How to Reach Your Goal

22 October 2015

Jenny Cross is the vice president of Corporate Sustainability at Mohawk Industries. She recently published an article about setting and achieving sustainability goals during a time when everything is changing so much it is hard to predict what five years will bring. She mentions that Mohawk industries has a sustainability goal for 2020, but discusses the importance of checking in with that goal periodically and making adjustments.

Carleton has a goal to be carbon neutral by 2050, so what is important to do to ensure we can achieve that goal? According to Jenny Cross, we need to start by checking if our goals are still achievable and if they in line with business goals? This means looking at the impact of the goals on the overall institution, such as using renewable energy and it’s financial implications for Carleton.

Next, we need to be evaluating our goal constantly, but not be deterred if progress is not immediately visible. Sustainability initiatives, in particular, take a while to implement and so “patience is a virtue.” However, it is still necessary to check in to see what has changed in terms of technology making the goal easier to reach, or whether there is something that has inhibited the implementation of the goal.

Lastly, there is the question of how far goals should stretch. Jenny Cross argues that most people who set a goal that may not seem attainable often times make the most progress because they work really hard to try to reach that goal. In the end, they may reach it or they may not, but either way they still made a ton of progress in the attempt to reach that goal. This means that we should be setting goals that seem like a stretch, but we also want to be realistic.

I believe that being carbon neutral by 2050 is a very realistic goal but it will take work. We also need to check in more often with our Climate Action Plan to see where we are and if our plan needs some updating. Jenny Cross’ article is especially applicable to Carleton’s plan for carbon neutrality; however, it is important to consider all her points when making any sustainability goals. Hopefully this will lead to more sustainability goals being created and being met.