Hand holding a plant
Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

Envision a world where a business’s success is measured by its profit margins and its positive impact on the planet and communities. This is not a distant dream – it’s an emerging reality.

A staggering 77% of consumers are inclined to buy from businesses that help make the world a better place1, and 88% say they are more loyal to companies that actively support social or environmental issues2, signaling a seismic shift in the business landscape.

In the past, traditional KPIs such as revenue growth and profit margins dominated the business world, driving decisions and strategies. However, these metrics are no longer sufficient as we confront unprecedented environmental and social challenges. 
Modern businesses recognize the need to adopt impact metrics that capture their contributions to society and the environment. This transition from traditional KPIs to impact metrics is not just a trend but a crucial evolution for businesses aiming to build trust, drive meaningful change, and secure long-term success in an increasingly conscious marketplace.

What are impact metrics?

Impact metrics are performance indicators designed to measure a company’s contributions to social, environmental, and economic well-being3. Unlike traditional KPIs, which focus primarily on financial outcomes, impact metrics provide a broader view of a company’s overall impact on society and the planet. 

Impact metrics are often categorized into three main areas: Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG).

Environmental impact metrics:

Carbon footprint: Measures the total greenhouse gas emissions caused directly and indirectly by a business. Reducing carbon footprint can lead to significant energy cost savings and lesser environmental impact.

Plastic neutrality: Tracks plastic footprint or the amount of plastic a company uses and offsets it by supporting initiatives that remove plastic waste from the environment. This metric highlights a company’s commitment to tackling plastic pollution.

Waste reduction: Measures the efficiency of a company’s waste management practices, focusing on reducing, reusing, and recycling materials to minimize overall waste.

Social impact metrics:

Community engagement: Assesses a company’s involvement in and support for local and global communities. High levels of community engagement can enhance a company’s reputation and customer loyalty.

Employee well-being: Measures employees’ health, satisfaction, and overall well-being. Companies that prioritize employee well-being see higher productivity and lower turnover rates.

Diversity and inclusion: Tracks the diversity of a company’s workforce and the inclusiveness of its workplace practices. Companies that embrace diversity and inclusion tend to be more innovative and competitive.

Governance impact metrics:

Ethical practice: Evaluates a company’s adherence to ethical standards and practices. Strong ethical practices build trust with consumers and investors.

Transparency: Measures the openness and clarity of a company’s communications and operations. Transparent companies that implement traceability are more likely to gain and retain stakeholder trust.

Board diversity: Assesses the diversity of a company’s board of directors, including gender, ethnicity, and professional background. Diverse boards are often more effective in decision-making and risk management.

Incorporating these impact metrics gives businesses a comprehensive understanding of their influence on the world and empowers them to take meaningful steps to enhance their positive contributions.

Employees having a meeting
Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash.

How to implement impact metrics

Here are the key steps to effectively implement impact metrics:

Start with a baseline

The first step in implementing impact metrics is to assess your current performance. Establishing a baseline helps you understand where your business stands regarding social, environmental, and governance impacts. This initial assessment allows you to identify areas of strength and areas needing improvement. It provides a reference point against which you can measure future progress and set realistic goals.

Set clear goals

Once you have established a baseline, the next step is to set clear, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. These goals should align with your overall business strategy and values. For example, if your baseline assessment reveals a high carbon footprint, a SMART goal might be to reduce carbon emissions by 25% within the next two years. Clear goals provide direction and motivation, making tracking progress and celebrating achievements easier.

Use the right tools

Choosing the right tools and platforms is crucial for effectively tracking impact metrics. Various software solutions and platforms can help you monitor and report your ESG initiatives. For example, if you aim to help end poverty and stop plastic pollution, you can subscribe to Plastic Bank Impact Subscription. It is a monthly contribution program that ensures the collection of a predetermined amount of plastic waste. Subscribers gain access to Impact Hub, which tracks your impact in real time. It lets you see the tangible difference your business makes, measured in total kilograms of plastic gathered and the equivalent number of 500ml plastic bottles, helping you measure your progress accurately and make informed decisions.

Report and communicate

Regular reporting and transparent communication with stakeholders are essential to implementing impact metrics. Consistently reporting your progress demonstrates accountability and builds trust with consumers, investors, and other stakeholders. Transparency in your communications about goals, achievements, and challenges ensures that stakeholders are well-informed and engaged in your journey towards sustainability and social responsibility. 

One of the perks of Plastic Bank Impact Subscription is having an Impact Page. This page is a public testament to the business’s dedication to ending poverty and stopping plastic pollution, updated automatically to reflect ongoing contributions. Moreover, you will be provided with marketing toolkits, impact certificates, and storytelling templates to help you show the world what your brand stands for.

Moving forward

The journey toward incorporating impact metrics may seem daunting, but it is undoubtedly worth embarking on. It requires a fundamental shift in mindset, a commitment to transparency, and a willingness to embrace new tools and strategies. However, the rewards are substantial: enhanced brand loyalty, improved stakeholder trust, and a lasting positive global impact.

In this evolving landscape, businesses prioritizing impact metrics will thrive and lead toward a more equitable and sustainable future. As we move forward, let us seize this opportunity to redefine success, align our values with our actions, and create a legacy that benefits both the present and future generations. The time to act is now, and each of us has a role in contributing to a better, more sustainable world.
Discover how Plastic Bank Impact Subscription can empower you to integrate purpose into your business. Visit now!

  1. Tim Stobierski, “15 Eye-Opening Corporate Social Responsibility Statistics,” Harvard Business Online, June 15, 2021, 
  2. Adam Butler, “Do Customers Really Care About Your Environmental Impact?,” Forbes, November 21, 2018, 
  3. Michelle Tran, “A guide to impact metrics,” Rundit, July 7, 2023, 

More Purpose and Profit articles