The devil’s in the (complicated) details.
You know the old joke that if a problem can be fixed with money, it’s not a problem?
Same goes for measuring Sustainability. If a measurement problem can be fixed with numbers, it wasn’t much of a problem to start with.
Real problems are complex.
Here’s Part 4 of my co-written series on Sustainability Metrics for Greenbiz.com:
Why Complexity Matters When Measuring Sustainability
We note that systems thinking is starting to come up in sustainable business conversations, but remain concerned about persistent mindsets that ignore complexity. Without it, sustainability practitioners are unequipped to grapple with a point that should come up early in metrics work: “Did we just miss something very important?”
Too many articles implicitly distill big problems into linear, simpler solutions. While the latter have an important place, the large reliance on them fails the global test — in all senses of the term — that our world’s challenges demand.