Trust is fundamental to every action, every relationship, and every transaction in our digital, data-driven world. It’s the glue that binds sustainable digital transformation efforts.
Digital trust programs have traditionally focused on data protection and the reliability, security, and integrity of products and services. Going forward, however, trusted organizations will need to extend their goals beyond ensuring privacy and cybersecurity.
As societal expectations around responsible business practices toward environmental stewardship, social justice, and good governance have gone mainstream, businesses are increasingly expected to embed these into broader value-based goals. At the same time, they must still comply with public policy and regulatory demands.
Achieving the right balance means integrating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into the heart of an organization – and that requires more than just words. Today, an organization’s ability to demonstrate its ESG credentials, transparently, has become a strong business differentiator and critical part of trust conversations with stakeholders. Tomorrow it will be an essential quality to survive.
Looking for insight into embedding sustainable business practices into your organization’s operations? Download the IDC Topline Report: Trust for Sustainable Business
ESG issues go beyond just climate change. Broader concerns around the environment and biodiversity are gaining attention, as are social, health, and safety issues such as diversity, inclusion, and workers’ rights. Consequently, ESG topics are being incorporated into organizations’ activities and becoming a trigger for trust transformation. IDC predicts that by 2024, two-thirds of organizations worldwide will be tracking their diversity, equity, and inclusion performance using ESG metrics and KPIs.
Forward looking organizations realize that advancing ESG criteria and assessing their financial value is becoming a business imperative rather than just an exercise in regulatory compliance. Ultimately, an organization’s governance and culture will be critical drivers of its performance on ESG matters and its ability to drive positive change. An IDC survey of 305 business leaders found that ESG drivers have become more linked to business value. The top four drivers were cost savings (37%), brand and trust (35%), product innovation (34%), and customer demand (33%).
Organizations are elevating ESG sustainability from ‘nice to have’ projects to major strategic initiatives, often led by the CEO, CFO, COO, or increasingly a dedicated Chief Sustainability Officer. This includes adhering to ESG reporting standards and frameworks and using consistent, comparable metrics to capture, assess, report and benchmark relevant sustainability information. According to a 2021 IDC global sustainability survey, the most commonly tracked ESG metrics were: