There’s a lot of talk on how we can be more sustainable. Corporations, governments, and organizations alike, are attempting a slew of strategies that can help. But you might wonder, “Can sustainability be measured?” How do we know we’re on the right path? Below are a few answers you might want to know about measuring sustainability.
How We Track Progress: Can Sustainability Be Measured
1. How sustainability can be measured
Let’s answer this question first: “Can sustainability be measured?” The answer is yes!
Measuring sustainability basically means tracking the responsible performance of a body of people. This entails assessing their impact on the environment, economy, and society. These groups may be countries, a company, or an organization.
It takes a lot of work to create a quantitative system that brings together the many areas of sustainability. Few of these metrics include indexes and benchmarks. Many organizations and groups have come up with their own set of methods and processes as well.
One crucial element and tool in measuring sustainability are indicators. They may reflect the reality of how things are in terms and contexts that people may easily understand.
2. What are sustainability indicators?
Sustainability indicators are representations of the qualities people want to measure. The indicators help us understand the status of sustainability in terms that are easier to comprehend. Basically, they tell us which way we are going and how far along we are.
Good indicators allow you to see the potential problem areas. They help you recognize ways to fix these problem areas. They may be the basis of discussion among people who are from different backgrounds but have a shared vision of achieving a particular goal.
3. What makes an indicator effective?
Indicators are only effective when they are appropriate, comprehensive, and reliable. Basing indicators on available information is important as well. They pass through so many reviews and considerations before they become part of a framework.
The United Nations, for example, came up with the indicators of sustainable development through various assemblies. The people, working for it, make it a point to make the indicators as relevant and inclusive as possible. It can take several months, even years, to come up with an effective set of indicators.
4. What are the indicators of sustainable development?
The indicators of sustainable development vary. It depends on what a country, organization, or company envisions and targets. This said it would take us forever to put into detail, the indicators of sustainable development.
What sustainable development generally calls for is a holistic improvement in our world. For example, when we’re measuring environmental sustainability, the indicators might be air pollutant emissions, water quality, and raw materials consumption.
5. What are sustainability reports?
Many companies and organizations produce annual sustainability reports. These reports present facts about their impact on the environment, economy, and society. Through these, they are able to track and measure their performance in accordance with their values. This gives the public a chance to look at how socially responsible the companies and organization have been in a period of time.
Additionally, an ideal report has to be transparent. It should not matter whether the impact and performance are positive or negative.
This video from FN-sambandet Norge shows us what is sustainable development and its importance:
Living a sustainable lifestyle is a good thing. But you have to do more than that. Take time to also read sustainability reports. The question, “Can sustainability be measured?” is like asking, “Are we doing the right thing?” You won’t know unless you keep yourself informed!
What is your stance on the question, “Can sustainability be measured?” Let us know in the comments section below!