The Handbook provides a pragmatic step by step guidance to explore and apply the social  metrics in your first case studies. It contains plenty of guidance in the data collection, hotspot identification, circular economy and impact assessment.

The Social Topic Report is the companion of the Handbook. It provides the definitions of 25 social topics, the reference scales and performance indicators. It is updated in April 2022; with more links to relevant standards and clarifications and examples. 

Our Core Partners are implementing the social metrics in their organisations supported by efficient procedures. The Implementation Guide shows how this can be done, based on the journeys our Core Partners are making currently.

The Methodology is based on the recognition that companies can not only impact social wellbeing, but are also dependent on it. The social topics are selected based on this understanding of mutual dependency between an organisation, its workers, the local communities, the small-scale entrepreneurs and of course their customers.

Methodology report

Methodology report

The Methodology Report describes the scientific basis for the selection of the social topics and the way the scales are built. The selection of topics is based on our understanding about how companies are dependent on social, human and other capitals in the society they operate in and how they have a contributing or detrimental influence on these.

Each company needs a society that functions well and has a healthy well-educated workforce. If no suitably skilled workforce is available, or if there are many tensions which hampers groups of people to cooperate and communicate, it will have negative effects on the company. The availability of healthy, educated people are examples of characteristics we refer to as the Human Capital of a society. The quality of relationships and the interaction within the society can be seen as the Social Capital in a society. Societies also consist of Natural Capital, Financial and Manufactured Capital such as infrastructure or electricity.

While recognising the dependencies, we can also assess whether companies contribute or have a detrimental effect on these capitals. Examples of contributions are in training, avoiding accidents, sharing infrastructure etc. The picture above illustrates the dependency on the capital flows on the input side and the contribution of the flows at the output side.

Once the topics have been selected the topic scales needed to be constructed. The scales are based on three ideas: setting the baseline (zero level), describing indicators to flag the detrimental behaviour and describing indicators for contributing to the societal capitals. For describing the contributions, we used to Theory of Change to understand what we want to assess. Our focus is on assessing outputs, as we think it is far too difficult to assess outcomes and impacts, as for instance it can take years before an activity results in a substantial outcome.


You can download the Methodology report here

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