Identifying your sustainability goals and tracking progress
In this section, we explain how to set sustainability goals for your organization, and how to track them using indicators in a sample Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) framework. This framework includes sample tracking indicators to facilitate reporting and measuring progress against sustainability goals.
It’s important to realize that not everything in this sample framework will be relevant to every Open SPP project, so you will need to decide which goals, outcomes, and indicators are most relevant to your context. We provide an editable template of the sample framework in the downloadable tools section.
What are Goals, Outcomes, and Indicators?
The sample M&E framework is structured around goals, outcomes and indicators. It can be used to inspire your own M&E framework development, and should be adapted according to your specific needs.
Goals are high-level sustainability objectives that guide Open SPP implementation. Goals should reflect national, regional, local, or organizational priorities. This toolkit includes a selection of five sample goals: Reducing carbon emissions, Promoting gender inclusion, Driving socio-economic development, Promoting SPP uptake, and Promoting life cycle costing approaches. Each of these corresponds to one of the worked examples presented in section three.
One of the five goals we have included in our worked examples in section three is Reducing carbon emissions. As public procurement is responsible for 15% of the world’s CO2 emissions, and reaching net zero in 2050 has been set as a target by many governments, setting this as a key goal can be an effective way to monitor progress in this area.
Outcomes are the expected intermediate changes from implementing Open SPP practices. Each goal has certain outcomes associated with it, which together contribute to the ultimate sustainability goal.
As you can see in the sample M&E framework, four outcomes have been aligned with the goal of Reducing carbon emissions. These outcomes are: Promoting low carbon practices in public contracts, Reducing carbon value associated with public contracts, Promoting low carbon suppliers, and Reducing the purchase of carbon intensive products.
Indicators are the metrics needed to measure progress against outcomes. Each indicator has different units of measurement, such as number of contracts, hours of training, quantities of products purchased, or value of contracts. For each indicator, you should collect data to determine current baselines, set a target to be achieved within a specific period, and track your progress along the way.
If a public authority decides to select “Reducing carbon value associated with public contracts” as an outcome, they might decide to measure this by capturing the “Tonnes of CO2 associated with public contracts”. This will be calculated by multiplying the CO2 estimates of the goods purchased, by the amount of units purchased. For additional guidance for measuring progress, see the full worked example in section three.
The sample M&E framework provides guidance on information needed to measure each indicator, a proposed method for measuring it, and options to record the needed data. Below you can see an example from the table.
The structure presented on the table above can be used within your organization to set your own goals, outcomes and indicators across your prioritized procurement areas. For additional examples, we have developed a full sample M&E Framework, linked below.
More examples of goals, outcomes and indicators; how to create them; and how to measure them:
Developing goals, outcomes, and indicators requires a proper understanding of what you are trying to achieve, and how. Our sample M&E framework helps you to think through how to set and track practical, specific, and measurable goals, outcomes, and indicators.
Deep dive into five specific Open SPP worked examples:
- Open Contracting Partnership. 2021. Green Flags: How open data can throw light on sustainable procurement.
- World Bank Group. 2021. Green Public Procurement: An overview of green reforms in country procurement systems (Pages 24-28).
- Government of Ireland. 2021. Green Tenders: Action Plan on Green Public Procurement.
- European Commission. 2022. EU GPP Criteria.
In 2005, the Ministry of Environment in the Republic of Korea enacted the “Act on Promotion of Purchase of Green Products”, and, since then, has created five-year “Action Plans for the Promotion of Purchase of Green Products.”
Two key indicators are monitored: the number of public organizations that submit a GPP plan and performance report, and the purchase of green products (specifically the units and expenditure on ecolabelled products purchased and the proportion of that to total expenditure). The purchase of green products is linked to the products certified by the Korean ecolabel, and it is measured to monitor progress against the plan’s objective of minimizing CO2 emissions.
The Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute (KEITI) has been appointed the responsible authority for managing the reporting and monitoring system. In order to do this, data is gathered from three different platforms: the centralized e-procurement platform KONEPS; the de-centralised online purchase platform Green Market; and the e-monitoring platform “Green Products Information Platform'' (GPIP), created for procurement authorities to upload required data from de-centralised procurement processes. To incentivize performance, Korea provides an annual performance bonus to local governments, public organizations and local public organizations based on their GPP ratio to local spending, and GPP growth rate.