SUSTAINABILITYMONITORINGWITH MATERIAL DRAWN FROM ALAN ATKISSON Mary-Ellen Tyler and Mike Quinn
Purpose To provide you with some background on performance indicators to help with today’s workshop To provide you with some additional material for thinking about future directions
Monitoring Performance Of what? - vision and principles of CMP (collectively and by members) Need to align with province (SSRB) AND be meaning to CRP What are the best indicators of ‘performance’? Connectivity? Biodiversity? Governance? What do we need to know about this system? What kind of organization do we want the CRP to be?
Indicators From Latin ‘one who points out’ Performance Indicators: Allow you to conclude direction & magnitude of change (+/-) over time (MEANINGFUL) Require objective data (MEASURABLE) Should be easy to comprehend and be based on a causal link (COMPREHENSIBLE) Closely linked with planning targets and critical thresholds (LINKED TO THE SYSTEM)
Example 39.5o C Meaningful? Measurable? Understandable?
Alan AtKissonadvises large companies, governments, cities, foundations, NGOs, and the UnitedNations develops new strategies, design initiatives, manage complex programs, assessprogress, and find better pathways to effective sustainability leadership recently assisted the United Nations in designing and launching its first global Officefor Sustainable Development current and recent clients include Levi Strauss & Co., Ernst & Young, WWF-USA, theGovernment of Serbia, the Egyptian National Council on Competitiveness, and the NileBasin Initiative specializes in the areas of sustainability indicators and reporting, climate changestrategy, renewable energy finance, green economic transformation, and large processfacilitation. coaches sustainability executives on how to sharpen their knowledge, capacity, andeffectiveness at leading change.
More information http://www.atkisson.com/index.php http://csid.asu.edu/resilience-2011/invited- speakers/videos/alan-atkisson/
The Sustainability Transformation (ISIS)[why are we doing this?] Indicators – tell us what’s happening Systems – non-linear cause-and-effect linkages Innovation – changes that are new to the system of interest Strategy – a plan for getting from here to there
Sustainable Development A directed process of continuous innovation and systematic change in the direction of sustainability Sustainability – a set of conditions and trends in a given system that can continue indefinitely
Challenge Complexity Simplicity our growing understanding for public education and of sustainability political action“how do we construct indicator frameworks thatare simple, elegant, and effective, withoutcompromising the underlying complexity?”(AtKisson and Hatcher 2001)
Sustainability CompassDesigned to ...(1) measure sustainability(2) support multi-stakeholder engagement, and(3) orient strategic planning and sustainable development initiatives in the direction of systemic sustainability
The Sustainability Compass powerful archetypal symbol no hierarchy of elements (circular) compasses provide orientation, but not direction implies a journey to somewhere
Sustainability Compass First applied in Orlando, FL in 2000 Complex indicator set converted into a series of 4 performance indices on a 0-100 scale Then aggregated into an overall sustainability index Normative and allows for comparison over time
Summary of Indicators - OrlandoNature Indicators Economic Indicatorso Number of Species - biodiversity o Value Added Industryo % cover of parkland o Knowledge Worker Intensityo % of natural landscape o Self Efficiency Resource Efficiency Clean air days oo o Retain Workforceo Tonnes of waste to landfill o Job Creationo Number of persons taking action o Local Gross Producto Water usage per capita o Registered Patents / Scientific Paperso Marine Water Temperature o Percent Human Capital Utilizationo Greenhouse emissionsSociety Indicators Well-Being Indicatorso Participation in cultural and sporting o Quality of Schooling and education events o New local job opportunitieso Discretional income relative to where o Personal Safety and fear of crime and how you live o Ability to deal with hot dayso Social cohesion – crime rate o Quality of shoppingo Number of households adopting ESD o Employment diversityo Educated society – tertiary degree o Travel to work, shops, and amenitieso Number of community Volunteers o Sense of communityo Life Expectancy o Proximity to jobs and local serviceso % of community in decision making processes
The Perception in Detail - Orlando http://www.soe-townsville.org/atkisson/index.htmlPerception of Stakeholders Past Present FutureYear 2000 2004 2010Nature Sustainability Index 53.89 45.78 41.22Economy Sustainability Index 26.44 44.44 78.00Society Sustainability Index 31.78 36.44 48.11Wellbeing Sustainability Index 56.11 55.22 47.22Sustainability Index forTownsville 42.06 45.47 53.64
Toward innovation and strategy Innovations are new ideas with a purpose. Their purpose is to change a system. Sustainability Innovations are new ideas that have the potential to improve the performance of a system in a long-term, positive direction. The best ones affect two, three, or even all four Compass Points. The first thing to know about Innovations is that they do not have to be new (e.g., organic agriculture). The second thing to know about Innovations is that they do not have to be technical - come in many different flavours: they can be new policies, new programs, new messages, new behaviours, new rules, new habits, new concepts …
Cautions In a subject as complex as sustainability, with so many different parameters in play, it is simply impossible to find or to set purely objective scaling standards for every single variable. A strong stomach for criticism, and strong willingness to take that criticism in and make adjustments and improvements, is necessary for those using this method (AtKisson and Hatcher 2001).
Note One of the key lessons reported by AtKisson after implementing the indicator framework for over a decade: “Methodology questions relating to selecting, aggregating, weighting and scaling indicators are only controversial among indicator and data experts. Users just want something they can use.” And... “Indicators that do no actually affect decisions and guide action are not indicators; they are just pretty data.”
Sustainable Seattle Launched a sustainability indicator program in 1993 – emulated in many other locations 4th iteration is described at B-Sustainable.org Non-aggregated approach (as is Sustainable Calgary’s)