MLA has developed a comprehensive Triple Bottom Line evaluation framework for measuring the social, environmental and economic benefits of its RD&E and marketing investments.
Triple Bottom Line (TBL) accounting is used to describe the evaluation of performance or impact in terms of social, environmental and economic considerations. MLAs TBL Evaluation Framework enables MLA to:
- Enhance investment decision making: Calculate impact systematically to assist with identifying and evaluating investment opportunities, to improve the effectiveness of the investments which MLA makes, and thereby meet MLAs statutory funding agreement requirements.
- Track impact to industry: Assist with tracking and monitoring the performance of various investment programs. This enables MLA to deliver against the 2020-25 Strategic Plan through investments which target social, environmental and economic impacts across the 2020-25 strategic priorities. It also allows MLA to measure its contribution to the red meat industry wide 10-year strategic plan, Red Meat 2030, as well as to the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework and Sheep Sustainability Framework.
- Report to stakeholders: Enhance reporting to its stakeholders (including industry stakeholders and wider Australian stakeholders) in line with MLA’s statutory funding agreement requirements.
All MLA programs are evaluated on a regular basis using this standardised evaluation framework. This allows MLA to continuously monitor the timing and value of the benefits derived from MLA’s previous, current and planned investments.
A overall summary of MLA’s Triple Bottom Line framework is available from the Triple Bottom Line Evaluation Framework.
More detailed guidelines on evaluating social, environmental and economic impacts under the above framework is available from the Triple Bottom Line Evaluation Framework Guidelines.
Further evaluation resources include the following.
- Assistance in developing an evaluation plan for producer adoption (extension) type investments is available from Developing an Evaluation Plan for MLA Extension Investments.
- A more detailed guide on how MLA measures the adoption and economic benefits from the above producer extension programs (products) is available from the MLA Extension Program Evaluation Framework.
- Greenhouse gas emission reduction user guides. These documents provide detailed information about adoption and impact data needed for evaluating the impact of interventions (products) that may reduce industry emissions. They allow MLA to model the likely adoption and hence potential impact to 2050 of MLAs emission reduction investments.
- A generic Microsoft Excel template for the capture of product level ('bottom up') first round adoption and economic impact data is available here. This is an example of MLA’s standardised Microsoft Excel formatting rules, with a blank worksheet available here.
Importance of evaluation
Evaluation allows MLA to understand the social, environmental and economic impacts its investments make in the Australian Red Meat Industry as well as Australian society more broadly, including animals and the environment. MLA’s statutory funding agreement requires that it invests in products and programs which seek to generate impact for the Australian Red Meat Industry stakeholders including levy payers (red meat industry stakeholders) and the Australian community.
Economic Impact Assessment: 2016-2020
The most recent company-wide program evaluation was undertaken in 2020 for the period 2016-2020. The assessment used MLA’s comprehensive evaluation framework to assess the economic impact of MLA’s entire portfolio of programs over the period. Independent expertise was used where appropriate to validate these assessments.
The Impact Assessment concluded that MLA’s $1,295 million expenditure on research, development and marketing programs from 2015-16 to 2019-20 provided current and future industry returns of $5,729 million. This equates to a benefit cost ratio of 4.44:1, or $4.44 return for every dollar invested.