Tools are designed to be useful in the achievement of a goal. They are not the whole solution, but a supporting mechanism. That is not to say that tools are not important, they are. In the context of the 5 level framework (Carol please insert link to 5 level framework from MC1) well-chosen tools will provide valuable feedback and measures on actions that have been taken in pursuit of particular strategies that are designed to achieve success within a defined system.

Choosing the right tool depends entirely on the objective and goals that are being pursued as a definition of ultimate success. The right tool will provide appropriate information and feedback, or ensure the implementation of proper systems to make sure that the investment of time, energy and money are being used most effectively and efficiently. Tools also offer certifications that can be used to demonstrate a level of practice or performance that is recognised as a standard of best practice.

Examples of common tools used to support sustainability strategies and initiatives are:

Tool examples Purpose
Carbon footprinting Measuring carbon emissions to develop management strategies
Life Cycle Analysis / Strategic Life Cycle Analysis Product life-cycle evaluation to inform design
ISO14000 / EnviroMark Environmental management system
ISO26000 Social management system
Lean Efficiency in production systems and waste elimination
Future Fit Business Benchmark A future-focused strategic benchmarking framework
PROBE for sustainability excellence A current state benchmarking approach of practices and performance
Greenstar / Living Building Challenge Building design and performance rating and certification schemes
Environmental Product Declarations Certification label providing transparency about product material content
Social Progress Indicators / Genuine Progress Indicators Measures reflecting progress as an alternative to production (GDP)

The key point is to make sure that you measure the elements that align with delivering the strategy, towards the vision of success, in the system you’re operating in. So choosing the right indicators and tools is key.



In this learning pathway you will:

  • Ensure the right measures are in place.
  • Understand the Tools level of the 5 Level framework.
  • Explore which tools are best.