Key Concepts: Ability to Measure

When reviewing the indicators that an organization provides in its sustainability report, keep in mind that the ability to measure the input, outcome, or output will determine the type of indicator that is selected. Ability to measure will also affect whether a quantitative indicator or a qualitative discussion is provided on a topic.

  • A indicator, such as training hours or costs (input), is often used, as knowledge retained (output and outcome) is difficult to measure.
  • Climate change (outcome) is difficult to measure; therefore, an indicator of GHG emissions (input) is provided instead.
  • Biodiversity (outcome) is difficult to measure; therefore, procedures to protect biodiversity (input) can be provided in a narrative discussion.