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  • Hannah Keartland

🚀Hit Your 2024 Sustainability Goals: Fast-Track Guide!

Updated: Apr 8

Four simple steps from Hannah Keartland to help you reach your true potential in 2024.

Have you set your goals for 2024 yet? If not then let’s get started using this simple four-step approach that will help you not only set your goals, but also deliver them.

Step 1 – set your goals


Setting clear, specific goals is the first crucial step in making progress within your business. This applies to sustainability as much as to any other part of your business. 


Aim to set no more than 5-7 overarching goals for the year. More than this and you lose focus. Spreading yourselves too thinly means you’re less likely to make meaningful progress on anything. 


What makes a good goal? It’s that tried and tested formula that you’re probably familiar with – make them SMART. 


Specific 

Measurable 

Achievable 

Relevant

Timebound


One of the questions I find helpful to ask when ‘testing’ a goal is:

“Will we all be crystal clear on whether it’s been achieved at the end of the year?”

For example, let’s assume one of your goals is measuring your carbon footprint. This would be a SMART way of writing it:

By 31 December 2024, we will know our carbon footprint (scopes 1 and 2) and have a plan in place for how to reduce it, including timelines and targets.

Step 2 – break your goals into manageable chunks


The jump from where you are now to where you want to get to by the end of the year (your goal) is probably too big to do in one leap. Just having the goal doesn’t tell you what to do right now. You probably need to break down the journey into manageable chunks. This will help you get clarity on how to get started.


In our carbon footprint example, your first step for January might be:

Reach out to 5-10 similar businesses we know and ask who helped them measure their carbon footprint, and did they use any software. Can they make an introduction?

Step 3 – check in on progress


Cup of espresso in pink cup and saucer, hands on notepad and pen that reads "Progress, not perfection"
Don't let perfect be the enemy of good

Once you’ve got clear steps you need to take, schedule times to check in on progress. This could be weekly and/or monthly. It can help to block some time in your diary, or build the check-in into an existing meeting.


In our carbon footprint example, you might want to track progress against your target of contacting 5-10 businesses in an existing weekly planning meeting, together with tracking the number of replies you’ve received. 



Step 4 – overcome issues 


If you find you aren’t making the progress you planned, take time to ask why. And then explore what you can do to help clear that blocker.


For example, if the team didn’t have time to contact other businesses to find out how they measured their carbon footprint, it might help to ask:


  • What are they spending their time on?

  • Can you help take things off their plate?

  • Are there lower-priority activities acting as distractions?

  • Would it help to share the task?


Or if they don’t know who to contact, maybe you could spend 15 mins as a team creating a list and dividing it up between you.


Using this four-step approach


Every single business (even the most sustainable ones) has improvements it can make. And the way to improve is by:


  1. Setting goals

  2. Breaking them down into manageable chunks

  3. Regularly checking in on progress, and

  4. Intentionally clearing blockers. 

If you follow those four steps then you’ll find yourself in a different place at the end of 2024 to where you are now.
Good luck!

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