Article Information

Guidelines for Social Return on Investment
Lingane, Alison , and Sara Olsen
46/3  (Spring 2004): 116-135

This article presents ten standard guidelines for the calculation of social return on investment (SROI)-quantitative summaries of companies' social and environmental impacts, actual or projected. SROI is a technique for summarizing the value of companies' environmental and social benefits in terms of a dollar value equivalent. Using data and examples from 88 actual business plans, this article discusses common errors in such assessments and makes recommendations for standardizing them. The aim is to make SROI metrics more comprehensive, credible, and useful for entrepreneurs, managers, and analysts. Such a common framework would also enable investors to compare the social impact of different firms within the same industry.


California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at the University of California for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

Learn more
Follow Us