Things to think about

Ten Things to Think About® when choosing an ESG and sustainability software platform

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Ten Things to Think About® when choosing an ESG and sustainability software platform

Businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. ESG software platforms can help businesses track their progress on ESG goals, identify areas for improvement and report their results to stakeholders. However, with so many different ESG software platforms on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is right for your business. Here are ten things to think about when choosing an ESG and sustainability software platform.

1. Your needs and goals

The first step in choosing an ESG software platform is identifying your needs and goals. What are you hoping to achieve with an ESG software platform? Do you want to track carbon emissions, improve diversity and inclusion, or strengthen your supply chain? Once you know what you need, you can start to narrow down your options. You might need to consider whether you need a system that just simplifies reporting, or whether you are looking for a more integrated platform that handles programme management and reporting and includes other key tools.

2. Features and functionality

Not all ESG software platforms are created equal. Some platforms offer a wide range of features, while others focus on a specific area of ESG, such as carbon emissions or data management. Make sure the platform you choose has the features and functionality you need to achieve your goals. There are many to choose from, and you may need more than one.

3. Scalability

Your business will likely grow over time, so you must choose an ESG software platform that can scale with you. Make sure the platform you choose can accommodate your future needs. The flexibility and ease of configuration is important.

4. Ease of use

An ESG software platform should be easy to use for all employees, regardless of their technical expertise. Look for a platform with a user-friendly interface and intuitive navigation. It should not be so complex that you need specialised training and support.

5. Price

ESG software platforms can range in price from a few thousand dollars per month to many hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. It is important to find a platform that fits your budget; however, remember that the cheapest option may not be the best choice in the long run. You want something that can scale with you so you can add more users and increase your spend as your company grows.

6. Data security

ESG software platforms collect a lot of sensitive data. Make sure the platform you choose has strong data security measures to protect your information. Selecting a vendor that is ISO 27001 certified is a great starting point.

7. Reporting

ESG software platforms should make it easy to generate reports on your ESG performance. This is important for internal tracking and for reporting to stakeholders. The external reports must meet all available reporting standards.They should also support you entering data once into the platform and then reporting many times in many different formats according to many different standards.

8. Support

When you choose an ESG software platform, you are also choosing a partner. Make sure the partner you choose has a good reputation for customer support. You also want to ensure they have content experts and a strong brand in the ESG space. Relying on a company that purely makes software is not ideal – you will need some specialised support and it is better to get the software and support from one place.

9. Implementation

Implementing an ESG software platform can be complex. Ensure your chosen platform has a good implementation process to help get you started. The provider you select should dedicate a resource to get you up and running quickly. They should also provide some consulting support to guide you through the implementation, as well as a ‘customer success’ resource.

10. Integration

Your ESG software platform should integrate with your existing systems, such as your CRM and accounting software. This will make it easier to manage your ESG data and report on your progress. You will need to consider what these integrations mean to you and why you need them. Interoperability is key and should be encouraged by the vendor.

Choosing an ESG and sustainability software platform is an important decision. By taking the time to consider your needs and goals, you can find a platform that will help you achieve your ESG objectives.

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