Unlocking sustainability's hidden value

Why do sustainability achievements come naturally for some companies, while others struggle to achieve even modest targets for impact reduction? I wish I could say the difference is some companies hire our sustainability consulting services and others don’t. But the truth is, despite abundant guidance and support, I’ve seen some clients take only faltering steps, while others take the ball and run. So when a company clearly has winning ways, it makes sense to take a closer look.

There’s a good chance you’ve used Rockline Industries’ products without ever knowing it. The family-owned, private-label manufacturer produces everyday items like baking cups, wet wipes and coffee filters for big names including Walmart, Seventh Generation and Starbucks. In 2008, we helped Rockline launch a sustainability program to respond to increasing demand from their customers for sustainability data and commitments.

A few weeks ago, Rockline published its most recent sustainability report, which shows it has blown past all but two of its 2015 targets. Ongoing initiatives are now so well integrated with operations that the company’s sustainability coordinator is actually reducing the number of hours he spends on program activities.

What’s Rockline’s secret? It is an exceptionally well-managed, organized and disciplined company.  As a result, it has had no difficulties following the sustainability roadmap we created together. Setting targets, establishing accountability, budgeting for solutions and tracking progress was nothing new for them. The process, tools and information we presented were an easy fit and have allowed company management to prioritize sustainability throughout the company, from product design to plant operations to communications and marketing.

Next page: Mastering the fundamentals of analytics