From the recently completed Glasgow Climate Summit (COP 26) to local regulatory bodies, such as the stock markets, the message is one and so clear: we must adopt sustainability. The world is indeed racing towards sustainability, and it is a matter of time before every enterprise, big and small, is drawn into the net. The best route for your company is sustainability reporting, but it is never easy.
As we are going to see, the process can be complex and lengthy, but one thing is certain; you need to get it right. One of the best solutions is using sustainability reporting software. These are programs designed to help you gather and prepare the reports easily. Remember that you do not just need any software, but the best program to guarantee you the best.
What Is Sustainability Reporting?
Sustainability reporting is the process of disclosure of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts so that interested parties, from customers to investors, can make their decision about your company. It is a continuous process that surpasses creating the report and extends into every operation of the enterprise.
The process commences with a comprehensive review of sustainability risks and opportunities and then proceeds to determine reporting topics through materiality assessment.
All along, you have to gather correct data and report it in a way that stakeholders want it. Once you create the report, it must serve as the platform for further reporting in the subsequent reporting phases.
Although corporate sustainability reporting is largely voluntary, it is becoming a must-do to continue operating on different platforms. For example, Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) is now demanding that all listed companies must generate ESG sustainability reporting on an annual basis.
Challenges with Sustainability Reporting
As you can see, sustainability reporting is a complex process, especially for new enterprises. Well, even for the more established ones, the process is never easy. For example, many investors have been indicating that the ESG reports they get from some companies are not easy to use to make their investing decisions. Other challenges that have been making sustainability reporting challenging are:
- Following the sustainability reporting principles, from materiality to accuracy, is never easy.
- Progressively gathering data, especially with a strict focus on verifiability, is also challenging.
- Selecting and following the preferred ESG reporting framework is equally tough for most firms.
- The process can be complex because you will need to budget for additional activities, such as buying and installing new machinery.
These are only a few challenges that make it difficult for companies to correctly do sustainability reporting. Well, you can say goodbye to these challenges by identifying and working with the best sustainability reporting solution, which means using the right software.
Why Sustainability Reporting Software is the Best Solution
Sustainability reporting software is a program that is designed to simplify preparing, gathering data, and creating reports. The good thing about a good sustainability reporting solution is that it allows you to easily see the entire process from the start to the end.
Therefore, you can easily avoid the obstacles that make it challenging to correctly report your sustainability efforts. Here are other reasons why you need the best sustainability reporting solutions:
● Allows for Automation of the Sustainability Reporting Process
As we mentioned earlier, sustainability reporting is challenging because gathering reliable and verifiable data is never easy. However, reporting software makes it easy for you to pull out the relevant data and factor in the report. Here are some demonstrations.
i) Good sustainability programs are designed to allow the authorized staff in your company to add and alter data on sustainability. This means that instead of waiting until the end of the reporting session, the responsible persons can progressively add data that will be used to create the final sustainability reports. Do you know the GHG protocol?
ii) The selected program can easily work with the management system of your enterprise to pull out important information. So, you do not have to manually reconcile the data that is already on the company management system. A good program will easily pick it to ensure the report is factual.
iii) When data is generated in your company, a good sustainability reporting program can help with automated computing. For example, if you have cut the emissions from the previous year, the program will be able to easily compute the changes to demonstrate continuity.
● Excellent Way for Protecting Company Data
When dealing with sustainability reporting (looking for an ESG consultant?), some investors and managers are always concerned about data security. If you are handling the process manually, the data is entrusted to a few persons, which can be risky. For example, the data can easily get lost or revealed to competitors.
However, a good program as the best sustainability reporting solution stores the data on the cloud and only allows the selected parties access. What an excellent way to protect the enterprise’s information.
● Integrates Well with Most Management Systems
If you opt to follow the entire sustainability reporting process manually, it will be very challenging. You might need a lot of time at the end of every day or reporting cycle to reconcile data. With the right program, it becomes pretty easy to identify the right data, capture it correctly, and generate the right report because it integrates with the management system. A good sustainability reporting solution also makes it easy to use different ESG reporting frameworks. Good options you might want to consider include:
i) ISO (International Standards Organizations)
ii) SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board)
iii) GRI (Global Reporting Initiative)
iv) CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project)
v) UNGC (United Nations Global Compact)
These are only a few of the benefits that you should anticipate from the process of sustainability reporting. Others include the ability to strictly adhere to sustainability reporting principles, engage different stakeholders, and generate accurate sustainability reports. Indeed, you can even generate regular reports to assess the progress of your sustainability reporting.
One of the best sustainability reporting solution developers is Diginex. They not only have a reliable program for your organization, but you can also count on them to gain a deeper understanding of sustainability. Remember that although sustainability reporting comes with some costs, it has long-term benefits that your company can use to move to the next level. So, let the experts at Diginex hold your hand to realize all the ESG reporting benefits.