ClimateMiles sustainability Maturity Model.

Over this month (May, 2016) I will put out a series of results from a maturity model that we (ClimateMiles) created. This blog gives a background. 


What is a Maturity model?

A maturity model is a framework that is used as a benchmark for comparison when looking at an organisation's processes. It is specifically used when evaluating the capability to implement certain management strategies and the level at which that company could be at risk from said strategies

There are many kinds of models and here in this ClimateMiles blog we are focussing on sustainability based categories to evaluate.

What is the Climate Miles Sustainability Maturity Model:

The framework of the Climate Miles sustainability Maturity Model assesses a company’s sustainability performance based on data available in the public domain. We look at the company’s sustainability reports, its website, and industry reports available on the public domain.  The framework does NOT capture specific sustainability performance, such as the amount of carbon emission reductions, waste output numbers, or how successful an intervention was. Instead, based on the thoroughness of the reporting and policy, it only looks at: whether all important sustainability factors are covered, if meaningful quantitative data is disclosed, and if goals and progress are established, tracked and reported.

While most other models describe maturity of sustainability practices somewhat subjectively, and rely on internal knowledge of a company to make an assessment, the Climate Miles sustainability Maturity Model is based on clear yes/no type indicators, to allow for an objective, unbiased maturity rating of a company.

4 groups comprise the model:

Policy, Within which we will note Ethics and values, Environmental policy, Supplier code of conduct and employee code of conduct.

Audit/ Certification/ Programs,  Within which we note external audit/ ISO 14000, LEED/ BREEAM, Supplier audits, Environmental/sustainability management training. 

Environmental reporting, within which we note materials, energy, water, biodiversity, emissions, effluents and waste, products and services responsible design, transport, supplier environmental assessment.

Repatriation reporting, within which we note compliance (cases and fines) and environmental grievance mechanisms. 


A deeper analysis of performance on Environmental Sustainability parameters

This version of the Climate Miles Sustainability Maturity Model is focussed on Environmental Sustainability parameters (as against social or governance sustainability parameters). Environmental indicators are further assigned into four levels:

  • Reported – indicates that this parameter was mentioned in disclosures made by the company in the public domain
  • Intervention – indicates that specific intervention (s) to rationalise the environmental footprint of this indicator were mentioned in disclosures made by the company in the public domain
  • Quantitative data – indicates that beyond just qualitative description, quantitative data was disclosed for this indicator
  • Goals – indicates that specific goals and objectives were clearly defined to manage the environmental footprint of this indicator. 

The above four levels are taken to represent increasing levels of commitment towards the management of that particular environmental indicator. e.g., while a mention of GHG emissions in a non-specific manner might indicate that the company is concerned about the effects of global warming, measuring its emissions and then setting reduction targets is taken to indicate a higher level of commitment.  Equal weightage (of 1) is assigned to each of the four levels, and the sustainability score is additive:  a mention of GHG emissions in a non-specific manner will lead to a scoring of ‘1’ on that indicator, while disclosure of one’s GHG



This model can be used to make a sustainability maturity assessment of practically any company in an industry, map the sectorial sustainability practices and trends, and identify the sustainability leaders and stragglers. Companies can use this information to benchmark themselves against competitors, or to understand trends in their clients’ industries in order to align their sustainability agenda with their clients’ goals.

While we did our best to ensure that our maturity model ratings are consistently accurate, they may not be perfectly representative of what a company is actually doing. Since we base our ratings only on public-domain information, if a company does not report its practices accurately, their maturity rating will also be skewed. Despite this limitation, we have found that the model provides good representation of overall trends, and is becoming increasingly accurate as companies adopt good reporting standards and communicate clearly and completely on their sustainability practices. 

We will be putting out models for 8 sectors in the month of May, 2016 starting with the banking sector.

** When we convert this model in the U-Sustain technology platform it becomes with "U-Sustain, Sustainability maturity model"

** This model has been conceived by @JoyaChakravarty and her relentless effort and with the help of various employees and interns we are able to put this out.