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Companies' sustainably unprepared

June 27, 2011
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WASHINGTON — While companies increasingly use public goals to signal their commitment to sustainability and their superiority to rivals, many remain unprepared to meet those targets, according to the Environmental Leader.

According to the report, "Setting and Managing Sustainability Goals: Trends and Best Practices for Sustainability Executives," while most companies have effective procedures for managing financial and other operational goals, processes for managing sustainability goals are still maturing, the article stated.

According to the article, a quarter of the sustainability executives surveyed for the study say their companies have set "aspirational" sustainability goals and lack a clear plan to achieve them.

"Despite the best of intentions, even some excellent companies are challenged to execute on the sustainability goals they announce," said David Schatsky, principal at Green Research and author of the study.

In the survey, 57 percent of respondents characterized at least some of their sustainability goals as "stretch goals" — that is, challenging but probably achievable — and 54 percent said at least some of their goals are "realistic," meaning they represent what the company believes is achievable based on an assessment of its current performance, the article noted.

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