Centre on Well-being, Inclusion, Sustainability and Equal Opportunity (WISE)
Measuring and managing business impacts on people’s well-being and sustainability
What is the contribution of businesses to people’s well-being and to the environment? How can businesses measure and manage their impacts? Building on the "Beyond GDP" agenda and on its work on measuring well-being, the OECD WISE Centre is collaborating with the community of businesses, investors, standard-setters and policy makers engaged in managing and measuring business impacts on people's well-being and sustainability.
Measuring business non-financial performance and impacts using a well-being lens
Businesses have a significant impact on people’s lives, whether as employees or workers, consumers, members of a community or as part of society as a whole. Our framework on measuring the non-financial performance of firms (see the recent working paper and policy insights) identifies four broad categories of stakeholders: employees, consumers, local communities, and society as a whole.
The measurement of the well-being of these stakeholders remains scattered. To respond to gaps in such measurement, our approach:
uses the OECD Well-being Framework as a basis to provide conceptual clarity and identify metrics across well-being dimensions
Piloting a standardised OECD survey on employee well-being
Employee well-being surveys are an important and rich potential source of data on business social performance, providing direct information about the lives of this stakeholder group. Currently, there is limited standardisation in the way businesses measure the well-being of their employees, impeding comparisons.
For this reason, the OECD WISE Centre has launched the OECD Employee Well-being Survey pilot, a standardised survey instrument that businesses can use to measure employee well-being and benchmark outcomes against that of peers. The survey:
provides a multi-dimensional overview of employee well-being across 10 dimensions
identifies vulnerabilities, inequalities and risks in employee working conditions and well-being
allows companies to compareperformance with that of others
is aligned with OECD measurement guidelines, allowing comparisons with country-level statistics
An initial pilot was held among a group of companies in Japan in the fall of 2022. Access a sample employee well-being report of Persol Holdings, a Japanese human resource management company.
For information on the pilot and to find out how to participate in the next pilot survey, contact: [email protected]
Impact management and the Impact Management Platform
Impact management by enterprises, investors and financial institutions is necessary to achieve sustainability, promote well-being, manage idiosyncratic risks and mitigate system-wide risks. Impact management enables businesses to place a consideration of impacts in strategy, governance, and across its activities, with the aim of using information on impacts to take action and steer towards better outcomes for people and the natural environment.
To provide clarity on impact management and ensure coherence in the system of standards and resources, the OECD and Partner organisations and standard-setters have created the Impact Management Platform. Among others, the Impact Management Platform has developed the Actions of impact management, a consensus view of the steps that organisations can take to manage their impacts, and the System Map, a high-level visual of the currently available resources for organisations, investors and financial institutions to manage their sustainability impacts.
Key WISE Centre reports and publications on measuring business impacts