ESG Reporting – Picking the Right Platform

ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) reporting plays an integral role in improving business sustainability – but engaging with this initiative effectively requires the right platform.

So, how do businesses pick the right provider? How do we ensure that we are getting the best value for money? Read on to discover the value that ESG reporting providers offer and what you should consider before investing in a solution.

The Importance of ESG Reporting

ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG). These three areas are the foundations of sustainable practices – and the standards a business sets in these areas are the key criteria that sustainability credentials are evaluated against. 

Although ESG has been around for a while, it has gained traction over the last few years, with the majority of CEOs (74%) in the UK now believing that it is equally as important as financial performance.[1]  This highlights its significance in business and indicates the leading role it is likely to play as we move towards a future marked by increasingly stringent environmental legislation and sustainability goals.

This means that businesses are under pressure to publish ESG data and report on their policies and goals. However, manually gathering this data has the capacity to get very challenging – leaving many businesses reluctant or unable to engage with this initiative effectively!

This is where ESG reporting solutions come in. They are specially designed to streamline the process and collate this data automatically, meaning they can offer significant value to businesses looking to advance their green and overarching sustainability credentials.

However, not all platforms are created equally – so to unlock their value it’s important to consider a few factors.

The Value of ESG Reporting Platforms

When implemented and used correctly, ESG reporting solutions can bring a myriad of benefits to businesses.

They can quickly and easily provide tangible, accurate and up-to-date data which reveals a  organisations’s overall sustainability performance, whilst also highlighting areas which need improvement. Manually collecting this data can be an incredibly laborious and challenging task, which often results in inaccurate data that ultimately, offers very little value to the reporting business.

ESG reporting platforms streamline this process, offering businesses an easier and more accurate way to engage with ESG initiatives and advance their sustainability.

Why Do ESG Reporting Providers Fail?

However, despite the potential of ESG reporting platforms, some solution providers still end up failing.

The reasons for this vary – but can include trying to do too much, incorrectly understanding customer requirements and over-promising results. This leads to underperforming and under-delivering – leaving many organisations frustrated, disillusioned and hesitant to continue reporting efforts.

This highlights the need to know what you need from a solutions provider and the importance of clearly communicating this to all potential providers.

Identifying Your Businesses Needs

ESG reporting solutions do work – but only if you know what you’re looking for!

The success of an ESG reporting solution is reliant on understanding the needs of your business and what aspects of the ESG criteria it requires support with. Through identification of your business’s weak areas, you can more clearly recognise what type of solution your organisation would benefit the most from.

This is because different solutions have different features – so it’s helpful to have a thorough understanding of what the platform can offer you.

For example, a business that needs insight across all areas of the ESG criteria won’t benefit from a solutions provider that specialises solely in carbon reporting. Similarly, organisations that need to improve the Environmental side of their sustainability performance would be wise to prioritise finding a solutions provider that focuses on this aspect.

Ways to cohesively articulate your business’s needs and ensure that the right solutions provider is invested in could include creating a detailed specification document or brief that outlines business requirements, which can then be distributed amongst potential providers. From here, you can communicate with the solutions providers directly, citing your business’s requirements.

Most providers will offer a demo of their services, which can be very helpful to gauge how their platform works, what it offers and whether it will suit your business and meet its requirements.

Using Data to Inform Decision Making

Data can also help to ensure that your business invests in the right solutions provider.

For example, using credible sources and systems to collate and consolidate data (such as emission data covering Scopes 1, 2 and 3) provides you with a helpful overview of which areas of your business could be improved in terms of sustainability. This enables you to see which areas of the ESG criteria your business should invest in and make it easier to choose a solutions provider.

AXIOM ESG Software – Empowering Sustainable Performance

AXIOM is a powerful cloud-based platform that helps your business monitor, analyse and improve sustainability performance. 

Using specialist technology, we equip businesses with a tool which enables them to track their environmental and social performance, whilst also improving governance – identifying and mitigating risks associated with business operations and relationships.

Looking to engage with ESG initiatives? Let us help. To find out more or to book your free demo, please contact us here.

[1] ESG as important as financial performance according to 74% of CEOs in the UK – research by ECI Partners – IFA Magazine

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