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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Framework and maturity model to guide and evaluate corporate contributions to sustainable development of neighbouring communities : specific focus on geothermal power projects Arianpoo, Nastaran


The goal of this research is to present a new way of thinking (in the form of a framework) about how geothermal power projects can contribute to sustainable development (SD) in a way that harmonizes these projects with SD plans of their neighbouring communities. The research aims to create a SD approach for the greater geothermal power industry that is consistent with the expectations and values of today’s society. A framework, referred to as the Geothermal Sustainable Development (GSD) framework, is proposed aiming to guide and evaluate the contributions of a geothermal power project to SD in the local and regional communities. After developing the framework, to help companies and other interested parties to track and evaluate the progress of the project with respect to its approach towards SD, an evaluation strategy in the form of a maturity model is proposed. The maturity model aims to highlight the depth and quality of SD-thinking and its influence within a company/project development paradigm. The research is based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative research approaches to evaluate and test these outcomes. A survey was used that represents the quantitative research approach. This survey set out to assess whether the identified objectives presented in the framework are indeed suitable and effective as tools for the intended purposes of the framework. A second part of the research consisted of interviews (qualitative research approach) to evaluate the maturity model and its applications. Six case studies were discussed with interviewees. The developed framework can be used by the industry, communities, NGOs, and government as a starting-point to establish common ground in the development of geothermal power projects to focus the attention of everyone. It also provides the industry with an opportunity to assess their performance and communicate their approaches, contributions, and progress to the stakeholders and (possible) investors consistently and clearly. The combination of a GSD framework and the proposed SD maturity model could be used by any company at project and corporate levels that have already committed or are willing to commit to SD to evaluate their performance.

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