The Upright net impact framework

Description of impact categories in the Upright net impact model


Upright's net impact metrics are organised into 4 dimensions split into 19 impact categories. The framework is designed to be:

Balanced: Consider both costs and benefits.

Comprehensive: Capture all types of costs and benefits that companies create.

Mutually exclusive: No double-counting of benefits or costs.

Upright’s framework is different from common sustainability and impact frameworks (such as UN SDGs, SASB, and the GRI reporting standard) in that it aims to capture all value created by companies on the surrounding world whereas traditional sustainability and impact frameworks only consider a limited selection of "impact topics".

Society dimension

Positive impacts

About equality & human rights

Forms of equality considered include:

  • Ethnicity & gender

  • Language

  • Gender

  • Disability

  • Sexual orientation

  • Religion

  • Wealth

Human rights topics considered include:

  • Freedom of speech and expression

  • Voting rights, democracy

  • Forced labour, child labour

  • Accessibility

  • Access to education

  • Access to healthcare

  • Minority rights (disability, language, indigenous, etc)

  • Child rights

About societal infrastructure

Societal infrastructure is defined based on guidelines from U.S. and E.U. governments on sectors critical to the functioning of society, including the U.S. National Infrastructure Protection Plan.

Some types of critical infrastructure are, however, considered within other impact categories as follows:

  • Considered within knowledge infrastructure:

    • Telecommunications services

    • Provision of state, municipal and inter-municipal ICT services related to securing the vital functions of society, including commercial ICT subcontractors that support the provision of these services

    • National broadcasting channels and main commercial media

    • Rating and assessment bodies

    • Registration duties of the patent and registration offices

    • Environmental permit supervision

    • Permit supervision of sites that pose a risk of major accidents (e.g. chemical plants, mines)

  • Considered within health dimension:

    • Primary food production and processing

    • Healthcare, including research

    • Communicable disease expertise and support functions, including laboratory operations

    • State mental hospitals

    • Pharmaceutical supply

  • Considered within environment dimension:

    • Environmental healthcare services

About taxes

Considered taxes are not limited to corporate tax, but also include other taxes, such as payroll tax, value-added tax and sales taxes. For this reason, even companies that pay zero corporate tax will get some positive scores for paying taxes. Corporate tax is often only a fraction of a company's total tax footprint.

Negative impacts

Knowledge dimension

Positive impacts

Negative impacts

About scarce human capital

The Upright net impact model treats highly skilled workforce as a resource, similar to any other resources a company may use to create its products and services. The "negative" impact in the impact category of scarce human capital relates to the opportunity cost of using highly skilled workforce. Companies using this resource must product sufficient positive impacts to make up for its use and end up net positive.

Health dimension

Positive impacts

Negative impacts

Note on physical diseases

Please note that the physical diseases category also includes injuries. This means that products such as motorcycles, which cause many road accidents and injuries, score negatively within the category.

Environment dimension

Positive impacts

Negative impacts

Coverage of EU taxonomy objectives

While going beyond the environmental objectives of the EU taxonomy, the Upright net impact framework fully covers the six environmental objectives of the EU taxonomy. They are captured as positive impacts within the following Upright impact categories:

  • Climate change mitigation: GHG emissions

  • Climate change adaptation: GHG emissions

  • The sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources: Biodiversity, Scarce natural resources

  • The transition to a circular economy: Waste, GHG emissions, Non-GHG emissions

  • Pollution prevention and control: Non-GHG emissions

  • The protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems: Biodiversity

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