On March 22-24, 2022, Verdantix hosted the 3-day virtual summit, Innovating for Sustainable Operations. The summit brought together experts from across the fields of EHS, ESG, Net Zero, and Energy Transition to discuss these topics and provide attendees with a strategic understanding of the future of sustainable operations.
FigBytes’ very own Solutions Engineering Manager, Rajiv Jalim, provided his expertise and insights during the Digital Solutions for Carbon Management: Corporate, Financial, & Industrial panel on the third day of the virtual summit.
If you are still processing all the information you took in at the virtual summit or didn’t have a chance to attend, here are our four takeaways.
SEC Climate Disclosure Announcement Stole the Summit
With the SEC Proposal announcement days before the conference started, it’s no surprise it was a common thread throughout the summit.
The experts on the various panels each had their own take on the news, but the general theme was a sense of cautious optimism about the SEC announcement and the hope it would bring some much needed standardization to the ESG and sustainability landscapes.
ESG Needs Aren’t Necessarily Industry-Specific
Another interesting point, brought up during the Digital Solutions for Carbon Management: Corporate, Financial, & Industrial panel discussion, was about industry-specific needs in regard to ESG reporting.
Jalim succinctly put it in his reflection on the panel, “ESG needs are mostly market agnostic! While there are sector-specific nuances, many ESG challenges are shared challenges. The opportunity to build communities of practice between markets/sectors is very real.”
There is a strong demand for ESG metrics and reporting to be standardized and comparable across industries, especially from investors.
Some Organizations Are Still Lagging on ESG
Many summit experts agree that companies are still lagging on their ESG initiatives. Organizations may be overwhelmed by data or stuck in the planning and strategizing phase of implementing their ESG programs. But Jalim urged for progress during the panel discussion.
“Don’t let perfection be the enemy of progress! Perfect data and perfect strategy don’t always exist from the get-go. It’s important that every company starts their ESG journey and starts it now. Time is ticking!” Jalim shared.
Carbon Is the Current Focal Point of Most ESG Strategies, But We Need More
Many organizations are still primarily focusing on their carbon reporting and not all aspects of ESG. This was surprising because experts at the conference also agreed that there’s more to be done by organizations than just managing their carbon.
The SEC proposal, for instance, will push organizations to address Governance as related to climate-related risk and programs. And many believe this is just the first of many proposed disclosure requirements for the world of ESG. Investors will continue to demand more, beyond carbon risk.
As Jalim summarized, “Carbon is the word of the day, but it’s not the only word. ESG will continue evolving and organizations, while trying to meet the minimum requirements of today, need to begin strategically planning for the requirements of tomorrow. Replace the word ‘carbon’ with ‘DEI’ or ‘water’ and well, you get the picture!”
FigBytes has tracked more than 2.5 billion metric tons of carbon emissions for our clients. Speak with a FigBytes expert today to learn how we can help your organization with all your climate accounting and ESG reporting needs.