A comprehensive plan covers so much more than just energy efficiency; rather it should address 10 key focal points that together will bring about true sustainability. These focal points are:

  1) Energy Efficiency & Conservation
  2) Green Building
  3) Water & Wastewater
  4) Recycling & Waste
  5) Purchasing
  6) Transportation and Fleet Management
  7) Renewable & Alternative Energy
  8) Natural Resources & Land Use
  9) Food
10) Education

Each focal point is tied in some way to the other points, and improvements in one area of focus can be achieved more effectively and efficiently when the other related points are considered at the same time. This is why a carefully, though-out plan of action must be created by a sustainable task force consisting of stakeholders from all facets of the community or organization. The steps for creating a good plan can be remembered with these 6 words:

Assess – Define the current conditions
Aim – Decide what goals to reach for
Assign – Delegate responsibility for reaching the goals
Act – Develop steps to achieve the goals in a timely manner
Appraise – Determine if the goals have been reached or if additional steps need to be taken.
Advertise - Declare your goals and subsequent achievements to your community and your world.