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What is ESG software?


Tablet displaying ESG logos using augmented reality

Whether you’re just starting out in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting, or you’ve had an ESG program in place for years, you know ESG data collection and management can be a significant undertaking for your corporation.

ESG reporting needs information pulled from multiple sources, and spreadsheet fatigue is a real thing. Anyone who has ever tried to compile utilities data from providers up and down the supply chain, or figure out a way to meaningfully quantify the progress of diversity initiatives, knows how challenging it can be to wade through the numbers and make reporting easy to update on a regular basis.

Today, many companies with ESG programs have turned to software solutions to help streamline their ESG data collection and facilitate their data management. With investors demanding comprehensive and transparent ESG reporting, it’s important to choose the ESG software option that meets your needs and simplifies your reporting efforts.

What is ESG software?

ESG reporting software is a solution to help streamline your ESG data collection and calculate impacts through the various metrics included in ESG standards and frameworks. The software does this through a number of different features including:

  • Cloud-based access, meaning data can be entered by multiple staff from different departments and at different locations
  • Integration with Internet-Of-Things (IoT) to collect data and cut back on redundancies
  • Emissions calculations using published and verified emission factors
  • Modules designed to align with internationally-recognized ESG standards and frameworks
  • Reporting templates that can be tailored to your needs and operations
  • Real-time data updates to provide snapshots of your company’s progress

Who uses ESG software?

Corporations around the world use software to track ESG data for their company. They come in all sizes and from across all sectors including:

  • Agriculture and food production
  • Automotive manufacturing
  • Cybersecurity
  • Engineering and construction
  • Finance and investment
  • Government
  • Hospitality
  • Oil and gas
  • Post-secondary institutions
  • Transportation and shipping

How can ESG software help your business?

Each ESG software offers different functionality, but a comprehensive platform should be able to do the following.

Prepare emissions calculations

Companies starting out in sustainability reporting often find the process of compiling annual carbon emissions to be highly time consuming and manual. Reporting on your Scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions from throughout your operations and supply chain requires collecting information from multiple sources – and in many cases, these sources each report numbers using different units of measurement. 

ESG data collection can be streamlined with the right software solution. Data can be populated directly at the source, converted into standardized units, and run through published emission factors to determine your overall carbon footprint. The best part? Once your data is populated, you can easily update your calculations on a regular basis.

Manage philanthropy data

Community engagement and charitable giving are an important part of many Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG programs, but depending on the size of your organization, fully understanding the scope of your giving may be challenging. Multiple offices or regions may have their own budgets and initiatives that they are responsible for, while ESG reporting requires consolidated information.

The right software centralizes your philanthropic ESG data management. The software can help tie charitable initiatives back to specific parts of your ESG strategy and corporate goals, thereby simplifying reporting.

Quantify Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

In recent years, many corporations have spent significant time and effort to formalize their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. But while a public statement about a commitment to an equitable workplace may be great PR, investors are now demanding quantifiable proof about the progress made to achieve those same commitments.

ESG software can help you map your DEI strategy using interactive maps and visualization tools. Through this, companies can identify and track key metrics and more easily communicate their vision for a diverse and inclusive workplace, as well as their progress to achieve those desired results.

What types of ESG software are available?

Not all ESG software is created equal and many offerings that promise a complete ESG snapshot are really just sustainability software tools that have been repackaged to appeal to a broader market. 

When assessing which software solution is right for you, make sure you understand what each one does and does not do:

  • “Sustainability” software may include carbon accounting capabilities only, or may include other metrics like waste management and water stewardship
  • Some CSR software focuses primarily on the social elements of reporting, like charitable giving or DEI
  • A comprehensive software system like FigBytes includes analysis tools for all parts of ESG, including environmental, social and governance reporting

To see how FigBytes can facilitate your corporation’s ESG reporting programs, speak with an expert today.

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