The Sustainability Index – A Different Way to Quantify the Triple Bottom Line

2018-08-15T11:00:43-06:00 May 5th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

In April, the Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission released Greater Toledo Going Beyond Green – a sustainability plan to guide the region’s next steps toward sustainability. Going Beyond Green is organized around the three systems of the “triple bottom line” – natural, social, and economic – with seven focus areas highlighted within these systems. With a comprehensive sustainability plan like Going Beyond Green that addresses a wide array of topics – water quality and land use to health and education to infrastructure and economic health – it can be difficult to efficiently and effectively set goals, track progress, and communicate successes to decision makers and the public.

To merge these topics and related indicators together, a comprehensive Going Beyond Green Sustainability Index was developed as a way to translate complex information into one clear benchmark that can be tracked over time. This index includes 10 key indicators, one for each of the 3 triple bottom line systems and one for each of the 7 focus areas. By comparing the performance of each indicator to an identified target and normalizing the indicators on a 1 to 100 scale, the Toledo-Lucas County region will be able to track the individual performance of each regional priority but also integrate performance into one comprehensive Sustainability Index. For each indicator both a baseline condition as well as a 2030 goal have been established. The overall Going Beyond Green Sustainability Index was 41 (out of 100) in 2012 with natural and social systems having slightly lower scores than economic systems. The goal is to increase the Going Beyond Green Sustainability Index to 70 by 2030 – a 60% increase over current conditions. The table below summarizes the 2012 baseline performance for each indicator.

TLC indicators

You can find a PDF of the full Going Beyond Green Plan here.