Keywords: sustainable development indicators, SDIs, performance measurement, integration, assessment, management systems, electric utilities, sustainability, business infrastructure, Canada
Integrating sustainable development indicators with existing business infrastructure
This paper presents a model for the integration of Sustainable Development Indicators (SDIs) with existing business infrastructure at a major Canadian electric utility. The model was developed based on extensive consultations with 16 internal experts at the utility and ten external experts in sustainable development. It considers the integration of the indicators at the case company's transmission and distribution business unit on the basis of eight organisational elements: stakeholders, goals, processes, leadership, resources, results, assessment, and management review. Since assessment of the indicators will ultimately drive the continuous improvement of the system, particular attention is paid to the assessment element. The paper illustrates that the indicators at the case company must be integrated with existing business infrastructure, that integration must occur at the appropriate organisational level, and that the indicators must be capable of responding to the changing requirements of the organisation. In addition to a discussion of the innovation process and results from the case study, the paper includes a reflection on the possible implications of the work for other organisations.