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Assessing the Progress of Ecological Organizations
Using the Balanced Scorecard for Green Purposes

by Bob Elliott, www.aks-labs.comThursday, February 12, 2009

Nations have always been hell-bent on escalating the rate of economic growth of their land. However, there is a flip side to this desire of a country.

This emanates from the reality that progress on economic front is often related to environmental degradation. In other words, it has been a general observation that as a nation progress and technical advancements enter the scenario, it falls heavy on the natural surroundings of the territory. For instance, with the increase in number of vehicles and soaring use of electronic devices come the dangerous ‘by-products’ in the form of compounds like methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbon (HFCs), ozone, chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs) etc., which together are termed as ‘Greenhouse gases’.

Greenhouse gases have been adding to the ‘rise in global temperature’ since decades, however the concerns have gained sudden momentum owing to the realization that if this issue is not tamed as early as possible, serious troubles might emerge. Here comes the role of Ecological Organizations, which work with the aim of creating awareness among the masses regarding the hazardous effect these chemical constituents can exert, if left unchecked.

Of these, Ozone is a major component of the shield that protects the life on Earth from the Sun’s rays that can cause cancer. However, pricking of this ‘protective bubble’ has already started and requires serious attempts to ‘bring it in shape’. The other gases are significant absorbers of heat radiations and do their bit in elevating the temperatures. Various research studies point towards the continuous ‘curbing of state of nature’; thereby further intensifying the need for coming up with useful solutions.

Major emitters of greenhouse emissions into the environment can be clubbed under four categories- residential, commercial, industrial and transportation. One of the ways to discontinue this escalation effect is to devise ‘alternatives’ for the conventional energy sources.

To make way in their network of restrictions and responsibilities, Ecological organizations face several hurdles like ‘the need for digging cost effective ways to minimize the negative effect of these gases’, ‘creating awareness to spread the use of newly-devised solutions’ and ‘carrying out enough research to improve on the previous developments’.

This reality has given a thrust to the set of expectations for Ecological organizations. These institutions, by various means, try to minimize degradation of environment by retooling the harms already done; thereby making the place a cleaner and healthier abode. This in turn, is a ‘research-intensive’ task that demands mountain of efforts, potential, willingness and financial support on the part of the organization. This is because discovering solutions is not enough, those have to be put to use with significant benefits drawn and experienced by the users.

To take forward the aims of the organization in a ‘balanced manner’, BSC (Balanced Scorecard) can be of help. As the name suggests, the organizational management can synchronize the development in some of the areas by framing indicators in the ‘seemingly relevant areas’ to quantify the progress.

A number of KPIs can be structured on it to achieve this. Research and Technological development Perspective can be obtained with KPIs like ‘amount dedicated to research’, ‘% increase in financial support from Government and associates’, ‘% R&D expenditures on renewable energy sources and conservation’ and ‘% increase in GHG reduction innovative solutions and equipments’. Efforts perspective can be obtained with KPIs like social responsibility rating, average efficiency level of solutions and number of partners. Internal operations can be attained with ‘number of areas in which positive effects are experienced’, ‘% increase in use of agreed alternatives’, ‘research amount’ and ‘average reduction in emission achieved’. Last is the Emission control perspective that states the amount of gases in absolute values or the drop in %, the volumes of gases like Carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane and HFCs.

With a holistic tool like BSC to prevent deviation from targets, the organizational group can save itself from pitfalls of ‘Performance Measurement and Management’ issues.

About AKS-Labs

AKS-Labs was founded in 2000 and now is focusing on creating powerful and easy to use solutions for getting valuable information out of files created with popular office tools. The most known project is Balanced Scorecard Designer (formerly Strategy2Act). 

Headquarters of AKS-Labs are located in Raleigh, USA. The company also has a branch in Moscow, Russia. AKS-Labs  is a member of Association of Shareware Professionals since 2001.

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