Why the increased focus on ESG?

Investors, consumers, analysts, employees, and other key stakeholders have long looked at financial metrics as key indicators of a business’s operational health. Now, those same stakeholders are demanding companies make – and keep – strategic commitments to advance social responsibility and environmental stewardship, too. That’s because investors and analysts increasingly report strong correlations among ESG performance, business value, and operational performance. ESG performance is also an increasingly important factor when it comes to driving employee retention and engagement – and consumer trust and confidence, too.

ESG reporting: what are the challenges?

Today’s businesses are expected – and sometimes required – to report and comply with myriad of inconsistent and ever-evolving ESG regulations. They’re also faced with the overwhelming task of centralizing and standardizing non-financial ESG data from a multitude of internal and third-party sources.

Just like financial reporting, effective ESG reporting requires multiple corporate regions, functions and businesses to rise above their siloes to work together to collect and report ESG data, analyze that data to identify and manage risks, and assure its accuracy. That kind of true collaboration and integration can only happen with the support of digital transformation: technologies that can break down siloes, bring clarity to complexity, and assure the traceability and auditability of ESG data.

ESG Software: Technology that brings clarity to the complexity of ESG reporting

Wolters Kluwer is uniquely positioned within the highly fragmented ESG software market to support large companies expedite and empower their ESG journey. We know that meeting stakeholder demand for investor-grade data requires reliable, integrated, standardized automation. Our advanced, cloud-based technologies bring clarity to complexity by helping organizations collect, report, analyze and assure the accuracy of financial and non-financial reporting, so ESG can be transformed into a competitive advantage.

ESG Data & Reporting

The success of your Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance program starts with data. Meeting stakeholder demand for investor-grade data requires reliable, integrated, standardized automation. But a 2022 EY study found that 60% of finance executives say their ESG data resides in a patchwork of software applications — many of which don’t connect with each other. Fifty-five percent say their ESG data resides in spreadsheets.

Top 5 ESG priorities for the C-suite

To thrive, organizations now must efficiently collect, report, analyze and assure the accuracy of their ESG data. And that means business leaders must evolve – quickly. C-suite leaders and their teams will succeed if they focus on these five priorities:

Number 1

Understand that the complexity of their roles will continue to grow exponentially.
They’ll have even more data at their fingertips, more questions to ask and answer, and a greater need to plan for multiple scenarios.

Number 2
Spend far less time producing and maintaining historical records of financial, corporate and ESG performance.
Their focus will shift toward leveraging real time data to shape future business ESG outcomes. In doing so, they’ll be better positioned to serve as a well informed driving force behind corporate strategic decision making.
Number 3
Collaborate — with both internal and external partners.
They will fill gaps in knowledge and insist on identifying and implementing best process workflows and technologies that can help drive business and ESG performance forward.
Number 4
Stay ahead of exponential change by leading with a digital-first mindset.
They'll recognize that continually investing in, and optimizing the use of, flexible, cloud based technology is essential to being able to analyze the massive data sets that are required to effectively navigate change and make informed ESG and business decisions.
Number 5
Build integrated finance, sustainability, ESG, IT and business teams.
They will surround themselves not just with traditional functional expertise, but with technologists, data analysts and strategic, forward thinkers who can leverage technology to identify trends, solve problems and collaborate with multiple stakeholders.

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  • What is ESG?

    Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) factors are used to measure the sustainability and societal impact of an investment in a company or business. The analysis of the three criteria provides an indication of the future financial performance of a company, including return and risk.

  • What are the ESG Policies & Regulations?

    ESG regulations have landed on the desk of major authorities. The EU is leading the way with the EU taxonomy, Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, and New Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive all recently effective. Even in regions where compliance is not yet mandatory, many companies are voluntarily adopting ESG frameworks in order to demonstrate an early commitment to investors, consumers, and other stakeholders.

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