For a successful green transition, a data-driven culture is key Business News

Benchmark ESG is a client of Business Reporter

Companies are talking a lot about decarbonization today, and for many it has increasingly become a top priority. A recent study by NTT DATA and PAC revealed that 87% of European business leaders expect to achieve zero emissions by 2030 at the latest, indicating that significant planning is underway and resources are in place. mobilized to ensure the achievement of the objective.

This is driven by a series of regulatory frameworks, including the European Commission’s Green Taxonomy, which will regulate green finance assessments. But beyond compliance obligations, companies know that sustainability is critical to business success – indeed, some call a clear ESG strategy “the new foundation” for hiring talent. With increasing transparency and reliability of sustainability performance data, applicants, potential investors and other stakeholders can more easily assess a company’s success or failure in achieving the sustainability goals. . Poor performance therefore has significant and far-reaching implications for the viability of a business, while measurable progress will be rewarded with ongoing license to operate.

Yet conversations about exactly how decarbonization will be done tend to focus on technologies being developed to help companies transition to carbon-neutral operations. The NTT DATA and PAC study found that executives believe IT will play a vital role, so it follows that the bulk of investment is likely to go to improving IT function.

But this will not be the only ingredient for success. What if not everyone agrees with the work needed to make the transition successful, or if a company’s message about decarbonization isn’t getting across correctly? Technology can provide a key mechanism for going green, but other aspects of a business must also be in place.

“Culture” is an umbrella term that encompasses so many elements that are often left out of the tech-dominated conversation around decarbonization. Culture is the unsung hero of any transformative change within an organization. Adjustments can be made here and there, and new technologies can achieve short-term gains on their own. But if you want lasting change, the whole foundation has to change. To ensure that ESG objectives are achieved, business leaders must develop a culture of sustainability. They need to find a way to ensure that everyone, from the boardroom to the shop floor, is invested in the idea of ​​sustainable transformation.

There are different ways to do this. Success criteria can be set and incentives such as executive bonuses can be offered to encourage employees to work hard to achieve their goals. Data can – and should – be used to its full potential. Data is invaluable, as it is the backbone of any sustainability program. Thanks to them, we can see in great detail the progress made by a company to achieve its objectives.

To use this data properly, it is crucial that it is investment grade. This means that it must demonstrate accuracy, timeliness, completeness, relevance and verifiability. Companies can no longer brag about the mere existence of ESG data; they must be able to prove that they are trustworthy, and the way they use this data must be made transparent.

Still, many found it easier said than done. Inefficient and inconsistent data flows caused by the continued use of manual reporting and analysis tools continue to hamper business performance. This is something they need to improve on if they want to make realistic progress towards meeting ESG disclosure requirements.

If companies can overcome this hurdle, they will achieve tremendous results. Investment-grade ESG data has benefits beyond simple external communications; it directly contributes to the creation of a lasting sustainability culture within a company. If data integrity is assured, company performance on ESG can be accurately measured, as can the performance of individual employees around key sustainability goals. Business leaders can develop incentive structures accordingly that align with collected performance data. As the old adage in the boardroom goes, “what gets pushed gets ahead”. By pairing hard data with a corporate culture vision, the pace of individual and company-wide momentum around sustainability will accelerate.

We may know how vital data is to transforming corporate culture and how important culture change is to lasting change in sustainability. But how to direct the two elements in the right direction?

Unifying the business through digital transformation is key to achieving both of these goals. Benchmark Digital Partners, a provider of cloud-based digital solutions for sustainability and ESG reporting, product stewardship programs, and risk and compliance needs, helps companies around the world ensure the data integrity and improve data collection and reporting processes. The Benchmark ESG platform enables…

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This notice was published: 2022-03-23 17:34:55

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