How mature is your organization’s sustainability strategy? Our upcoming research on sustainability includes a model that outlines the five levels of sustainability maturity that all firms must progress through. For each level, we explore the crucial sustainability decisions organizations must make. Ultimately, firms must mature toward the future-generation-safe level. At this final level, a firm helps to ensure a safe planet for future generations. A firm can’t skip a maturity level, but it can accelerate its progress toward future-generation-safe.

The first maturity level, compliance, is familiar to organizations that have begun to coordinate sustainability efforts because of an external event. For firms at the compliance level in regulated industries, the strategy is to meet regulatory standards in order to avoid fines and further regulation. In unregulated industries, other drivers determine compliance strategy such as needing to increase stock price, get insurance, secure supplier or third-party relationships, or obtain loans at better rates. If your firm is at the compliance level now, you can use the model to look ahead to the questions of customer experience, employee experience, brand reputation, trust, and investment that will emerge in later stages. For those firms just starting their sustainability journey and beginning their compliance journey, some of those same considerations are:

Use Forrester’s Sustainability Maturity Model to plot your organization’s journey through the five levels. With the model, you can execute on a sustainability roadmap that will build trust, increase resilience, and open new markets.

This blog post is part of Forrester’s COP26 series. For more Forrester insights on sustainability, see the full set of Forrester’s climate action blogs.