After eight months of research, Trakref and Darden School of Business release a new set of standards for measuring ESG maturity and its relationship to maintenance maturity
[Nashville, TN] – Trakref, the leader in software-as-a-service solutions for refrigerant and HVAC/R systems, announces the release of the Trakref-Darden Matrix for ESG Maturity. The product of eight months of research, including a survey and personal interviews with companies in industries including grocery, professional services, healthcare, technology, and others, the matrix provides a new ESG and maintenance maturity benchmark for businesses and their stakeholders.
Trakref and Darden School of Business identified that while there are some standards related to ESG reporting, companies still don’t have a full understanding of what is required. They also lack the governance and maintenance maturity to create auditable reports that are valuable to investors and other stakeholders. These observations are backed up by other’s research: in a recent report from State Street Global Advisors, researchers found that data quality, internal resource constraints, and the need for expertise are pulling investors away from ESG, since they can’t always trust the information companies are putting out.
Trakref and Darden teamed up to tackle this issue and create a way to score companies based on their maturity in the ESG space. While this project started prior to the SEC moving forward rulemaking to make certain climate-related disclosures required for publicly traded companies, its relevancy increased in recent months.
The Trakref-Darden Matrix for ESG maturity uses a scoring system in two categories: ESG awareness, where the highest score is a five, and external pressure, where the highest score is a nine. Points in the ESG awareness category are awarded based on whether a company:
- Has an ESG report
- Has a framework for ESG activities
- Includes ESG information in SEC filings
- Has a Chief Sustainability Officer or other C-suite sustainability role
Points in the external pressure category are awarded based on whether a company is facing pressure from:
- The finance community
After aggregating points, companies are assigned to one of four categories that categorize their maturity, with one being the best and four being the worst:
1. High ESG awareness and high external pressure
2. High ESG awareness, low external pressure
3. Low ESG awareness, high external pressure
4. Low ESG awareness, low external pressure
“The Trakref-Darden Matrix for ESG Maturity aims to provide more standardization for ESG reporting and provide benchmarking for companies, investors, and others who rely on ESG data,” says Ted Atwood, CEO of Trakref. “Especially as the SEC moves forward on rulemaking, it is increasingly important for companies to understand where they stand when it comes to their ESG maturity. With this matrix, they can have a standardized score to see their strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately decide how to move forward. We have also determined that ESG maturity and maintenance maturity are tied closely together, so companies will be able to use their score to determine where they need to move forward in their maintenance maturity. We hope to further evaluate this relationship moving forward.”
Trakref and Darden School of Business intend to continue their research and refine the matrix based on the SEC’s recent rulemaking around climate-related financial disclosures and legislation such as California’s SB 260.
For a full analysis of the matrix, read Trakref’s latest blog on the project. Trakref will also host an open mic event on June 9 at 12pm – people can register at trakref.com.
About Trakref: Trakref is a refrigerant management software company that has been helping facilities manage HVAC/R and refrigerant since 1994. With decades of experience pf helping companies successfully achieve compliance, Trakref is an industry-leading expert in how to leverage insights and its regulatory compliance software to help facilities manage HVAC/R and track fugitive emissions effectively as well as supply data for compliance reports, including ESG reports. Trakref does this through its desktop software solution, mobile app, and sustainability factor. For more information about Trakref, visit www.trakref.com.