Revealing values in a complex environmental program: a scaling up of values-based indicators

D. Podger, Elona Hoover, Gemma Burford, T. Hak, Marie Harder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ethical values such as trust, compassion and equality are core to the way many pro-environmental organizations function, whether or not they claim these are key to their success. Mainstream sustainability indicators do not, however, explicitly acknowledge this values dimension. In this paper we describe a replicable approach that has successfully been used to develop values-based indicators and assessment tools within an emancipatory research paradigm, in an EU-funded project characterized by close partnership between civil society organizations (CSOs) and university-based research groups. We outline the methodology used to develop values-based indicators, and then demonstrate how the resulting indicators were used systematically to evaluate a national program of youth leadership within a large Mexican civil society organization promoting reforestation. We reflect on this illustrative example in relation to wider conversations about values and sustainability
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-238
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2015

Bibliographical note

© 2015. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license


  • Sustainability indicators
  • Sustainability assessment
  • Values
  • Values-based indicators
  • Values-focused evaluation
  • Participatory processes


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