A report by International Data Corporation (IDC) found organisations with the most mature environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies are increasingly turning to software platforms to meet their data management and reporting needs.
This represents an important transition toward independent ESG programme management and away from dependence on ESG consultants and service providers. The report also revealed that the management of sustainability goals was the most important business priority for ESG software.
Ash Finnegan, Digital Transformation Officer at Conga, comments on these findings and explains how businesses should approach their ESG strategies.
Ash said, "IDC’s report shows that companies’ digital ambitions have shifted. These findings clearly indicate that businesses are looking to fine-tune their ESG goals and improve their overall operational efficiency, prioritising reporting, as well as data and risk management. It found variations in ESG maturity across key industries with the manufacturing and services sectors being further along in their ESG journey. Whilst software platforms will play an essential role in an organisation's ESG maturity journey, businesses really need to take ownership of their own programmes, and not be entirely dependent on providers.
“In order for ESG or sustainability programmes to work, leaders need to take a step back and review how they operate daily. They need to think about how to integrate these considerations and policies within their core business logic and identify which technologies will help them to achieve these goals. System-level change is needed, and this will require a change in mindset. Moving forwards, leaders should focus on establishing a culture of best practice, one that is encouraged and practiced day-to-day, that is in accordance with determined goals.
“ESG is a framework of belief that goes beyond just environmental concerns. It can provide business leaders with the chance to optimise and grow their operations by exploring new ways of doing business. However, for companies transitioning toward independent ESG programme management, they need to find a balance between being overly optimistic, and potentially misleading, statements of change and the actual implementation of new practices. This can be difficult, but it is possible. Leaders should try to address one critical business process at a time and approach their journey in a phased manner.”