May 23 2022

How businesses can measure sustainability efforts

Written by Orderly Marketing

Sustainability is a hot topic in the business world right now. Many companies are looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact and become more sustainable. But how can you track and measure your sustainability efforts? In this blog post, we will discuss how to track and measure your sustainability efforts and how to identify areas for improvement, as well as how to present your changes to the public. 

Why track your business’s sustainability?

 Consumers are more interested in business sustainability than ever before. A recent survey in the UK found that 70% of consumers would be willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are environmentally and socially responsible. In addition, sustainable business practices can help you save money in the long run by reducing waste, improving efficiency, and reducing your environmental impact. 

There’s a clear benefit for all, but for many food and beverage brands, there seem to be many moving parts to sustainability tracking. So how do you track and measure your sustainability efforts? 

Analyse food waste

Food waste is an area that almost everyone can have a direct impact on. Food waste is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and it is a huge problem in the food and beverage industry. In fact, it is estimated that up to 40% of food produced in the United States is wasted each year. (Source:  National Resources Defense Council) while in the UK, the food and beverage industry wastes over £20 billion of edible food each year (Source: Wrap UK) 

How can you track your food waste? 

There are a few ways to do this. One way is to track the amount of food waste you generate each week. Another way is to track the cost of food waste.

  • Weigh your food waste. This will give you a good idea of how much food is being wasted each week/month. However, you also want to look at the shelves. Orderly can help you do this by integrating with your POS.
  • You can also track your efforts to reduce food waste. For example, if you’re composting or donating food waste, you can track how much you’re reducing each week/month.
  • Track the tangible cost of food waste not just voice. Looking at it in pounds and pence will help you see how much money is being wasted each week/month. This will give you some tangible figures.
  • Track where food waste is coming from. The main culprits are usually prep areas, the buffet, and the kitchen.

An inventory management application like Orderly Inventory can certainly help here. Our tool works with enterprises to calculate waste.

Another Orderly product, the Orderly Scorecard can identify areas for improvement in your enterprise and give your staff direct, actionable tips on how to reduce the waste profile of their store. 

Other areas to track changes in 

Another area where businesses can save money and become more sustainable is by reducing inefficiencies in their operations. Inefficiencies can come from several sources, such as outdated equipment, inefficient processes, or even human error. By tracking and measuring your operational efficiency, you can identify areas for improvement and make changes to reduce waste and improve your bottom line.

There are a few ways to track operational efficiency. One way is to track the amount of time it takes to complete each task in your operation. Another way is to track the amount of energy or resources that are used to complete each task. This will help you identify areas where your processes are taking too long and need to be improved. 

Analysing water usage

Water is another area where businesses can make a big impact. Wasted water not only costs businesses money, but it also puts a strain on the environment. In many parts of the world, water is a limited resource, so it’s important to use it wisely.

There are a few ways to track your water usage. One way is to track the amount of water that you use each week. Another way is to track the cost of water. This will help you see how much money you’re spending on water each week/month. 

You can also track your efforts to reduce water usage. For example, if you’re installing low-flow toilets or using greywater, you can track how much you’re reducing each week/month. 

Analyse energy use 

You may also want to monitor your energy use. You’ll want to track your energy use over time to see if you’re making progress in reducing your environmental impact. You can do this by monitoring your energy bills and /or by using a monitoring device like a power meter.

Once you’ve started tracking your progress, you can begin to make changes to improve your sustainability efforts. You may want to set goals for yourself and/or your team to reduce waste, save money, and/or reduce your environmental impact. By tracking your progress and making changes, you can identify what to do next. 

Analyse suppliers 

Take a deep dive into your suppliers and their packaging, process and delivery methods. Are they still a good fit? What changes could be made to how they work that could have a direct impact on overall sustainability? 

How to present your success 

Many businesses want to make strides in changes in sustainability but fear accusations of greenwashing.  Greenwashing is the act of presenting environmentally-friendly changes as though they are more significant than they actually are in an attempt to improve public image. 

To avoid greenwashing, be transparent about your efforts. Show your data and allow people to see your progress. Be clear about what you’re doing and why it matters. And most importantly, don’t make claims that you can’t back up. If you’re not sure about something, don’t say it. It’s better to be honest and open than to make false claims. 

By tracking your sustainability efforts, you can avoid greenwashing and show the world that you’re doing your part to make a difference in many areas. 

Don’t go it alone. 

Interested in technology that can identify the changes you need to make? Speak to Orderly! Our smart technology and scorecard can identify the steps your business needs to take, guiding you towards a more profitable, sustainable business. 

Speak to us today.