Choosing ESG software to manage ESG strategy, programmes and reporting

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Choosing ESG software to manage ESG strategy, programmes and reporting

Most companies are trying to manage ESG across multiple systems and often rely on documents and spreadsheets to track key data and metrics. While there is a growing list of software products in the market that cover ESG, they are mostly SaaS products that perform very discrete ESG tasks (like providing a calculator for greenhouse gas emissions). There is also a growing list of products that cover ESG reporting; however, like the greenhouse gas emission calculators, this reporting is treated as a discrete task and relies on what you enter into the system.

There are few platforms that truly help manage a broader ESG strategy and enable you to do discrete tasks (like reporting) but also manage overall ESG programmes.

If you are looking to acquire an ESG software platform to help manage your ESG strategy, a broader ESG management software that includes the development and management of ESG rather than just a simplified ESG reporting tool will be a far more useful product and enable you to scale your ESG strategy as the regulatory environment changes. In the current environment there will certainly be a continual change of expectations around ESG and sustainability, as well as more and more legislative requirements around ESG.

ESG software that focuses only on reporting will require you to populate the data into the platform for it to present that data in the required format. ESG management software, however, will be a more holistic platform that can help generate the data in the first place and has a reporting system as an output (rather than reporting being the purpose of the whole platform itself). An ESG management software will be much more robust and powerful as a management system for ESG rather than just a reporting system.

There are many other reasons why an ESG management system is better than just an ESG reporting system.

Collect and manage ESG data more effectively

ESG management software can help organisations collect data from various sources, such as employees, customers, suppliers and regulators. This data can then be used to track progress on ESG goals, identify areas for improvement, and make more informed decisions. The data could be collected from in-built survey and disclosure tools, a learning management system, in-built calculators, and forms for data entry. The best ESG management systems have in-built tools to help generate data from within the system. All of these data collection and management tools allow you to build a dataset that can be used for future reporting. They can also be used to drive analysis and become more predictive.

Track ESG incidents

A large part of managing ESG is managing the issues raised by the company, its suppliers or even members of the public about ESG. An in-built incident management system allows these issues to be tracked within the platform, and will often include a case management or tracking system to triage and investigate the issues raised within the platform. ESG management systems will also include some ability to make reports, either from a multi-language anonymous-ready app or telephone system that takes in issues and places them into the case management system ready for triage. Tracking your ESG issues is an essential part of your ESG strategy and programmes.

Identify and manage ESG risks

ESG management software can help organisations identify and manage risks related to ESG issues, such as climate change, social unrest and supply chain disruptions. This can help organisations avoid costly disasters and protect their reputations. These ESG management systems should have a risk feature that allows for some supplier risk to be identified – perhaps country ESG risk data or data from a risk survey. Using a platform to identify risk is an important element of managing ESG risks and opportunities and should be a large focus of any platform.

Improve transparency in ESG matters

ESG management software can help organisations improve transparency by providing stakeholders with access to ESG data and reports. This can help build trust and confidence with stakeholders, which can lead to increased investment and support. A good ESG management system might allow some external people to access part of the dataset. Similar to many accounting systems that allow auditors to access some reporting features, your ESG reporting system may streamline the access of certain data to certain people on request and approval.

Drive performance in ESG

ESG management software can help organisations drive performance by setting goals, tracking progress and identifying areas for improvement. This can help organisations become more sustainable, profitable and competitive when it comes to ESG strategy and management. Working towards specific goals and having visibility of these goals will help you concentrate on what is important and track improvement.

Increase efficiency in managing ESG

ESG management software can help organisations streamline their ESG processes, which can save time and money. The benefit of a platform that manages strategy, programmes and reporting – or at the very least connects relevant systems using APIs – is that there is one platform, rather than multiple platforms, to manage your ESG issues. This will increase your efficiency in managing issues across ESG programmes.

Better ESG reporting and visualisation

If all your data is generated in one system and supplemented by data added from outside sources, you have the ability to report from one system and generate any form of reporting. The challenge with ESG and sustainability reporting is that many countries will expect different reports, so it is important that any reporting module is flexible enough to handle different reporting systems. If the data in the ESG management software is managed correctly and ‘tagged’ well, it should be able to be easily extracted.

ESG management systems should not be confused with ESG reporting software, which is primarily focused on the task of generating reports that comply with certain ESG regulations. While reporting is important, it does not address the other challenges that organisations face in managing ESG issues. ESG management software can help organisations address these challenges and achieve their ESG and reporting goals.

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Overall, ESG management software can provide several benefits for organisations looking to improve their ESG performance. If you are considering implementing ESG management software, it is important to evaluate the options available to you and choose the one that is right for your organisation.

Contact Speeki to review what we are doing in the ESG management software space and see if it meets your needs now and into the future.

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