The Handbook for Product Social Impact Assessment


The Handbook is available now for download by sustainability professionals who want to use this pragmatic approach to improving social sustainability. The Handbook gives the necessary framework, and the members of the Roundtable are available to provide guidance for conducting assessments in specific situations.

The Methodology

The methodology can be applied in numerous scenarios, from understanding improvement opportunities and steering product development in different stages to providing support for decision making and external communications. It also allows reasoned assessment of overall performance by including social topics and performance indicators that reflect positive and negative impacts of the product on three stakeholder groups: workers, consumers and local communities.

Its annexes provide in-depth details about the methodology, and background information about the handbook and its development process, supporting the Roundtable’s aim to achieve broader consensus and credibility.

Built-up of the Handbook

The Handbook has the following built-up

1. Introduction
2. Impact assessment method
3. Social topics and performance indicators
4. Pilots
5. Current limitations and opportunities for future development

Annex 1: The handbook development process
Annex 2: Product level social sustainability assessment
Annex 3: Development of the guiding principles
Annex 4: Development of the impact assessment method
Annex 5: Process to define materiality
Annex 6: Synergies with data sources
Annex 7: Data collection and data quality
Annex 8: Weighting
Annex 9: Selection of social topics
Annex 10: Definitions of social topics
Annex 11: Selection of performance indicators
Annex 12: Alignment with WBCSD Chemical Sector Project