Measurement - 7 Principles
1. Transparency Net Positive measurement requires a considerable number of calculations, assumptions, approximations and use of various sources of data. Rules and standards cannot be developed for every eventuality – but being transparent will enable others to compare and contrast and hence, allow appropriate rules to emerge. For instance, BT has published the methodology it used to calculate its steps towards its Net Positive ambition.
2. Consistency Capturing positive and negative impacts in a consistent way and across the value chain, allows organisations to compare like with like. For example, if you are looking at the carbon saved by a product when used by a customer (carbon footprint avoided), you also need to look at the carbon it took to produce the product (carbon footprint across the value chain).
3. Completeness Where information isn’t available for a material area it is better to use a conservative estimate than to leave a gap. Be transparent about assumptions and lay out intentions for acquiring this data.
4. Keep different types of impacts separate We don’t yet have a clear understanding of how to balance or trade off different impacts against each other (e.g. water and social), 2 NET POSITIVE MEASUREMENT PRINCIPLES so compare them at an individual project level but keep them separate. For instance, the social value of employee training will not make up for deforestation. As organisations collect, analyse and use Net Positive information this will enable us all to better understand the relative importance of these impact areas.
5. Keep positive and negative impacts separate Positive impacts don’t always compensate for negative impacts (e.g. social: high levels of staff training don’t compensate for poor working conditions). As a society we don’t yet have a clear understanding of how to evaluate positive and negative impacts, so compare them at an individual project level and report totals or ratios, but do also disclose them separately.
6. Use existing methods where possible Although Net Positive is a new way of doing business, there are a number of tried and tested methods such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol that can be useful when analysing Net Positive carbon impacts.
7. Sharing data is vital As Net Positive evolves, so will our understanding of data needs. Sharing data and building up libraries of data will accelerate this process and avoid wasted time and effort. For example, organisations in similar sectors with similar supply chains will need similar data about average carbon or resource use. One example of this is the Crown Estate’s Total Contribution report, which includes data on everything from the economic value of their developments to the amount of CO 2 sequestered in their estate.
- Measuring your way to Net Positive – intended as a guide to helping you to put the right measures in place