In 2009, architectural, engineering and consulting firm HDR made a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) “Commitment to Action.” This Commitment to Action set out to address the disconnect between the broad goals of sustainability and the reality of the economic frameworks typically used to make decisions. HDR committed to develop a framework for the standardized measurement of sustainability: Sustainable Return on Investment (SROI). This framework is intended to provide a transparent measure of the value of everyday undertakings in both the public and private sector that reflects a broader set of criteria than typical financial analyses.
Last year, a group of graduate students from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), in partnership with CGI and HDR, conducted a rigorous review of the SROI process, revealing that the SROI framework is one of the more comprehensive approaches to sustainability measurement. Building from the last project, this project aimed to examine the next phase of HDR’s commitment to action: to achieve wider dissemination of sustainability measurement practice.
The final paper consists of eight sections. Section 1 defines key terms, motivates the need for wider dissemination of sustainability measurement and introduces the concept of SROI. Section 2 outlines the broad vision and mission of the commitment to action. Section 3 proposes a three‐step strategy to achieve wider dissemination of sustainability measurement. Sections 4‐7 provide more detail on the objectives, strategies and potential implementation of each strategy. Finally, section 8 concludes.