JOURNAL OF STRATEGIC INNOVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY
Sustainability Metrics: A Time-Based Multilevel Framework
Author(s): Bernard Arogyaswamy
Citation: Bernard Arogyaswamy, (2018) "Sustainability Metrics: A Time-Based Multilevel Framework," Journal of Strategic Innovation and Sustainability, Vol. 13, Iss. 2, pp. 71-82
Article Type: Research paper
Publisher: North American Business Press
Though the United States has signaled its intent to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, countries like China and India, major world cities, and numerous large corporations have asserted their commitment to engage in increasingly sustainable activities. A critical challenge which needs to be addressed is the measurement of sustainability. The paper reviews the literature on sustainability metrics (ecological, socio-cultural, and economic) from the perspectives of national, international, corporate, urban, and individual levels of analyses. A time-based framework with five stages is developed to track input resources and actions, predictors, outputs, outcomes, and impacts (temporal and spatial). Illustrative metrics are provided for each stage-level combination. The framework emphasizes the importance of linking metrics across and within levels to enhance overall effectiveness in sustainability performance. The time-based measures also serve a control function by enabling monitoring and taking corrective action if needed even before final outcomes are known.