GLOBAL VALUE tool testing

Thee tool testers together with three multinational companies tested 15 handpicked tools all potentially addressing different aspects of measuring and managing business impacts on development. On this page you can find out more how GLOBAL VALUE selected and tested tools.

How the tools were selected?

The tools tested by GLOBAL VALUE were selected to represent the full diversity of existing approaches to measuring and managing business impacts on sustainable development. Using the whole database of over 220 tools collected for the tool navigator, the GLOBAL VAUE consortium prioritised tools for testing, reflecting their diversity in the SDG issues covered, type of developers (international organisations, NGOs, business, consultants, and academia), their scopes (from one site specific to whole value chain), purposes (management control, reporting, valuation or monetization and strategy building) and feasibility for implementation within the span of a few weeks.

Tested tools list

The iterative process of tool prioritization and selection resulted in 11 tools being tested by GLOBAL VALUE tool testers, that are generally applicable to all industry sectors:

In addition to these, GLOBAL VALUE reviewed 4 more tools that are specialised for one of the three industry sectors in which the companies that collaborated with GLOBAL VALUE operate (footwear, pulp and paper and food and agriculture):


What where the tools tested for?

Each of the tested tools has the potential to bring something to a company looking to explore and improve its impacts on sustainable development. Thus, the goal of GLOBAL VALUE tool testing was not to evaluate or rank tools, but rather practically explore and showcase the aspects of different tools that are important factors in selecting and applying appropriate tools for specific company purposes. These aspects, or criteria, against which the tools were tested, were developed by GLOBAL VALUE consortium experts, in consultation with a global multi-stakeholder and online expert crowd. Below is the full list of criteria used by GLOBAL VALUE to test the tools:

General aspects
  • Purpose and aim
  • Suitability for Multinational Corporations (MNCs)
  • External validation
  • Benefits
  • Limitations
  • External validation
  • Benefits
  • Limitations
Feasibility and Usability
  • Time resources needed
  • Need for external support in implementation
  • Need for stakeholder involvement
  • Accessibility of data required
  • Need for specific user expertise
  • Guidance and support provided by the tool
  • Availability
User friendliness
  • Ease of use
  • Interactive features
  • Security and Confidentiality
  • Customization
Content and Context
  • SDG Issue coverage
  • Value chain scope
  • Progress tracking support
  • Adabtability to different contexts
  • Transparency of underlying assumptions
  • Metholodogy for assessing impact
  • Data required
  • Indicators
  • Complexity
  • Suitability to vertically integrated companies
Data & Results
  • Are indicators standardized or linked to standardized metrics
  • Data collection methods required
  • Type of results provided
  • Visualization
  • Clarity and transparency
  • Guidance to actions for improvement


Who are the GLOBAL VALUE tool testers?

All the tools were tested by three GLOBAL VALUE expert tool testers during the period March 2015 – June 2016. You can fin out more about each of the GLOBAL VALUE experts who worked as tool testers below.


How did GLOBAL VALUE test the tools?

Each of the 15 tools was tested in collaboration with three multinational companies using actual company data and discussing the tools’ practical strengths and weaknesses.

As a first step, tool testers collected sustainability management data from collaborating companies as a basis for understanding each of the company’s sustainability impact management systems. In-depth discussions were held with partner companies in order to identify the most relevant thematic issues and challenges facing their specific sectors. For the purpose of tool testing, in collaboration with each company, a focus business unit was chosen as a basis for the majority of the tested tools.

As a second step, each tool was tested in parallel by three tool testers, each running a separate assessment for each company and discussing the observations with other tool testers, to ensure a well-rounded view of the capabilities of each tool. Tool testers kept an open communication channel with the companies, updating them on progress, discussing some of the challenges faced when implementing the tools, sharing the results obtained, and soliciting partner company feedback on tool usability.

After each tool was tested, evaluation interviews were set up with tool testers. Interviews were conducted by an impartial GLOBAL VALUE cosortium partner, BRAC, based on the evaluation criteria presented in the section above. Based on the interviews with tool testers, BRAC developed narratives for each of the tested tools, which described and explained each of its capabilities, benefits and limitations. The presented tool showcases are based, therefore, on the experiences by the three tool testers narrated by an impartial evaluator BRAC and feedback of partner companies.


With which companies did GLOBAL VALUE test the tools?

The tools were tested in collaboration with three multinational companies from different sectors to provide helpful and practical tips on how to get the most from using each of the showcased tools. For this purpose GLOABL VALUE collaborated with the footwear manufacturer BATA Brands SA, paper & packaging producer Mondi, and the agribusiness Olam International. Testing each tool with three different companies also allowed GLOBAL VALUE to develop a fully rounded view of what each tool can bring in different settings, and how challenging the tools may be to use in practice in different settings. These companies provided invaluable input into developing the tool testing approach and feedback on the tested tools and their added value. More information on each company can be found below.


Bata is a family-owned global footwear and fashion accessory manufacturer and retailer with acting headquarters located in Lausanne, Switzerland. The organization has a retail presence of over 5200 retail stores in more than 70 countries, with production facilities in 18 countries. The tools were tested with specific focus on of BATA Bangladesh.


Mondi plc is an international packaging and paper group, employing over 24,400 people with 102 operations across more than 30 countries, which are located predominantly in central Europe, Russia and South Africa. It is fully integrated across the packaging and paper value chain – from the growing of wood and the manufacture of pulp and paper (packaging paper and uncoated fine paper), to the conversion of packaging papers into corrugated packaging, industrial bags, extrusion coatings and release liner. For a majority of the tests, Russia was chosen as a geographical focus, and, for some more general tools, MONDI Global was considered.

OLAM International

Olam International is a leading agri-business operating from seed to shelf in 70 countries, supplying food and industrial raw materials to over 16,200 customers worldwide. Olam has a team of 62,500 employees and operates in many businesses, including cocoa, coffee, cashew, rice and cotton.


André Martinuzzi, Norma Schönherr, Adele Tharani & Patricia Schindler
© 2017 Institute for Managing Sustainability  │  Vienna University of Economics & Business


GLOBAL VALUE is co-funded by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no 613295. Sole responsibility for the project lies with the participating organisations. The European Commission is not responsible for the use that may be made of any material arising from this project.

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