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What to Consider When Selecting Sustainability Reporting Software

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Finding the right sustainability and ESG reporting software platform for your business isn’t always straightforward. With the ever-evolving reporting landscape, you need to be sure that the software you choose is going to fulfil your sustainability, ESG, EHS, CSR, risk and compliance, and supply chain reporting requirements both today and in the future.

Whether you are moving beyond spreadsheets for the first time, or looking to replace an existing system that isn’t working for your business, knowing where to start your search and the right questions to ask can be a bit overwhelming.

Below are some of the top reasons why organizations decide to invest in sustainability reporting software, some ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ for selecting software, and a checklist of what to consider when making the decision.

Why do organizations invest in sustainability and ESG reporting software?

There are a number of different reasons why organizations decide to adopt sustainability and ESG reporting software. Here are a few:

  • Drives accountability, transparency, and efficiency
  • Streamlines reporting
  • Enables compliance and assurance
  • Provides a central hub for data management
  • Improves analytics and reporting capabilities
  • Enables data on where innovation and ESG opportunities are
  • Engages internal and external stakeholders

Do’s and Don’ts for Selecting Software

✔ DO involve all relevant teams and departments. The system could be of use to them too!
✔ DO make sure you have a vendor point of contact to streamline the engagement process.
✔ DO assess the market and compare functionality, scope, and cost, in addition to ongoing support.
✔ DO request references and also speak to existing users to get a better understanding.

✔ DO make sure the software will continue to evolve to support you on your reporting journey.
✔ DO look for experience and maturity in the market.

 

✗ DON’T listen to the hype! Make sure the software is right for your needs.
✗ DON’T hesitate to question high implementation costs.
✗ DON’T forget to engage your IT security team early in the process

 

Checklist for Selecting Sustainability and ESG Reporting Software

Usability

  • Does it feel intuitive for first-time users?
  • Can each user’s experience be tailored to their specific requirements?
  • Can the vendor provide evidence of usability as well as support statistics?

Analysis

  • Does the range of analytics meet the breadth of stakeholder requirements?
  • Can upload data be modeled, apportioned, and also compared?
  • Does the system allow the user to group data and also to slice them in a flexible way?

Cost

  • What variables will cause the license fee to change over time?
  • How are support costs calculated and charged?
  • How does the vendor differentiate between clients in addition to generic development costs?

Implementation

  • If transitioning from another system, how is continuity risk minimized?
  • Does the number of training days proposed raise concerns about usability?
  • Can it support global implementation remotely?

Ongoing Support

  • Does it include ESG subject matter support in addition to technical software queries?
  • Is a named account manager provided and also are regular reviews scheduled?
  • Are client-specific ESG and Sustainability updates in addition to briefings provided?

Credibility

  • Does the vendor have an established track record as well as a high client retention rate?
  • Will the vendor facilitate introductions with existing clients for references?
  • Does the software have relevant accreditations such as GRI, CDP, and SASB?

Security and Integrations

  • Can the software connect to other business systems and at the same time automatically pull in data from required sources?
  • Does the vendor have SOC2 in addition to other security certifications in place?
  • Does the software offer a comprehensive audit trail but also access to calculations?

 

“At Royal Mail, our impact on the environment and society is very important to us. Our partnership with Cority has enabled us to improve data accuracy and has increased confidence in our reporting to help us accurately report our achievement against our targets, both now and in the future.”

David Waterston, Carbon & Environment Programmes Manager at Royal Mail

Read the case study of how Royal Mail, UK’s pre-eminent delivery company, has implemented Cority’s Sustainability Management Performance software to collect, calculate, analyze, and report on all consumption and emissions data associated with over 1,600 sites across the UK and its international arm, GLS.

Learn more about our sustainability and ESG software solutions.