Ability to Measure

How Is Ability to Measure Related to Indicator Selection?

Many organizations are now measuring and reporting their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Most do so using production formulas (if a company uses xx of petroleum, then xx GHG emissions result) rather than measuring actual point source or output of GHG emissions. Because GHG emissions come from many sources, it is extremely difficult to know exactly how many GHG emissions that a specific activity creates, unless there are measuring instruments over the entire planet.

For example, if you engage in a certain activity, such as driving your car, you will emit GHG emissions. If you don’t have a measuring device on your tail pipe (output) you can still calculate your GHG emission output using a formula (input).

The type of indicator that is used, in part, is determined by the ability to measure the input, output, or outcome as shown in the illustration below.