Welcome to the Scope 3 Maturity Benchmark, a collaborative effort by some of the world’s largest companies to enable them to share, learn and tackle Scope 3 faster and with more certainty. Sound interesting?

We all know that there is a climate emergency, and we all know that corporations have a huge role to play. We also know that by and large, they have a challenging task ahead. For all the talk about the collective imperative, the last year has also seen much focus on the lack of meaningful progress to date.

According to a study by The New Climate Institute in July 2022 and documented in the Net Zero Tracker2, around two-thirds of enterprise Net Zero targets lack integrity. Further, in February 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project, CDP, commented that of the >18,000 organizations that had disclosed climate transition plans, only 0.4% were credible.

2023 will see stronger regulation and increased activism focused on corporations that are demonstrably slow or behind on sustainability objectives. So, what’s holding us back? The lack of backing, funding, resources, solutions, or just not knowing how to go about it? Perhaps some, perhaps all of them.

That’s where the Scope 3 Maturity Benchmark comes in

The Scope 3 Maturity Benchmark is a tool created by Proxima in collaboration with the Scope 3 Peer Group, a community of procurement and sustainability professionals that includes many of the world’s most recognizable companies, who have chosen to work together to advance progress on Scope 3.

By getting involved, participants access the collective learnings of the community, who have worked together with Proxima to create a quantitative and qualitative maturity model that reflects their real insights on Scope 3; how they are resourced and funded, what they have done, are doing, and aspire to do next across various dimensions like people, process, strategy, data, and technology.

The output for the participating organization is the ability to benchmark vs. peers and then build credible, and realistic action plans to move them faster and with more certainty toward Net Zero. The output for the community is that the more we each contribute, the more we learn, and the faster we go.

An interesting benchmark, an even more interesting tool

The pilot group featured many of the founding organizations, a cohort whose revenues are in excess of £700bn, and collectively employs over 1.2m people, so a good size for a pilot. They have already uncovered some fascinating insights such as;

  • Those with greater funding and resources were more likely to be top-quartile performers
  • There is a gap between what businesses are communicating and maturity of “the basics”
  • Procurement Strategy scored lower than Business Strategy on 90% of responses
  • Talent was the lowest-scoring element, further compounded by low maturity in training and literacy
  • A majority are not yet using data tools and still rely on custom spreadsheets

The model is now open for general use. In these early days, we will be focusing on building the enterprise data set, and participating companies should get involved through their procurement or sustainability team and complete a consolidated response. You can access the benchmark here.

There will be lots of “bad news stories” in 2023, but alongside this shaming, there will be many good ones. The Scope 3 Maturity Benchmark is one such initiative, whereby a collective of organizations have come together to build a tool that shares collective intelligence and evolves as we do, allowing us to create a pathway forward for years to come.

The green light is now. The Scope 3 benchmark is open.


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