Case Study: Impact Measurement with Coop Carbone – How Clarity and Alignment Can Lead to Powerful Measurement Tools

November 30, 2023

photo of a man on a cargo bicycle in front of a loading dock garage door, representing Coop Carbone

Coop Carbone is a solidarity cooperative whose mission is to take action against the climate emergency by supporting the implementation of collaborative projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Coop Carbone works in three fields: the development of energy cooperatives through the operation of agricultural biomethanisers; assistance to businesses and organizations wishing to engage in the fight against climate change by reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions  ; and sustainable mobility, through its team MOBIS, an initiative designed to make Quebec communities the benchmark in sustainable mobility (https://coopcarbone.coop/en/about-us/).

The cooperative applied to Innoweave in December 2021 to our Impact Measurement coaching stream seeking a better understanding of how to measuring the direct and indirect impact of their MOBIS initiative.

Standardizing Impact Measurement in Complex Projects and Networks

Implementing impact measurement tools does come with its challenges. According to Joël Marier, the Innoweave Impact Measurement coach who supported Coop Carbone in their work, “the main challenge of this impact measurement coaching process was linked to the strong growth in the number of projects supported by the MOBIS division of Coop Carbone in recent years and the great diversity of these. This challenge was accentuated by the wide variety of new partners involved. Coop Carbone supports start-ups, but also large organizations.”

With Joël’s help, Coop Carbone sought to standardize a data collection template to measure GHG impacts through their projects. As the experienced coach explains:

“The MOBIS division team sought to develop one or more common or transversal indicators covering all its projects. The great diversity of projects supported led to a need to simplify the impact measurement process and also to revise their theory of change (TOC). This approach allowed the team to take ownership of the impact measurement process by aligning the indicators with the new TOC and developing new measurement tools.”

For Theophil Haberstroh, Director – Sustainable Mobility at Coop Carbone, Impact Measurement is “a process that takes time (internally and externally), but that also allows new partnership possibilities to be explored.” Aside from the need for alignment of the team and managing time between coaching work and existing projects, he highlights the importance of understanding the benefit for partners and customers of participating in the data collection.

Finding alignment in a growing team with an evolving Theory of change

The Impact Measurement work done by Coop Carbone continues to impact them as the organization evolves and grows. Similar to Joël’s observations above, Theophil shares the importance of continually aligning impact measurement with the theory of change, as the theory of change explains how an organization will achieve their intended impact:

“In our case, the team has grown from 4 to 10 employees in the last 3 years. Our theory of change has evolved in parallel. We had to update it to properly align it with the indicators measured and the impacts sought.”

Once again, Coop Carbone’s Impact Measurement coaching journey reminds us of the importance of strategic clarity and a meaningful (and evolving) theory of change to help find alignment within a complex web of projects and partnerships and to guide the adoption of tools for measuring impact that an organization can call their own.

Diverse group of community members assembled around a large map, engaged in a brainstorming activity with post-it notes.


What is Impact Measurement?

Innoweave’s Impact Measurement (IM) coaching stream involves figuring out and demonstrating the effects of the work done by nonprofits or charities by clarifying key concepts, exploring different ways to measure impact, and providing practical advice for putting these measurements into action. A clear impact measurement framework can not only improve projects but also help communicate impact more effectively, internally and externally. This process of showcasing impact can lead to increased support and funding for future projects.

Learn more about IM