In the last article in the series ESG: the new business paradigm we saw the importance of clear and objective sustainability reports. Reporting helps develop an organization’s ESG strategy, making it easier to establish targets, measure performance, and even manage changes and initiatives for a sustainable business model.
The problem is that most companies still face challenges in planning and implementing sustainable practices in their business routines and in involving employees, suppliers, customers and the entire chain. In the attempt to establish effective ESG programs and demonstrate progress, many organizations face an uphill battle as the processes are still mostly manual with the data stored in different systems. There is no clarity on where to start and the context of elaboration of sustainability reports is still very fragmented.
So, to end this series with a bang, we are going to discuss a topic that will certainly help you and your company to implement ESG more effectively and efficiently. Today, we are going to talk about how technology can help organizations in this area.
ESG and technology
As sustainable practices and financial performance are increasingly intertwined, corporations are becoming dependent on new technologies to navigate, filter and create data. With this ESG revolution, some activities have become practically mandatory, such as:
- Understanding current sustainability performance and comparing it to the company’s performance history;
- Setting realistic goals and predicting future success;
- Creating actionable and achievable plans;
- Monitoring progress of targets at shorter intervals, such as monthly or quarterly.
Traditionally, all this data has been controlled using only spreadsheets and other relatively primitive technological tools, leading to errors and inaccurate data. However, robust analysis of a framework as dynamic as ESG requires a solid basis in technology.
Companies that stand out in the ESG market today make ample use of technology to support sustainability measures, and this makes all the difference to shareholders. The gathering of structured and unstructured data can affect the assessment of a company’s progress (or lack of progress) in an increasingly dynamic world. This can directly influence how investors invest capital in companies committed to these principals.
With more efficient data collection, it also becomes easier to achieve great results in internal audits and assessments carried out by rating agencies.
The importance of software for ESG management
ESG data is often distributed across different departments, sites and regions. Moreover, most companies lack protocols for data collection, making this activity prone to errors.
ESG software helps to stratify information and transform it into fundamental data for the diagnosis of an operation, in addition to supporting assertive decision-making at different levels in an organization. This tool can support the definition of targets, risk control, reporting and the monitoring of ESG performance over time. The process can be automated from end to end, saving time and effort while reducing the risk of human error.
No matter where you are on the path to effective ESG, having the right ESG software can help you achieve your goals.
Choosing the right ESG software
When evaluating ESG solutions, it is easy to fall into the trap of looking for software that simply tracks environmental metrics (the “E” part of “ESG”) and reports the data. But remember, ESG is has three elements and a tool should help you manage all of them.
There are solutions that will only help you in controlling metrics. Here’s another tip: when implementing ESG practices, it’s not enough to just control indicators, you have to manage the entire context that involves these KPIs. After all, what is the point of controlling carbon dioxide emissions and getting results outside the established target and then not doing anything about it? This is why it is so important to use software that supports the entire integrated management of the three pillars of ESG.
It is also extremely important that the tool unify your company’s ESG performance and risk management. Risk mitigation is closely linked to sustainability management, so ESG software should also have a component that identifies, assesses and addresses risks.
Now that you understand the importance of efficient ESG management in companies, learn more about SoftExpert ESG, a comprehensive corporate solution for the integrated management of environmental, social and corporate governance.
With an integrated ESG software platform, you can structure processes and policies to effectively manage and control all ESG initiatives and indicators in your organization, using popular frameworks like GRI, ODS, SASB, MSCI, and even create indicator models and customized reports.
SoftExpert ESG allows you to do everything from efficiently compiling data for sustainability reporting to optimizing and automating processes and operations that directly contribute to ESG results. Dashboards allow companies to access up-to-date data on the status of all activities and performance indicators related to the three pillars of ESG.
With comprehensive software resources, organizations can manage data on corporate governance, operational practices, environmental impacts, policies to reduce risk and ensure compliance, in addition to reporting on social aspects, such as employee health and safety. Centralizing sustainability metrics on a single platform improves productivity, data integrity and saves valuable time, which means the board of directors can make the best decisions to ensure systems are aligned with ESG strategies.
Talk to our experts. They understand your challenges and can advise you on the best way to implement an ESG solution to meet your needs.
Are you interested in learning more about ESG after having read this article? If so, I would like to invite you to view some of the other content that has already been prepared on this topic here on our blog!