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Measuring the impact of businesses on people’s well-being and sustainability: Taking stock of existing frameworks and initiatives


  • Michal Shinwell


  • Efrat Shamir



Businesses have a significant impact on people’s economic and social conditions, as well as on environmental outcomes. This paper presents an overview of the various kinds of initiatives aimed at measuring or reporting on business’ impact, or certain aspects of it. It shows that despite the proliferation of information and frameworks to measure these impacts, there is currently no common understanding and practice on how to assess the performance of businesses in different social and environmental areas. Building on the OECD’s work on measuring well-being at the national level, the paper aims at better understanding how businesses can impact people’s well-being and sustainability. It contributes to, and complements, other initiatives undertaken by the OECD on responsible business conduct and inclusive growth. This analysis is a first attempt at extending to businesses the approach used by the Organisation to assess and benchmark the well-being performance of countries and sub-national regions, in view of creating a common language and improving the quality, comparability, and coherence of information on the impact of businesses on societal progress and people’s life.

Suggested Citation

  • Michal Shinwell & Efrat Shamir, 2018. "Measuring the impact of businesses on people’s well-being and sustainability: Taking stock of existing frameworks and initiatives," OECD Statistics Working Papers 2018/08, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:stdaaa:2018/08-en

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    business impacts; sustainability reporting; Well-being metrics;

    JEL classification:

    • G39 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Other
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions

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