practice is more likely to avoid financial risk and make real progress to a more sustainable economy that supports business growth.”