Last semester I took a class at the UC Berkeley School of Business (Haas) entitled Metrics of Sustainability. It was an interesting class all in all, though frustrating at times because of the emphasis on making sustainability something that businesses will want to do. Our professor was a jocular fellow, though his history at large companies became evident in his notes on our final paper.
The paper itself is designed to set up metrics for analyzing the social, financial, and environmental sustainability of a company in the energy sector. The project was at once overly simple and overly complicated. On the one hand, it was really quite tempting to just write metrics like, “Did you damage the environment during the last year?” “Did you lose money?” On the other hand, writing complicated, and specific metrics was really the name of the game, and the hard part was finding the balance between the two. I was quite happy with the balance that we found, but our feedback was that our metrics were too complicated, and that there were too many of them. So it goes I suppose.
In any case, for those interested, I have attached our metrics for the energy sector to this post.
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