A Strategic Plan is crucial for Environmental Services as it provides a roadmap for success by outlining clear goals, objectives and the means to achieve them. A strategic plan helps us align our efforts and resources toward a common vision. It enables effective decision-making and resource allocation, fosters collaboration, and ensures that everyone is working towards shared objectives. Moreover, a well-crafted strategic plan serves as a reference point for evaluating progress and making adjustments along the way, ensuring that we stay on track toward our desired outcomes.
Environmental Services’ work is vital to our community and we have a responsibility to consider environmental, social, and economic factors in a wholistic manner, using sustainability as a lens to approach the strategic planning process.
Incorporating Sustainability into the Strategic Plan is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it allows us to recognize and address the connectedness of systems, understanding our impact on the environment and society and responding with responsible practices that consider the bigger picture. By considering sustainability in everything we do, we can amplify our value to the community while we enhance our reputation and build stronger, more trusted relationships with stakeholders. This strategic focus on sustainability helps to prepare the organization for future challenges and regulatory changes. It encourages innovation, driving the development of services and processes that represent the best value for our customers. Lastly, sustainability initiatives can lead to cost savings through increased energy efficiency, waste reduction, and improved resource management, thus contributing to the organization’s long-term financial position.
The incorporation of Sustainability into the Strategic Plan is vital for Environmental Services to create a positive impact, stay ahead of the curve, and build a sustainable future.
Sustainable Strategic Plan
The Mission of Environmental Services is to protect the quality of life of our citizens and the unique natural resources of our region by providing exceptional services. To a large extent, this Mission emerges from the responsibility we have been given by our City Council and the City Charter.
Mission statements are great, but they are often too brief to provide sufficient detail. So, for the last several years, Department leadership has been working together to develop a series of Value Statements that help clarify the key principals that we hold as an organization.
Based on our Mission and Values, employees in the department collaborated on a series of aspirational Goals that describe what the department would look like in 20 years if we act in accordance with these principals.
While these Goals give staff something to shoot for, it is important to consider what success looks like in each of the diverse areas of the Department. As a jumping off point, more than 70% of ES employees participated in a Department-wide survey to help benchmark success and provide direction for the development of the Sustainable Strategic Plan.
Armed with data from the survey, Work Groups were formed consisting of 20-30 representatives from across all divisions. These groups included Departmental leadership, subject matter experts and representatives of the stakeholders most impacted by each Goal. Work Groups first gathered to brainstorm and develop more detailed Objectives for each of the stated Goals. They came together again to discuss very specific Strategies for how Environmental Services is going to meet the Objectives going forward.