Managing and measuring strategic Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives can be a daunting task. ESG, at its core, is a multifaceted approach to understanding and quantifying activities across an entire organization’s value chain including production and procurement, marketing and sales, HR, company infrastructure, and much more. It’s a three-pronged approach that an organization’s workforce is either actively tackling across the board or any combination of the three.
That daunting task is compounded if there aren’t specific processes, tools, and people in place to help manage the task of gathering and synthesizing the data and narratives that roll up and into ESG programs. However, the good news is that due to the growth of these programs, spurred by investor and stakeholder pressure, solutions are coming to market. For those either starting the journey or up-leveling ESG programs within their organizations, the following questions are not only common but are also the foundation for making strides in developing actionable initiatives:
- Why should my company care about ESG?
- How do I manage all the ESG reporting requirements?
- How do different industries use ESG software solutions?
- How do I manage my ESG program?
One general solution to these questions is implementing ESG management software to provide guidance and a centralized place to manage data. Further, it can help save time, money, and headache, no matter where the business is at with the maturity of its reporting, initiatives, and day-to-day tactics. Getting up to speed on ESG management does not have to be a daunting task. When supported with the right resources in place, it can actually provide a catalyst for cross-department collaboration, insightful and actionable feedback loops, and a growing sense of pride from a variety of stakeholder groups.
Why Should My Company Care About ESG?
The short answer is that these programs help inform the potential longevity of a business. Consumers, investors, and lawmakers are making a more concerted effort to support companies that are paying attention to ESG. This directly translates to an organization’s ability to raise more capital, gain more traction in their respective markets, and remain profitable.
Another take on the “Why should my business care…” angle sits at the crux of a quote by American psychologist, Richard Farson. He is credited with saying, “Nothing is as invisible as the obvious”. Organizations already monitor their energy usage (and bills); they track waste and chemical management; they care about the quality of their supply chains; the well-being of a workforce is a known factor impacting productivity, risk mitigation, and attrition.
All of these activities and focus areas are already core to an organization’s existing value chain. That is obvious. However, all these areas have varying amounts of invisibility to stakeholders. ESG makes these visible and gives them a leading role in the story behind the brand. Businesses should care about ESG because they are already doing the work and without coalescing, reporting, and taking sustainable action upon that information, they are throwing away valuable resources.
How Do I Manage ESG Reporting Requirement?
ESG reporting requirements are becoming more and more commonplace. At the same time, so are new and shifting guidelines at the local and national levels. With this in mind, it can be tricky to stay on top of current standards, best practices, and requirements, let alone easily apply them to existing business operations.
Here’s the good news:
Specialized software makes it easy to standardize data collection processes and simplify reporting initiatives with integrated business intelligence technology. Cority does this with its Sustainability Cloud, which has built-in standards that are constantly maintained and coded to remain up to date on shifting guidelines. Solutions, such as Cority’s, deliver peace of mind to business owners. Companies can easily consolidate data to gain insights across the business or filter to gain visibility and report on data for an individual location, business unit, or specified department.
In doing so, organizations can make informed business decisions knowing they have the most accurate data available. Data that is also aligned with established frameworks like GRI, CDP, TCFD, or the SDGs, as well as newer guidelines, such as the proposed climate disclosure rules delivered by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) back in March 2022.
How Do Different Industries Use ESG Software Solutions?
Aligning profit and purpose in the manufacturing industry a given. It is a focal point that drives companies to continually assess and prioritize as it relates to their operations and business mission. Typical ESG elements monitored and reported on within the manufacturing sector include:
- Supply chain management
- Energy and water consumption
- Carbon emissions
- Waste management
- Workplace incidents and injuries
- End of product life disposal
Healthcare is an interesting industry from the ESG monitoring perspective because it’s been a working piece of an organization’s lifeblood since inception due to the inherent nature of the way healthcare facilities operate. It’s only recently that business leaders are making a more conscious effort to understand how to better frame how ESG informs a facility’s day-to-day. Those items might include:
- Waste reduction
- Energy conservation
- Diversity measures across staff and board
Oil & Gas
Oil and gas companies are constantly under pressure to report on ESG findings throughout the course of business production and discovery. ESG factors they’re commonly figuring into their operations include:
- Material exposure risks
- Greenhouse gas emissions and remediation
- Plastics use and waste
- Social and environmental exposures
The energy industry and utility providers need to navigate significant daily challenges that are constantly evolving. Utilizing an ESG Management platform helps them face these challenges head-on and successfully tackle new guidelines and reporting requirements. Common ESG metrics they’re measuring include:
- Energy sources both renewable and fossil fuel generated
- Carbon sequestering
- Ecological impacts
- Affordability and access
- Safety performance data
- Air quality and greenhouse gas emission information
How Do I Manage My ESG Program?
Specialized Environmental Health & Safety (EHS), ESG, and/or sustainability software allows a business to measure related ESG inputs and outcomes across the enterprise, identify areas for improvement, and prioritize projects with robust analytics that enable a data-driven approach. The type of software to support ESG programs should meet the following requirements: designed for ease of use, reporting against standards, access to historical data, visualization tools, and a way to set and measure against company goals. Moreover, the best ESG software ensures that gathered metrics align with real-time shifts from ESG guidelines and sustainability reporting standards. When in place, great ESG software helps organizations meet the challenges of ESG reporting with relative ease, while enabling management teams to focus on driving product innovation and improved revenues in the process.
When evaluating ESG software, decision-makers should consider the following areas:
Ease of use – A specialized ESG software solution, such as Cority’s, is a unified platform that is able to break down data silos amongst the entire organization, enabling collaborative data collection across departments, business units, and portfolios in order to solve administrative and logistical challenges.
Reporting made simple – Built-in dashboards and visualization tools help users analyze and visualize progress in a simple and meaningful way.
Metrics to help guide operations – Data that provides a 360-degree view of sustainability and ESG program insights are invaluable to organizations looking to gain actionable insights to drive further improvements and innovations across their organization.
Why Your Business Should Consider Cority for ESG Management Needs
Cority aims to make ESG management and reporting initiatives a simpler task. From deployment to training to ongoing support, Cority has all the resources a business needs to ensure the successful implementation and use of new investment in an ESG software solution. Contact Cority today to have a conversation and to schedule a demo to see just how powerful ESG management software is and how it can benefit an operative need. Driving ESG reporting and analysis goals straight to success.