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how to measure sustainability sdgs Tracking Impact

How To Measure Sustainability

In Article, Sustainability by Scott

Related to UN SDG:
united nations sustainble development goal - UN SDG  4 united nations sustainble development goal - UN SDG  6 united nations sustainble development goal - UN SDG  7 united nations sustainble development goal - UN SDG  13 united nations sustainble development goal - UN SDG  17
? This article is about integrity, honesty and transparency ?

If that’s something you think is important, read on…

In this article I will talk about my journey towards creating meaningful SDG related impact, some of my shortcomings and plans to address these, plus I publish my live SDG dashboards. I’ll give you a few hints and tips, challenge you and even provide a couple of interesting offers for readers who want to follow a similar path.

Tracking Sustainability Impact

Sustainability is a hot topic nowadays, a bit of a buzzword. That means it is open for misuse. As I’ve mentioned several times before, anyone can say they are green, purpose-driven or sustainable, but what matters is integrity.

Related article:
Should companies with a troublesome past should be given the chance to talk about their more sustainable futures?

My Journey To Direct Impact

As a business claiming to be purpose-driven and aligned with the UN SDGs, it would be absurd if I wasn’t directly trying to make our world a better place.

The main aim of my business is to amplify those companies and leaders using technologies to make this world a better place. With this, my hope is to be a part of their success story, and to inspire others, but that is difficult to quantify and measure.

With this in mind, I wanted to do something more direct, something I could influence directly, and measure.

The first action was to plant a tree for every subscriber to my newsletter. Through this initiative alone, my readers and I have already planted small forests together.

This was a great first step, but considering the website addresses all 17 of the SDGs, I felt I was missing so much opportunity to have a bigger impact.

That’s when I decided to join B1G1 and offer each and every website visitor the opportunity to contribute to an SDG goal of their choice – even without signing up to my newsletter. Do this right now, if you haven’t already. There’s no catch at all.

Integrating Doing Good Throughout My Business

With this set up, I was able to integrate impact throughout my business – from web-visits, invoicing, to presentations, meetings and more.

In fact, several companies have now asked me for help to integrate SDG related impacts into their business. If you want ideas and support, let me know and I’d be glad to help. Get in touch here or via LinkedIn.

But this isn’t the end of it for me, there’s still much more I want to do to integrate positive impacts into my business.

Positive Impact ≠ Sustainability

Just because I’m doing good in some areas doesn’t mean that I am a sustainable business. Far from it. In the spirit of transparency, I know there are areas I need to not just double-down on, but probably triple-down on, too.

However, this is exactly one of the first hurdles many companies fall at. Analysis paralysis – doing nothing until everything is known and analysed. Interestingly, this week whilst speaking with a startup focusing on analysing enterprise sustainability activities, of 70,000 companies they studies, more than 60% have no sustainability or climate change action plans.

This is just the way I work, though. I’d much rather start something, try ideas, iterate on the things that work and drop the things that don’t, than wait until everything was perfect.

Even still, I know that in order to practice what I preach, my direction should be towards a better understanding, with greater transparency and accountability.

Sustainability Transparency, Accountability

With this thought rattling around in my mind, it was perhaps less coincidence and more manifestation that I ended up speaking with the CEO of a company called create shareable dashboards to help companies build SDG related action plans and share their progress towards these.

This seemed to ideally fit my need. So I signed up and have been gradually creating my plans and dashboards.

At the time of writing, I have created action plans addressing SDG4 (Quality Education), SDG6 (Clean Water and sanitation), SDG7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and SDG13 (Climate Action).

Delivering on these plans involves me developing a more detailed understanding of my activities and actions, not just the positive impacts such as the work to plant trees, or impacts via B1G1.

For example, within the SDG13 goal I have set a target to reduce my office energy consumption. This requires me to measure and track that data.

Dashboard Disclosure

So here we are – transparency and disclosure.

These are just snapshots of my dashboards at the time of writing. However, if you click images you will open my live SDG monitoring dashboard – warts ‘n’ all.

  • My SDG Action Plan and Dashboard

    The dashboard shows you the SDG’s I have created plans to address, the last time I updated the data and indicators as to how well I am progressing towards hitting these goals.

    My SDG Action Plan and Dashboard

  • My SDG ESG Dashboard

    This dashboard presents my action plans in terms of an ESG report.

    My SDG ESG Dashboard

  • My SDG 13 Dashboard

    This view details show a specific target in one of my action plans. For this example, we’re looking at my progress towards planting 1,000 trees to offset the carbon generated by my website traffic.

    My SDG 13 Dashboard

Give it a go, grab a discount

If you want to try it out for yourself, they offer a free trial so pop over to to create your own dashboard.

Also, if you decide to sign up, then grab a discount code exclusively available to my website visitors.

If you like what I do with B1G1 and want to try that out too, then I’ve got a referral link for you here, too. Signing up with that will give you an introductory credit.

Full disclosure: Since we’re on a page about transparency and integrity then it would be remiss not to let you know that if you sign up to either or B1G1 using referral links here, both you and I will receive a little bonus, helping us all do a little more good in the world.

About the Author


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Scott is an Independent Technology Analyst, Content Writer and Connector of interesting people. Scott is a technologist at heart, with a history of technology innovation and marketing leadership roles. As the founder of this website and several other businesses, he is passionate about helping technology companies communicate their relevance and awesomeness in a way that engages and excites everybody. Get in touch with Scott here or connect with him on LinkedIn. Learn Scott's tips for content marketing, download his free template here..