All eyes are on the ESG space right now from the boardroom, investors, customers, and employees alike. ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) strategies refer to an organization’s policies and procedures in the areas of the environment, social, and governance, which may impact their brand, revenue, company valuation, and market perception, and reduces risk. 

Download the Infographic: ESG Imperatives 

Although the term ‘ESG’ may be relatively new, it is not a new concept. This discipline made its first appearance in the 2006 United Nation’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) report consisting of the Freshfield Report and “Who Cares Wins.” After this report, ESG became a de facto requirement in the financial evaluations of companies. This effort was meant to encourage companies to develop sustainable investment practices.  

The Challenges of ESG Program Management 

Although companies have made moderate investments in sustainability, the COVID-19 pandemic, a terrifying UN climate report, and civil unrest of 2020 have put a renewed spotlight on ESG.  

As a result, many public and private companies alike are looking into voluntary climate reporting, commitments, and disclosures ahead of government regulation. However, many are finding that this is not an easy undertaking.  

Gathering ESG data is complex as much of this information is spread across diverse data systems. Companies that are just getting started may have limited resources to discover, classify, and govern this data. 

ESG The Full Picture: ESG Program Management and Sustainability Reporting 

ESG Program Management solutions can help businesses overcome some of the challenges they face as they start, operationalize, and improve their internal ESG program. When evaluating a solution, an organization should look at these key components:  

  • ESG Program Management that supports the entire lifecycle from gathering data, to reporting, to optimizing 
  • Robust sustainability reporting and carbon calculation 
  • Supplier management capabilities 

Also, it is important to evaluate features like automation, integrations, and frameworks supported to reduce manual processes and accelerate ESG Program Management. 

ESG Program Management

ESG Program Management should be the starting point for every ESG solution. Ideally, an ESG program management solution should automate data gathering to support your organization and run digital ESG assessments, as well as integrate with key enterprise applications. This will support you to secure all your ESG data in a central repository. Once this is established, you can assess risks to your program or stakeholders, benchmark and set goals for improvement, and track your progress.  

Sustainability Reporting 

Next, you should consider a solution that supports ESG sustainability reporting. The solution should cover all the carbon calculations and details you need to benchmark and plan to reduce GHG/carbon emissions, waste, and water. OneTrust’s proven data discovery and data mapping tools combined with a GHG ledger driven by integrations with your key data, provides access to your most accurate, auditable, and actionable enterprise-grade carbon calculator available. Taking this a step further, our solution provides you with GHG scenarios and forecasts by using Athena AI technology. This provides you with insight into GHG reduction strategies that combine both carbon reduction plans and its impact on your business. 

ESG Supplier Management

Finally, you want to ensure that your solution supports you as you evaluate the actions of your suppliers, vendors, and partners. You shouldn’t just be concerned with your own actions, but must consider the impact your suppliers and partners have on your overall carbon footprint. OneTrust provides you with the tools you need to evaluate your suppliers with an ESG self-assessment tool. OneTrust’s platform has ESG profiles on our vendor database with over 70,000 existing profiles today, and action plans to align your ESG goals with those of your suppliers. 

How OneTrust Helps with ESG Program Management and Sustainability Reporting 

At OneTrust, we use our platform to support the full, end-to-end ESG lifecycle that companies can use to successfully start, scale, and operate an ESG and sustainability reporting program. Our platform provides ESG solutions that meets the needs of businesses big and small across all industries. 

Download the Infographic: ESG Imperatives 

OneTrust has partnered with leading industry standards and frameworks like SASB/VRF, GRI, CDP, TCFD that are preloaded in the tool and can be customized for assessments and for reports you can publish. OneTrust provides the tools and a centralized platform to gather and record ESG data, review, analyze, and report on it, and most importantly, help take actions like GHG and carbon reduction to make an impact. 

There are many benefits to building an ESG program at your company, from building trust with customers and employees, increasing business value, and most importantly creating a more just world. To learn more about how OneTrust can support your organization jumpstart your ESG program request a demo today! 

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