SNEWS Outdoor Winter 2010 web extras: GoLite’s Kim Coupounas offers 15 steps toward being sustainable

The winter 2010 issue of SNEWS keeps on giving with this web extra focused on 15 steps that GoLite -- and other companies can implement too -- to achieve its sustainability objectives.

Check out this expanded magazine extra from the SNEWS Outdoor Winter 2010 issue. For the complete story, see “Turning Green: A guide for reviewing your company’s environmental impact,” p. 42. To download the full issue, starting in February, go to

Kim Coupounas, co-founder and chief environmental officer of GoLite, has compiled a list of 15 steps that she and her staff use to achieve their sustainability objectives.

1. Gain leadership team alignment + buy-in: Determine what you want to achieve.

2. Assign a full-time or part-time sustainability steward: A management-level employee who understands broad business implications of sustainability.

3. Evaluate the company’s mission, values and vision: Do they reflect our values and the soul of the company? Will they help us achieve our sustainability objectives?

4. Set BIG “moon landing” goals based on your values, vision and overall sustainability objectives.

5. Rally the troops: Convene a summit of all employees to roll out your mission and values, educate employees, gain buy-in, and set short-term and mid-term goals.

6. Launch a sustainability task force of volunteers from throughout the company to shepherd the cultural aspects of sustainability year over year.

7. Start at home: Make changes to corporate headquarters’ operations first to make sure that change starts from the core out.

8. Evaluate your footprint. Do a baseline analysis of ALL company operations and impacts to figure out where your impacts on the environment and people are.

9. Review footprint baseline with leadership team.

10. Assess data and set priorities. Use the baseline footprint data to establish footprint mitigation priorities and strategies.

11. Use data and priorities to create a web of policies to institute change into the corporate fabric. Modify existing company policies, guidelines, performance evaluations, practices, etc., to align against those priorities.

12. Roll out footprint baseline and priorities to the entire staff. Gain understanding and seek input.

13. Take action. Take real, measurable action to deliver against priorities and mitigation strategies. Measure. Repeat.

14. Set the bar higher. Set aggressive new targets after reaching each milestone. Take action. Measure. Repeat.

15. Be transparent. Report what you’ve learned and are doing publicly through your company’s website and a formal CSR Report.