Five steps can help corporation or campus sustainability catch fire, sustainability consultant Jerry Yudelson said. Recent research shows that, “Incorporating corporation sustainability or institution sustainability into strategic planning can provide companies with a competitive advantage, open up new markets, help new product development, and improve a company’s reputational equity,” Yudelson said.

The ongoing recession makes saving money more important than ever, and the need to reduce corporate environmental footprints is urgent.

“Using a sustainability framework helps identify economic, social, and environmental inefficiencies,” Yudelson said. “Attacking the low-hanging fruit in inefficient operations leads to immediate savings that can fund future initiatives.”

Through sustainability consulting projects with trade groups, manufacturers, development firms, and universities, Yudelson Associates has developed five steps to establishing a corporate or other institutional sustainability program:

• Setting the vision.
• Staffing the effort.
• Establishing metrics to measure progress.
• Implementing strategic initiatives.
• Communicating results to stakeholders.

The company’s free downloadable white paper, “Corporate Sustainability,” describes the five steps and provides an overview of important resources, such as the Global Reporting Initiative, ISO 14001-compliant environmental management systems, and the Global Ecolabeling Network.