The Business’s Guide to Using Analytics to Track Sustainability KPIs

Sustainability KPIs
Sustainability KPIs

Successfully measuring the organization’s sustainability-related activities and initiatives entails knowing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are the most relevant and meaningful to the business. Check our overview of 9 Sustainable Development Goals.

Tangible goals and targets need to be set, and key performance indicators (KPIs) need to be defined in order to track these goals and align them with business strategies. There’s tremendous strategic effort required to bring these to life. It’s no wonder that only around 38% of over 8,000 surveyed enterprises were aligned to the SDGs. Knowing where and how to start helps organizations proactively incorporate SDGs to their business strategies.

Using different references and established reports on sustainability, we created a list of KPIs to help organizations determine areas of operations as well as supply and value chains that they can improve. Our guide also identifies key targets that organizations can set, the data points that can be tracked, what metrics to calculate, and how they contribute to the KPIs. We broke these down into the 17 SDGs and defined each goal with overarching targets.

Our downloadable guide lists companywide targets and data points that can be used as starting points for implementing sustainability programs.


Here is an overview of the first 9 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

Goal 1: No Poverty

Sample targets:

  • Provide fair and affordable access to goods, services, and livelihood opportunities.

  • Implement measures that provide fair wages, benefits, conditions of work, and other opportunities that support an adequate standard of living.

Sample data that can tracked and analyzed:

  • Average wage of workers by gender and type of employment.

  • Number and percentage of representation of men and women in job categories and types of employment.

Goal 2: Zero Hunger

Sample targets:

  • Use sustainable and environmentally sound practices for food and agricultural production, conservation, and distribution.

  • Reduce food waste and loss and redistribute excess food.

Sample data that can tracked and analyzed:

  • Percentage of rural farming households with sustained access to land.

  • Number of individuals who have increased agricultural yields.

Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Sample targets:

  • Expand workplace programs and policies on health issues and services available to employees.

  • Implement adequate measures that ensure the occupational health and safety of employees.

Sample data that can tracked and analyzed:

  • Percentage and number of benefits provided to employees.

  • Percentage of men and women employees (including their families) with access to healthcare services.

  • Injury rate (IR) and occupational disease rate (ODR) per million hours worked.

Goal 4: Quality Education

Sample targets:

  • Contribute business expertise toward equitable access to educational activities within and outside the company.

  • Provide employees nondiscriminatory access to vocational training, internship programs, and further education, and incentivize employees to obtain certifications or continue studies.

Sample data that can tracked and analyzed:

  • Training programs undertaken per year and per individual (e.g., employees, suppliers, distributors).

  • Total estimated budget allocated for training.

Goal 5: Gender Equality

Sample targets:

  • Incorporate gender equality in policies and processes for employees throughout the operations and supply chains.

  • Ensure all workers have an equal voice in the workplace.

Sample data that can tracked and analyzed:

  • Percentage of employee diversity (e.g., gender, age groups, minority or underrepresented) and employees within employment categories.

  • Salary and renumeration of men and women for each employment category.

  • Number and percentage of women in leadership roles, skilled and unskilled positions, and trade associations.

Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Sample targets:

  • Understand the impact of water use in business operations on the safety and affordability of water in communities where the company or its business unit operates.

  • Monitor water consumption and use water-saving technologies and processes.

Sample data that can tracked and analyzed:

  • Percentage of water used in company operations.

  • Investment in sustainable and modern water and sanitation infrastructures.

  • Number and percentage of facilities with access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services.

Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

Sample targets:

  • Track and report energy produced, purchased, and consumed.

  • Reduce energy consumption in operations, build energy-efficient buildings, and obtain sustainability certifications.

Sample data that can tracked and analyzed:

  • Energy consumption from renewable and nonrenewable sources within and outside the company.
  • Consumption in electricity, heating, and cooling.

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Sample targets:

  • Create jobs in the supply and value chains, especially for underrepresented groups.

  • Use circular business models to mitigate the environmental impact of the company’s products.

Sample data that can tracked and analyzed:

  • Value of exports in creative goods, high technology, and information and communications technology (ICT).

  • Weight and volume of renewable and nonrenewable materials used to produce and package products.

Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Sample targets:

  • Optimize the use of resources, and establish resilience in transportation, buildings, and ICT.

  • Support the development and adoption of green technologies in product design, use and reuse of materials, and manufacturing processes.

Sample data that can tracked and analyzed:

  • Expenses on research and development (R&D).

  • Percentage and number of suppliers sourced locally.

  • Investment in sustainable telecommunications and transportation.

Sustainable Development Goals – sum up

Achieving sustainability requires understanding what, where, and when transformative change can be enacted. By combining data with analytics and business intelligence platforms, technologies, and capabilities, organizations can proactively shape its future while finding its place and purpose in the world.

Tracking and Measuring Sustainability Targets and KPIs

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