must be taken in the aggr egation of data across different processes or products to ensure that the resulting information is meaningful. Benchmarking is primarily about learning, and not about ranking. Wher e
benchmarking or monitoring performance over time is carried out, it is important that the indicators from different processes, products, or
businesses are defined in the same way, so that “apple-to-apple” comparisons are made rather than putting apples and pears in the same basket.
5 be clearly defined, measurable, transparent and verifiable
In order to genuinely inform decision making, indicators should be clearly
defined and directly measurable, or calculated by clearly defined estimation methodologies. The definition, means and boundaries of measurement should be available to decision makers, and the process of data collection (including issues related to variability and quality control procedures) should be subject to verification either internally or externally.
6 be understandable and meaningful to identified stakeholders
To facilitate decision making it is important that indicators be clearly understandable to both company managers and external stakeholders. Indicators should not be so complex that they are difficult to use effectively. The aggregation of data across different processes or products should be carefully considered so that individual indicators and their limitations are clearly understood.
7 be based on an overall evaluation of a company’s operations, products
and services, especially focusing on
all those areas that are of direct management control
In defining indicators that are appropriate for its business, and that meet the needs of users both inside and outside the company, an organization should examine all of the relevant areas of its operations, products or services. As a minimum, this evaluation should focus on those areas that a business can contr ol or influence directly (often referred to as “gate-to-gate”). This would include, for example, the selection of raw materials, the use of natural resources, the organization’s manufacturing operations, the characteristics of its products, the distribution of those products to markets.
8 recognize relevant and meaningful issues related to upstream (e.g. suppliers) and downstream (e.g. product use) aspects of a company’s activities
In addition to those areas that are directly influenced or controlled by a company, there may be other
areas that are equally relevant (environmentally, economically or
socially). These could include, for example, the eco-efficiency of the
production of raw materials by key suppliers (“cradle-to-gate” issues), or
issues associated with the use and disposal of products by users (“gate-to- grave” issues). In general, these ar eas
should be differentiated from indicators that are directly controllable by a company, because the control that an organization has over such activities is often limited.
“We believe that the quality of decision-making increases with the level of detail and diversity of indicators used. It is also helpful to be aware of common global concerns. The WBCSD model provides very useful information for companies to develop their own indicators.”
“The concept can increase the quality of decision-making dramaticall , not only
with regards to where to invest but also with regards to how much.”
“The approach adds a new perspective on usual indicators and drives the organization to review the soundness of existing indicators. Due to the fact that eco-efficiency indicators and trends can be used to validate business decisions, we are better able to set objectives and make internal and external benchmarks.”
EVALUATION OF THE CONCEPT BY PILOT COMPANIES, MARCH 2000