Reporting Internally and Externally

After a baseline and goals have been set, consistent progress reporting becomes necessary. In addition to the various internal audiences to which a project manager will be responsible for reporting, all external audiences and broadcast opportunities should be identified and exploited. Awareness is key to success in sustainability, and reliable, impactful data is an important communication tool. When a successful program is effectively communicated from managers, it is more likely to be recognized by third parties, further increasing its reach.

Effective reporting of data requires fully understanding one’s audience. Whether assembling a comprehensive report for the board of directors or a two-hundred word article for an internal newsletter, project managers must construct their data reports in a way that can be easily digested. Failure to do so will result in less impactful statements and asks. The same data can be constructed in a multitude of ways depending if your audience is corporate, employees, customers, public, third party organizations, or regulatory bodies.

Sustainability is a broad construct; effectively reporting data and results can help connect an audience to the program’s success and expectations. Carbon footprint is a common universal reporting metric but is extremely abstract to non-sustainability professionals. Getting a true carbon footprint is also very difficult since there is a great deal of reliance on external data sources, including multiple internal departments, vendors, suppliers, providers, consultants and other organizations. It is due to this complexity that most organizations calculating their footprint only report scope 1 and 2 emissions. If interested in calculating your footprint, explore the Greenhouse Gas Protocol for universally accepted means of calculation.

In place of calculating a carbon footprint, use a series of sustainability metrics that connect with your audience directly. For instance, reporting a 30% recycling rate is necessary but complimenting it with how many pounds of recycling are generated per person per workday will better resonate with an audience. The most common data metaphor in sustainability has to be this result is “equivalent to taking X amount of cars off the road.” This can be effective reporting but requires several other supporting metrics and assumptions.

Structuring regular data analytics and reporting around specific regulatory or award application requirements makes life much easier for project managers.  Regardless if a project manager is utilizing a third party data collection company, few collect all the various sustainability data metrics or output data in a way suitable for all of the various reporting avenues. Therefore, project managers should structure their data tools and reports around those required by regulatory or NGO organizations.

Reduction In Motion can help you better understand your data and more effectively report both internally and externally. We will utilize our data tools to ensure all of your data is effectively collected and managed for easy analysis and reporting. We’ll help you organize the data, so you can better communicate to various audiences. Let us help you raise awareness of your program and get the recognition and awards you deserve. Contact us today via (410)877-1593 or to discuss how we can get this process started for you at no charge.