2015 has seen the launch of a new COSA Sustainability Performance Monitoring system – a cutting-edge tool that allows real-time […]
December 14, 2015
2015 has seen the launch of a new COSA Sustainability Performance Monitoring system – a cutting-edge tool that allows real-time views of key sustainability performance indicators. Now in use across three continents, we reflect on lessons learned and can now offer broader insights on the process in different geographies. The system is a key way in which COSA’s mission of accelerating agricultural sustainability by enabling companies to embed sustainability into their daily decision-making processes is realized. It is a systematic process through which information is collected and analyzed in order to track progress toward planned results.
At the outset, COSA set out to develop a user-friendly system that would make it easy to understand mission-critical sustainability questions. Customizable key performance indicators allow users to compare and audit performance in a low-cost, easy-to-use manner in real-time.
Lessons learned to date include:
- For maximum effectiveness, indicators must be tightly correlated to the activities being tracked.
The system is predicated on the collection of comparable data over time that inform SMART indicators.
- A clear definition of roles and responsibilities is critical.
All PM systems should have a documented PM plan which holds stakeholders accountable and establishes strict timelines for data collection, quality control, analysis, and reporting.
- Communication is key to stakeholders buying into the process.
The system should be clearly explained from the outset so that stakeholders understand how progress in PM connects to achieving the organization’s sustainability goals. Further, performance results should be shared widely to show progress and influence decision-making and resource allocation.
- Timeliness and ease of use matter.
Information should be easy to collect through normal business operations and data should be presented in a way that is easy to interpret, in real-time. COSA dashboards have evolved to offer intuitive output for quick management insights
Jessica Mullan, who leads COSA’s work across Measurement Systems, and Saurin Nanavati, who leads COSA’s partnerships, will present these learnings at Sustainable Food Lab’s annual Performance Measurement Meeting February 3-4, 2016.