Symptom 3: Inefficient communication
The same benefit of real-time data access extends to the communication of your ESG performance as well. Say an important stakeholder or investor abruptly wants to know your current performance for decision making, and he does not have the leisure to wait around until your next sustainability report. What do you do? Do you immediately scramble for all involved data teams to verify data accuracy and relevance, and relive symptom 1 all over again?
Or do you just … click and send?
Many ESG software solutions are designed for disclosure purposes, often with different solutions catering to different frameworks or standards. Some may allow you to share specific components of your ESG performance in various visual formats (perhaps in pdf or excel), while others may even let you export a full data report. At the very least this means you can send easily digestible data to anyone who needs it without having to spend extra time manually cranking out pie charts. And if nobody happens to need the data urgently, these features will definitely be handy when the big report finally comes around.
Current AND past performance? Check.
Which metrics to disclose? Check.
Visualisation tools to impress your numerically challenged boss? Check.
Customer support in case of any difficulties? Thank goodness.
Let software solutions do what they do best, so that you can focus on what matters most. But remember. While you do generally get what you pay for in terms of number of features, you’ll get a lot more bang-for-the-buck if you first understand which features you truly need. If your company is massive and dead serious about ESG performance, that shiny 6-figure-a-year top-end software with advanced data analytics could be well worth it the investment. But perhaps you’ve only just begun your ESG journey and all you need is something for more efficient and dependable reporting. Or perhaps you only need to comply with your local reporting requirements. If you manage your expectations and understand your needs, even a ‘budget’ software solution may be sufficient to solve your headaches.