That Which Gets Measured, Improves

OECD, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, is an international economic organization founded to stimulate economic progress and world trade.  OECD has 34 member nations, including the U.S. Representatives to OECD carry the diplomatic rank of Ambassador. Sustainability is an important priority for OECD. Since headquarters are in Paris, and most of the members nations are European, the matter of Sustainability is accorded the seriousness that most economically developed countries afford it.

OECD has two offerings of interest to small and medium sized manufacturers:

First, there is a Toolkit for Green Manufacturing. The Toolkit consists of an introductory booklet and a web portal, which provides detail. The Toolkit emphasizes a set of 18 performance indicators which, taken together, provide a rational picture of progress toward Sustainability. The Toolkit provides direction on defining, scoping and measuring each of these indicators, so that measurements are meaningful and amenable to benchmarking. This is no mean contribution, especially coming from a statistics – intensive organization like OECD.

You can access the Toolkit at

Second, there is a treatise on the eco-innovation in manufacturing entitled Eco-Innovation in Industry, Enabling Green Growth. Eco-innovation might be defined as innovation that improves competitiveness, while reducing environmental impact. The definition applies whether the reduced environmental impact is intentional, or not. OECD offers a 6 page summary, which may be downloaded for free. The entire 276 page report is available to read for free on-line, or to download for about $40.00. The summary provides the gist, as one would expect. The full report is heavy going.

You can find the report at Choose the green innovation tab from the navigation list on the left, then click on the icon that pictures the cover of the report, along with the report’s title, Eco-Innovation in Industry, Enabling Green Growth.

The importance of a valid means for measuring progress cannot be over emphasized. Choice of indicators, definitions of scope and methods for measurement are all critical to a good Sustainability program. It is well known that which gets measured does improve. The OECD materials provide real assistance.

Comments and experiences are, as always, appreciated.

…  Chuck