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WBCSD Measuring Impact Framework

Understanding the business contribution to society

In the spring of 2006, the WBCSD embarked on a two-year journey to develop a framework to assess the contribution of business to the economic and broader development goals in the societies where business operates.

This grew out of a request by WBCSD member companies to develop a measurement framework that could underpin the license to operate, improve the quality of stakeholder engagement, help manage risks more effectively and identify ways to enhance the business contribution to society.

The resulting Measuring Impact Framework, launched in late 2008, was developed in collaboration with over 20 WBCSD member companies, reviewed by 15 external experts and co-branded by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

It is designed to help companies understand their contribution to society and use this understanding to inform their operational and long-term investment decisions, and have better-informed conversations with stakeholders.

 

Key features of the Framework

  • Grounded in what business does
    Built by business for business and thus, begins with the business perspective;
     
  • Moves beyond compliance
    Attempts to answer questions about what business can contribute beyond traditional reporting;
     
  • Encourages stakeholder engagement
    Supports open dialogue with stakeholders to create a shared understanding of business impacts and societal needs, and to explore what business can and cannot do to address these needs;
     
  • Flexible
    Designed for any business and/or industry at any stage in its business cycle, operating anywhere in the world;
     
  • Complements existing tools
    Makes use of what is already out there (for example, the Global Reporting Initiative and IFC Performance Standards);
     
  • Externally reviewed
    Reviewed by over 15 stakeholders from NGOs, academia and government including Oxfam, World Resources Institute, IFC and Harvard University.
     

 

3 components of the Framework

  1. Measuring Impact Framework Methodology
    The 4-step methodology aims to help companies in any industry operating in any part of the world measure, assess and manage their impacts on society. As a result, it needs to be adapted to the specific company strategy and development context where the business operates;
     
  2. Beyond the Bottom Line
    This outlines the business case for measuring impact and highlights the work by member companies and partners which laid the foundation for the WBCSD Framework;
     
  3. Online application
    The application provides a simple, user-friendly interface to guide users through the Framework. It can be used on multiple devices (desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets) and can be accessed online or offline to collect data on-site or while travelling. The application can be accessed directly here.

 


 

Application of the WBCSD Measuring Impact Framework: Case studies
In order to best showcase company examples and share lessons learned from using the Measuring Impact Framework, the WBCSD has developed a  case study template aimed at facilitating the process of compiling cases that inspire others to measure their impact and use this information to make better decisions.

 


Measuring social value creation at Saipem’s Karimun Island fabrication yard in Indonesia
Saipem provides engineering, procurement, construction, and drilling services for onshore and offshore oil and gas industry. In 2007, the company started building a new facility for the fabrication of offshore structures like topsides, jackets, piles, and decks on Karimun Island in Indonesia. Recognizing the significance of the investment both for the company and for Karimun Island, Saipem decided to measure the socio-economic impact of the fabrication yard construction phase from 2007 to 2011.
  Read the full case study

Measuring Eskom’s footprint in South Africa
Eskom is a vertically integrated, state-owned utility operating in South Africa. This case study highlights the “Eskom Factor”, a collective term used to refer to the company’s footprint in the country, which has been quantified through a comprehensive assessment of the economic, social and environmental impact, both positive and negative. First instituted in the 2011 financial year, the assessment is based on the “Measuring Impact” methodology developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, which has been applied within the utility’s specific context. The “Eskom Factor” project is a culmination and analysis of a series of qualitative and quantitative data sets totaling some 150 indicators, which yielded six key areas of influence where Eskom’s footprint helps to shape South Africa’s development.
  Read the full case study

Measuring the impact of Nestlé's innovative distribution model for nutritional food in Peru
In the context of the WBCSD-SNV Alliance for Inclusive Business, SNV has helped Nestlé Peru develop a new distribution model aimed at reaching new markets while providing a livelihood for women entrepreneurs and improving the health and wellbeing of families in urban areas in Lima. To validate the win-win proposition of inclusive business and identify opportunities to improve the impacts of the model on both the business and low-income communities, Nestlé Peru applied the WBCSD Measuring Impact Framework to the Bienestar en Casa ('Wellness at Home') inclusive business model in San Juan de Lurigancho district in Lima, Peru.
  Read the full case study on inclusivebusiness.org »

Measuring the Development Benefits of Emissions Reduction: EcoSecurities
Mitigating climate change in the developing world requires more than just reducing carbon emissions. It requires a commitment to economic growth, poverty reduction and ultimately, sustainable development. As a leading carbon developer with an interest in understanding the impacts of its projects and their alignment with local and national development priorities, EcoSecurities set out to measure and understand how one Clean Development Mechanism project in its pipeline is contributing to sustainable development in local communities.  
  Download the full the case study »

Supporting Local Economic Growth in Ghana: Newmont
The Newmont Ghana Gold/International Finance Corporation Ahafo Linkages Program was designed to increase the participation of local businesses in Newmont's Ahafo Mine and bring development benefits to surrounding communities. Newmont, along with the IFC, applied the WBCSD Measuring Impact Framework to the mine as a way to understand the extent of the project's benefits and establish a rigorous approach to measuring, monitoring and evaluating progress in achieving the project goals.
  Download the full case study »

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