How to Make Sustainability Stick

By Deby Stabler

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It’s the middle of January and I ask: how many of your New Year’s resolutions are already forgotten? It’s tough to make things stick, even when they are very worthwhile. Sustainability initiatives are slippery sometimes, but you can make them stick with some of these tips.

  • List tangible benefits within your goal. If you determine that the new initiative saves $50 a month or attracts 3 new customers each week, you will stick to it.
  • Enlist the help of your staff and train them about any changes. A fringe benefit of sustainability programs is that staff engagement increases when working in a culture that promotes a greater cause.  Ensure their buy-in as they are likely to have insights on how to make the initiative even better.
  • Monitor your progress. Checking in on how well you are doing keeps you motivated as you see the needle moving bit by bit. And if you don’t see what you expected, you can make adjustments before letting too much time go by.
  • Tout your commitment. Telling your network makes it harder to drop out and you can mentor each other on overcoming challenges. Plus, you can gain followers on social media when you vlog about your continual improvement story.
  • Systematize it.  Incorporate your sustainability initiatives throughout your organization.  From planning to implementation to reporting, systematizing sustainability provides you with staying power and maximizes your results.

These tips align with a Plan-Do-Check-Feedback cycle, which is the foundation of an Environmental Management System (EMS).  Learn how to easily apply systematic sustainability to your business at my upcoming presentation at The International Ecotoursim Society’s conference in Florida.  I’ll be speaking on January 27th and will utilize an effective implementation template so that you can apply EMS principles to better your business—and to make sustainability stick.

If you would like help with your sustainability initiatives, please email me.

Learn more about EMS and Responsible Tourism.