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What is the State of ESG & Sustainability Reporting?

ESG & Sustainability Reporting Survey Results: How do you compare?

SAI360 recently surveyed more than 300 Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) professionals to learn how they approach ESG and Sustainability challenges, which ESG and Sustainability metrics their organizations prioritize, where they stand in implementing ESG programs, and their focus for the future.

More than 50 percent of the survey respondents said their Environmental Social Governance (ESG) strategy prioritizes employee well-being and development. Seismic global trends and the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on workers’ wellness and jobs have forced companies to change how they operate, paying more attention to workforce needs, which fall under the social pillar of ESG.

Digitalization also ranked high, with over 25 percent of participants identifying digitalization in EHS, Sustainability, and ESG as top priorities. This is consistent with McKinsey data which shows digitalization efforts during COVID increased from 36 percent in 2019 to 58 percent globally in 2020.

Digitalization not only improves efficiency, but can also provide novel ways of performing complex and time-consuming tasks. It also supports worker engagement, especially as the definition of the workplace keeps evolving. Digitalization also offers more effective occupational safety and health training opportunities, advanced workplace risk assessments, improved communication, and robust Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) inspections.

Data availability is the biggest challenge for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting

While 42 percent of respondents believe they comply with all necessary elements of ESG and sustainability disclosure reporting, 44.7 percent said that data availability remains to be a challenge. Data availability in ESG reporting is critical as investors and regulators want to see data transparency and gaps addressed to create a complete picture. Other significant factors reported in the survey that prevent companies from initiating ESG reporting, besides the availability of investor-grade data, are cost, time, and lack of clear direction.

Without serious digitalization considerations, data availability and transparency will remain a challenge for many companies.  Data vendors are not the solution due to shortcomings around methodologies, data standards, and potential conflicts of interest. 38.3% of our respondents said they still use spreadsheets to monitor all relevant ESG and sustainability regulatory requirements to ensure compliance. With ESG and Sustainability disclosures becoming mandatory across many countries, this indicates that there is still work to be done for companies to be more consistent and coherent in reporting.

A centralized and integrated system can ultimately provide the data in one holistic view, reducing the administrative burden on teams for ESG reporting.

While looking for a suitable, cost-effective solution to digitalize EHS, ESG, and Sustainability, organizations should consider the following factors:

  • A solution that provides ‘anywhere, anytime’ capability and helps an organization empower its mobile workforce.
  • Easy and quick deployment
  • Data security – a solution that protects information down to the field level.
  • Flexible integration options for systems and device interconnections

These are just a few of the values SAI360 clients leverage when implementing SAI360 EHS and Sustainability solutions.

Gain insight into how EHS professionals are approaching ESG and Sustainability challenges, what ESG and Sustainability metrics organizations are prioritizing, where they stand in implementing ESG programs, and their focus in the future. Read our full research report: Ready, set, go – Are you leading the ESG reporting race?

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