Asssessment , indices, project ID and process, tracking and reporting, and certification are outlined.



The Doughnut

This consists of two concentric rings: a social foundation, to ensure that no one is left falling short on life’s essentials, and an ecological ceiling, to ensure that humanity does not collectively overshoot the planetary boundaries that protect Earth’s life-supporting systems. Between these two sets of boundaries lies a doughnut-shaped space that is both ecologically safe and socially just: a space in which humanity can thrive.


Embedding Framework

This  is a diagnostic tool to assess a company’s maturity used by The Embedding Project – a global public-benefit research project that helps companies embed social and environmental factors across their operations and decision-making.



Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI)

This tracks the stock performance of the world’s leading companies in terms of economic, environmental and social criteria. Selected criteria are:

1.Corporate governance

2.Supply chain management

3.Risk and crisis management

4.Operational eco-efficiency

5.Climate strategy

6.Releases to the environment

7.Social Impacts on communities

8.Occupational health and safety

9.Labor practice indicators and human rights.


Social Progress Index (SPI)

This index captures outcomes related to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals and is a comprehensive snapshot of a country’s overall progress towards the achievement of the goals.


Corruption Perceptions Index

It scores countries on how corrupt their public sectors appear to be, and also assists companies with investment strategies, for example by suggesting which countries to avoid investing in. It uses a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).


Happy Planet Index

The Happy Planet Index measures what matters: sustainable wellbeing for all. It tells us how well nations are doing at achieving long, happy, sustainable lives.


Sustainable Development Report and Indices (UN)

The Sustainable Development Report 2021 presents the SDG Index and Dashboards for all UN member states, outlines the short-term impacts of COVID-19 on the SDGs, and describes how the SDGs can frame the recovery. 

Project Identification and Process



Cost benefit analysis (CBA)

CBA essentially totals all costs and benefits of a project over its lifetime and discounts future flows to calculate present values. The (discounted) present

values of costs and benefits are compared, either by use of net present value (ranking projects by highest NPV) or the benefit-to-cost ratio (BCR) (used to reflect efficient use of inputs for outputs). In Social Cost-Benefit Analysis (SCBA), prioritization is based on selecting projects that maximize the net present values for society overall.

Infrastructure Prioritization Framework (IPF)

World Bank’s Infrastructure Prioritization Framework (IPF) is a useful tool for public sector projects.


A Corporate Sustainable Development Assessment spreadsheet gives weightings to different aspects of assessment.



Typical phases are completed with the following formal decisions and approvals to proceed to the next phase. These are:

PIN project Initiation Note

IID Initial Investment Decision

PID Preliminary Investment Decision

FID Final Investment Decision

The phases and decision points are depicted in the following diagram.



Typically a number of Iterations take place with improved definition each time. Initially selected ideas or requests are entered into a Portfolio of Opportunities with a Project Initiation Note (PIN). These go through a screening process and requests are entered into the Capex Register for the first time after an Initial Investment Decision (IID) has been made.  Projects then go through a selection process with clearer definition of the proposal and relative benefits. The outcome is a request for a Preliminary Investment Decision (PID). Once this decision has been made the projects are further defined in preparation for a Final Investment Decision (FID). After FID the project is executed. All projects after IID are retained in a Capital Expenditure Register which is used to develop the annual budget and the 7 year Capex projection. On completion of the project, it is handed over for operating  and is then entered unto the asset register of the business. The process is depicted in the following diagram.

Sustainability trackers and progress reports


UN 2020 Climate Progress Tracker Tool

This open-access tracker tool, updated by researchers in the UK, Australia and the US, pulls together the myriad of different climate pledges that have been made by nations, cities, businesses and others. 


IEA Hydrogen Project Database Model and Tracker

The IEA produced this data-set as part of efforts to track advances in low-carbon hydrogen technology. It covers all projects commissioned worldwide since 2000 to produce hydrogen for energy or climate-change-mitigation purposes.


Principles for Responsible Investment

The Principles are:

  • Principle 1:We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
  • Principle 2: We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
  • Principle 3: We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
  • Principle 4:We will promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.
  • Principle 5: We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.
  • Principle 6:We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.

The PRI Reporting Framework is a key step in the journey towards building a common language and industry standard for

reporting responsible investment (RI) activities. The RI Transparency Report is one of the key outputs of this Framework.


UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are targets for global development adopted in September 2015, set to be achieved by 2030. All countries of the world have agreed to work towards achieving these goals.

The SDG Tracker presents data across all available indicators from the Our World in Data database, using official statistics from the UN and other international organizations.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are defined in a list of 169 SDG Targets. Progress towards these Targets is agreed to be tracked by 232 unique Indicators.The diagram below shows all of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Sustainability Certification


ISO 14001 Environmental Management

ISO 14001 sets out the criteria for an environmental management system and can be certified to. It maps out a framework that a company or organization can follow to set up an effective environmental management system.


International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC)

ISCC contributes to the implementation of environmentally, socially and economically sustainable production and use of all kinds of biomass in global supply chains by:

  • Implementing social and ecological sustainability criteria
  • Monitoring deforestation-free supply chains
  • Avoiding conversion of biodiverse grassland
  • Calculating and reducing GHG emissions
  • Establishing traceability in global supply chains.

Forestry Stewardship Certificate (FSC)

The Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) mark means that the wood or paper you are buying comes from responsibly managed forests. To become FSC certified, forest operations must meet demanding environmental, social and economic requirements, as confirmed by an independent third party such as SCS Global Services.


Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)

As an umbrella organization, PEFC endorses national forest certification systems that have been developed through multi-stakeholder processes and tailored to local priorities and conditions.


PAS 2060 Carbon neutral certification

PAS 2060 is the internationally recognised specification for carbon neutrality and builds on the existing PAS 2050 environmental standard. It sets out requirements for quantification, reduction and offsetting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for organisations, products and events. 



BCorps certification

Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.


FLEGT (Forest, Law, Enforcement, Governance and Trade) licences

The FLEGT Action Plan aims to reduce illegal logging by strengthening the sustainability and legality of forest management, improving forest governance and promoting trade in legally produced timber.


ISO 26000:2010 Guidance on social responsibility

ISO 26000:2010 is intended to assist organizations in contributing to sustainable development. It is intended to encourage them to go beyond legal compliance, recognizing that compliance with law is a fundamental duty of any organization and an essential part of their social responsibility. 


ISO 37001:2016 Anti-bribery management systems

ISO 37001:2016 is designed to help an organization establish, implement, maintain, and improve an anti-bribery compliance program.


Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

The MSC Fisheries Standard is used to assess if a fishery is well-managed and sustainable. The Standard reflects the most up-to-date understanding of internationally accepted fisheries science and management.The blue MSC label is only applied to wild fish or seafood from fisheries that have been certified to the MSC Fisheries Standard, a set of requirements for sustainable fishing. Fish and seafood with the blue label comes from a fishery that has been independently assessed on its impacts to wild fish populations and the ecosystems they’re part of.

The MSC Chain of Custody Standard ensures that products from MSC certified sustainable fisheries are traceable and separated from non-certified products.

The ASC-MSC Seaweed Standard sets a number of requirements for seaweed harvesting and farming practices.