Just because something requires thought doesn’t mean it has to be hard, and the right tool can make any job easier. When it comes to sustainability issues, a lot of those tools are in development, but there are quite a few available right now. Knowing that they exist and learning how to use them can color our approaches to problem solving.
Sustainability is complex and there are different tools for different jobs. Computers are great with numbers, and there are a whole bunch of quantification tools out there, from determining consumer electronics efficiency to measuring the thermal flow across a building membrane. For a methodology to measuring sustainability concerns within business and across value chains, consultancies such as Deloitte and BSR have published publicly available road maps for determining and addressing social, environmental, and economic issues.
For more on this topic, see my latest post for Neenan, Sustainability 102: Tools for Creating Ecological Balance at Home and Work. Please leave a comment letting me know what sustainability tools you’re using.