Developing a sustainability roadmap

Developing a sustainability roadmap

Our sustainability webinar series aims to break the complex world of sustainability down into digestible pieces to help you get on top of the fundamentals and start driving change in your organisation. At our March 2024 event, Aletta Boshoff shared some key insights and considerations for developing a sustainability roadmap. Here, we share the key takeaways.

With mandatory sustainability reporting creeping closer, many organisations in Australia are asking, 'How do we get started in tackling sustainability within our organisation?'. It can seem overwhelming. However, as organisations look to activate sustainability and understand the underlying drivers leading them down this path, it becomes clear that a plan and roadmap are required to drive them to success.

The Australian Government has followed its promise to mandate climate reporting in Australia by introducing the Treasury Laws Amendment (Financial Market Infrastructure and Other Measures) Bill (Bill) into Parliament on 27 March 2024, which will mandate climate reporting for entities required to prepare and lodge financial reports with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) under Chapter 2M of the Corporations Act 2001. Significantly, the Bill delays the start date from those previously communicated for Group 1 entities by at least six months, from 1 July 2024 to 1 January 2025 at the earliest.

Find out what this might mean for your organisation.

What is a sustainability roadmap?

A sustainability roadmap provides a succinct way to represent an organisation's sustainability strategy visually. It should support clear communication with relevant stakeholders to help them understand your priorities, direction and timing for the various inputs contributing to your overall sustainability plan.

Why do you need a sustainability roadmap?

A sustainability roadmap can help to:

  • Clearly outline your project objectives
  • Gain early buy-in on project deliverables
  • Manage stakeholder expectations from the outset, and
  • Create greater accountability, helping you to track and report progress.

Internal beneficiaries of a sustainability roadmap can include:

  • The Board and its subcommittees to ensure the overall direction meets their needs and expectations
  • Executive team to ensure the functional strategies of the organisation are collaborative and aligned
  • Sustainability team to support their conversations with stakeholders, and manage expectations
  • The broader organisation to allow your people to see the journey you are on together and identify ways to play a part in its success.

Approaching your sustainability roadmap

Reflecting on the compliance or strategic imperative driving your sustainability journey helps you to start at a high level and then fine-tune the details. Plot out the stages, deadlines, or deliverables you need to achieve before deep diving into the steps you must take to make them happen.

It can even help to take a more significant step back to look at the broader environment. Consider the world around your organisation to anticipate the international, supply chain or industry expectations you might predict to take a longer-term view. For example, suppose you want to create a five-year roadmap. In that case, you might consider the sustainability standards developing in leading jurisdictions around the world, speak to the organisations in your supply chain to understand their future expectations or speak to industry bodies or networks to understand your competitive environment. Forecasting these external needs can help you retain your license to operate or gain a competitive advantage as you build and achieve your sustainability roadmap.

Depending on the complexity of your roadmap, you may even need to break down the project plan into streams. For example, you might align project streams with the mandatory reporting requirements that apply to your organisation or your organisation's priorities established in its materiality assessment or even based on grouping the commitments and contributions of the responsible leaders. Drawing the project streams together is essential to creating a clear, cohesive sustainability roadmap regardless of your approach.

How BDO can help

Whether your approach to sustainability is meeting compliance or a strategic imperative, we have a national team of sustainability experts who support organisations with:

  • Measuring carbon footprints
  • Mandatory and voluntary sustainability reporting
  • Sustainability strategies
  • Developing a sustainability roadmap to meet strategic or compliance-based requirements
  • Sustainability assurance.

Contact us today.