Indicator Development

Indicator Development Process 

The Dairy Sustainability Framework is designed to align and connect the dairy sector in its sustainability efforts.  Importantly, another key deliverable of the Framework is to demonstrate the continuous improvement in the sustainable production of milk and dairy products at an aggregate global level.


Indicator Development

To achieve the DSF ambition it was agreed by both the DSF Advisory Council, and ratified by the Governors of the DSF, that a set of high level indicators were to be developed for each of the 11 DSF Criteria.

The aggregation of each will provide an ‘indication’ of the sector’s continuous improvement.  Though we want to be as robust as possible, the DSF will not be claiming that they are scientifically robust metrics with an exact data ‘measure’, more that they allow us to quantify the trends over time of the sector’s progression.

The vision is that on the DSF website and in our annual reporting we will be able to measure the delta change over time of our progression.  The DSF will be absolutely transparent regarding the indicators and what messages can feasibly be drawn from the reports that we provide.

The Governors have also agreed that it would be prudent to introduce the 11 indicators over a period of time, allowing members to assimilate these and introduce them into their existing and new sustainability programs at the appropriate time.

The key considerations when trying to demonstrate our continuous improvement at the global level are:

  • Information/data requested needs to be easy to collect, regardless of the geographical location of the member.
  • Information/data requested allows the DSF to track and report, in an aggregate form, the progress of the sector under each of the 11 Sustainability Criteria.
  • Over time by measuring the delta between reporting periods trend lines can be established.
  • Recognizing that some indicators will be proxy’s for the Criteria as there is no other robust form of quantification
  • They permit transparency in calculation to substantiate the reported progress.

The high level indicators for the global sustainability criteria were developed in consultation with DSF members and public stakeholders over a three year period (2016 – 2018).

The indicators developed are:

Click to dowload full details of the Indicator metrics for the 11 DSF Sustainability Criteria .

Members are only required to report the indicators for the criteria they have prioritised and have, or are establishing, work programs under the specific criteria.  The DSF will also consider improved ways of reporting to ensure efficiency and accuracy,