Sustainicum Collection

Consus The aim of the project is to establish a regional science-society network for sustainability innovations in Albania and Kosovo in order to strengthen the connection and collaboration of institutions in the field of higher education, research and practice.

Resource facts

  • Independent of the number of students
  • 4-7 lecture units
  • Internet connection necessary
  • English, German

Resource Description

Additional attachments

iooi method (Input – Output – Outcome – Impact) by Bertelsmann Stiftung(Resource ID: 12)

The iooi method deals with impact assessment of corporate social commitment. iooi stands for 'input – output – outcome – impact'. The importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and transparent reporting is increasing. Companies are under growing pressure to meet consumer demands concerning the compliance with social standards among staff and suppliers, fair and safe working conditions, and environmentally-friendly use of natural resources. iooi presents a tool to evaluate and hence demonstrate the impacts of investments in education, health and similar CSR activities. The method was developed by Bertelsmann Stiftung in cooperation with PricewaterhouseCoopers and various other companies.

Citizens are more and more concerned about transparency of companies and their social responsibility. Fair and safe working conditions, fair wages, social standards, the sustainable use of natural resources or compliance with stringent environmental regulations affect consumers’ behavior. An increasing number of companies therefore incorporate social commitment and invest in CSR activities to take on social responsibility. Companies might invest in education or health projects, but the impacts are hard to measure. iooi presents a tool to evaluate these impacts. The method was developed by Bertelsmann Stiftung in cooperation with PricewaterhouseCoopers and various other companies, such as BMW, Deutsche Bank and Beiersdorf.

iooi is the abbreviation for ‘Input – Output – Outcome – Impact’.

  • Input includes all means and resources that are invested by the company to implement a planned CSR activity; i.e. human, financial and material resources.
  • Output refers to services that can be achieved with the available input.
  • Outcome covers the effects, which are achieved for a target group by the CSR activities.
  • Impact refers to effects that can be achieved for society in the long term.

Some projects do not aim to achieve a long-term impact for society, but this aspect should be considered already when planning new projects.

The attached document includes an overview of the terms input, output, outcome and impact, as well as supporting questions and a matrix for students.

Didactical Description of the Method

iooi should be applied over a longer period of time – if possible over one semester. The students evaluate different companies and organizations and in co-operation with these companies try to measure the impacts of their social activities. The students gain valuable insights into strategic decisions of companies and their CSR activities, whereas companies get support in measuring their projects and planning future projects.

Groups of three to six students are allocated to different companies and organisations, which have been selected and contacted by the lecturer before. If a direct involvement of companies and organisations is not possible, the students could alternatively evaluate CSR activities on the basis of sustainability reports of companies (literature research).

iooi is applied as follows (cp. Bertelsmann Stiftung 2010):

  1. Analysis of the status quo
    Information on current social commitment and CSR activities of the company is gathered. Relevant stakeholders and business units are identified.
  2. Common understanding
    In cooperation with stakeholders students develop a common understanding of social commitment – this may be achieved by conducting interviews or during a workshop. Are the investments altruistic, business-oriented or seen as an investment in society at large?
  3. Survey of costs and efforts
    Students investigate (if necessary by means of interviews) the financial, human and material resources, that are provided for the projects.
  4. Recording and evaluating results
    Based on the survey of costs and efforts, the students record and evaluate how the project has been implemented (regarding specific measures and actions taken).
  5. Recording and evaluating impacts
    The impacts of the project – as regards society and the company – are recorded and evaluated.

As a result of the interviews and research the students should be able to fill in the iooi matrix (see attachments). Following questions might facilitate this task:

Input: What resources have been invested in order to achieve the planned CSR activities?

  • Financial resources that have been invested (e.g. for non-profit organizations, education projects, etc.)?
  • Human resources that have been invested (i.e. time for planning, implementation)?
  • Material resources that have been invested (products and services of the company)
  • Infrastructure costs (e.g. office equipment, rentals for rooms, printing costs, etc.)

Output: What kinds of activities and measures have been carried out and which co-operations have been formed?

  • What measures and activities have been carried out based on the available resources (such as donations, funding of events and projects, organization of events, media activities, scholarships, staff activities, etc.)?
  • What was the role of non-profit partners (e.g. NGOs, education institutions), if any?

 Outcome: What immediate effects have been achieved for society and the company?

  • Did the CSR activity / social commitment have a specific and short-term goal for society (specific target group?) and the company? If so, which one?
  • Has the goal been achieved and to what extent? How could this be measured?

Impact: What are long-term effects for society and the company created by the CSR activity?

  • Did the CSR activity / social commitment have a specific long-term goal for society and the company? If so, which one?
  • How can change and hence the achievement of the activity / social commitment be evaluated?

(Explanations originate from guidelines by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, Riess, B. (Ed.) (2010) Corporate Citizenship planen und messen mit der iooi-Methode, Bertelsmann Stiftung.)

Necessary Material

The attached document includes an overview of the terms input, output, outcome and impact, as well as supporting questions and a matrix for students.

Type of teaching method
  • Reflection
Related Teaching Resources
No specific previous knowledge / related resources required
Topics of sustainability
Evaluation of corporate social commitment and citizenship, but also evaluation of social activities of NGOs or municipalities.
Strengths of the method
- Understanding and application of the iooi method
- Understanding the assessment of corporate social commitment (based on the iooi method)
- Interpretation of corporate social commitment
Assessment / evaluation
The students describe the application of the iooi method in a final report. In addition to the description of the CSR activities / social commitment of specific companies or organizations, the students report on the evaluation of impacts.
An oral presentation is recommended as well. Report and presentation can be assessed.

A learning portfolio is also recommended to assess the learning process and learning success of the students. The students hereby need to reflect on their work with the iooi method, which allows the lecturer to see if the students have understood the method and could improve their systemic competencies.
Sources and Links

Riess, Birgit (Hrsg.) (2010) Corporate Citizenship planen und messen mit der iooi-Methode, Bertelsmann Stiftung, 51 S. (German only).

Funded by
Funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research within the framework of the call "Projekt MINT-Massenfächer" (2011/12)

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Mag. Marlene Mader


Mader Marlene
This teaching resource is allocated to following University:
KFUG - Karl-Franzens-University Graz
RCE Graz-Styria (KFU Graz)


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Type of teaching method

  • Reflection