How do you measure clean technology and sustainable performance? For over 10 years the Global Reporting Initiative has been the world leader in metrics for sustainable performance reporting. The GRI publishes the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines that provide detailed technical guidance how to measure many aspects of technology performance and outcomes as well as social and environmental metrics. A guide to sustainability reporting for small business, based on the GRI, is available here.
In 2005 I developed a tool linking financial reporting to the GRI metrics. This is a guide to expanded income statements and balance sheets showing how proven, measurable factors for sustainability can be reported in the financial statements of an organization. Designed as a spreadsheet, the Sustainable Financial Statements (copyright) tool presents sustainability indicators for the Income Statement, Balance Sheet and Business Plan. Use this to show the financial team in your organization that sustainability can and should be measured and managed by the organization.
The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board™ is a non-profit organization developing industry-specific sustainability accounting standards. This will improve the reporting of sustainable and clean performance.
The pieces of the cleantech puzzle can be organized into a picture of your future sustainable organization. They must all add actual cash value or they don’t contribute. Ultimately, the metric of a sustainable business is that it makes twice as much net profit as its competition, while supporting the Triple Bottom Line of economics, society and the environment.
I am very interested to get comments on the Sustainable Financial Statements tool, please let me know what you think of it below.