This week, world leaders have attended COP27 to discuss the importance of delivering their climate-related promises – but without actionable outcomes COP itself is at risk of gaining a reputation for greenwashing. In fact, climate activists such as Greta Thunberg boycotted the event* this year, claiming it has become an opportunity for leaders to showcase their concern about global warming without making meaningful progress.
Against this backdrop, Pat McCarthy, CRO at Precisely comments on how companies can ensure that they are delivering on their own ESG targets:
“Regardless of the outcome at COP27, it has never been more important for organisations to take action with their own ESG journeys. Alongside increasing regulation requirements, there is mounting expectation from customers, employees and investors alike for businesses to be able to demonstrate meaningful progress with ESG initiatives. To do this, they must have access to trustworthy data for gaining insights, setting targets, and measuring their progress.
“Many business leaders are already assessing how they can derive ESG insight and reporting through their current data infrastructure. However, one of the key challenges they face is having data that is incomplete, unstandardised, or lacks the insight required to make it fit for purpose. This will not be sufficient for the deep level of reporting that will be required of their company going forward. Organisations can only create and achieve meaningful climate-related goals if they have accurate, consistent and contextual data.
“With data assets being critical to reaching a net-zero system, companies will need to establish a foundation of data integrity to make strategic decisions based on ESG data that can be trusted. Ultimately, if companies do not already invest in the integrity of their data, they are already behind the curve, and ongoing government ESG regulations will only widen that gap. So, going forward, organisations will need to invest in technology that combines data integration, data governance and quality, location intelligence and data enrichment capabilities to ensure success.
“The ability to accurately and consistently report on ESG metrics with meaningful context is ultimately what will help organisations identify gaps in, and drive forwards with, sound ESG practices. As more businesses reflect on their ESG targets following COP27, there is no denying that the most important factor will be access to trusted data.”