In order to track and report on the progress of sustainability programs, relevant financial, environmental, and social metrics must be selected. As with all business programs, measurement can be used to hold organizations and individuals accountable. When corporate sustainability goals are set, metrics and milestones are used to track progress in areas like energy or waste reduction or percent of suppliers in compliance with a company’s code of conduct.

Furthermore, external interest in corporate sustainability performance has fueled the need for more accurate measurement and reporting methods. Doing so allows companies to open dialogues with their customers, communities, investors, and suppliers, making their strategies known and strengthening trust in their brand.


  • Most retailers measure energy, fuel, material usage, and waste generation. More than 25 percent more retailers will begin to measure code of conduct compliance, water usage, suppliers audited for social compliance, renewable energy generation, and chemicals of concern over the next two years.
  • Companies communicate their sustainability plans and performance through websites, intranet sites, and annual sustainability reports.