In today’s corporate landscape, sustainability has become more than just a buzzword; it’s a critical aspect of responsible business operations. 

recent Statista survey has revealed that many C-level executives from prominent organizations worldwide recognize the importance of taking action against climate change. 

Around 59 percent of these top-level business leaders reported that their organizations are taking steps towards sustainability by incorporating more eco-friendly materials. Another 59 percent of the executives note that their firms focus on increasing energy efficiency

Major global sustainability actions by organizations

Image Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1323546/major-global-sustainability-actions-by-organizations/

This dual approach, along with other sustainability initiatives, reflects an understanding within the corporate sphere that addressing environmental concerns is not only responsible but also beneficial for businesses in terms of cost savings and brand reputation.

A compelling study by Cone Communications on corporate social responsibility (CSR) has highlighted consumers’ attitudes toward organizations that champion social and environmental issues. 

It involved engaging 1,000 Americans representative of the broader population, uncovering critical insights into consumer behavior:

    • 92% of consumers hold a more favorable view of organizations that support social or environmental causes.

    • Trust is also influenced, with 87% of consumers more likely to trust organizations that endorse such issues.

    • Brand loyalty appears strong, with 89% of shoppers ready to switch to a brand connected to a good cause if price and quality are comparable.

    • Furthermore, 87% of consumers expressed willingness to purchase a product with social or environmental benefits.

    • Corporate accountability is critical; if a company engages in irresponsible or deceptive practices, 88% of consumers would boycott its products.

consumer data

Image Source: https://www.cbd.int/doc/case-studies/inc/cs-inc-cone-communications-en.pdf

This study underscores how people spend money in ways that reflect their beliefs. Consumers are looking for products and organizations that match their values. 

Many organizations are now focusing on their CSR initiatives to meet this demand. They are taking steps to be more ethical and helpful to society by changing their practices and letting the public know what they’re doing. Due to this, the need for effective ESG reporting software has never been greater.

As this trend grows, there is a rising need for robust tools to measure and report on various environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activities. Enter ESG reporting software–tools that help organizations track and report on their sustainability initiatives. These sustainability software also enable them to make data-driven decisions for better positive environmental and social impact while ensuring governance integrity.

This article will dive deep into ESG reporting software, exploring what it is and how and why organizations use these tools. We will also review the top 10 ESG software solutions available today and provide valuable insights into what you should consider when choosing the best ESG software for your company. 

Key Takeaways

    • ESG reporting software is essential for organizations looking to manage and report on their sustainability efforts effectively.

    • Companies use ESG software to collect, analyze, and report data related to environmental, social, and governance factors.

    • The top 10 ESG reporting software solutions include Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability, SAP Sustainability Control Tower, IBM Envizi ESG Suite, and more.

    • When choosing ESG software, there are several factors to consider, including data collection capabilities, integration options, and cost-effectiveness, just to name a few.

Understanding ESG Software: What is It?

ESG software, short for Environmental, Social, and Governance software, is a category of sustainability management software designed to help organizations collect, analyze, and report data related to their sustainability and ESG initiatives. These initiatives cover many topics, including carbon emissions, social responsibility, ethical governance, etc.

ESG software is a central platform for organizations to establish their sustainability metrics and track and manage their sustainability performance. It enables them to gather data from various sources, create comprehensive sustainability reports, and make informed decisions to improve their environmental and social impact. 

In the “Global ESG Reporting Software Market Research Report” by InsightAce Analytic Pvt. Ltd., a significant finding was made about the market size of ESG reporting software. In 2022, the global ESG reporting software’s value was $0.71 billion. Experts forecast that the figure will increase to $2.25 billion by 2031. 

Global ESG reporting software market research report

Image Source: https://www.insightaceanalytic.com/report/esg-reporting-software-market/2136?trk=article-ssr-frontend-pulse_little-text-block

The same report noted that the North American ESG reporting software market will capture a significant market revenue share. Several factors contribute to this outlook:

    • A visible decrease in environmental risk connected to the broad adoption of ESG reporting software in the area.

    • Anticipated enhancement in reimbursement guidelines. Improved regulations and policies will likely encourage more rigorous ESG reporting among companies.

    • The expansion of healthcare infrastructure, requiring robust ESG frameworks to manage their impact on society and the environment.

The Asia Pacific region is also slated for significant growth in the use of ESG reporting software. This expansion is particularly prominent within the global digital substation market. A few critical reasons drive this trend:

    • Rising ESG awareness among regional organizations.

    • An increase in breast cancer rates across the region, drawing attention to medical facilities’ roles in society. 

    • The growing adoption of sophisticated diagnostic techniques puts a lens on managing these technologies’ environmental and social impacts.

The data from this study reveals an increasing global interest in ESG reporting. More and more businesses and organizations worldwide recognize the importance of tracking and disclosing their environmental, social, and governance practices. This trend will continue as awareness about sustainable and ethical business practices grows.

How and Why Companies Use ESG Software

Organizations across industries use ESG and sustainability reporting software in various ways and for different reasons.

How Why
Data Collection 
ESG software enables companies to access multiple data sources, such as sensors, surveys, and financial reports. Data gathered from these sources can include information on carbon emissions, energy consumption, labor practices, etc.
Compliance
Organizations implement  ESG software to help them comply with regulations and standards related to sustainability reporting, ensuring they meet legal requirements.
Data Analysis
Once the data is collected, ESG software support companies in analyzing it to identify trends, areas for improvement, and potential risks and opportunities.
Improved Decision-Making 
By providing data-driven insights, ESG software helps organizations make informed decisions that can positively impact their sustainability goals and bottom line.
Reporting
ESG software prioritizes the automation of generating of sustainability reports, making it easier for companies to communicate their progress and compliance with ESG standards to stakeholders.
Stakeholder Engagement
ESG reporting is essential for engaging with investors, customers, employees, and other stakeholders increasingly prioritizing sustainability.
Integration
Many ESG software solutions integrate with existing business systems, streamlining data collection and reporting processes.
Risk Management
ESG software allows companies to manage the potential risks related to sustainability issues, protecting their reputation and financial performance.

10 Best ESG Software

Now that we’ve covered the basics of ESG software and its significance in today’s corporate landscape, let’s explore the top 10 ESG software solutions available. These leading sustainability management tools are helping companies manage and report on their sustainability initiatives effectively.

1. Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability 

Provider: Microsoft

Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability 

Image Source: www.microsoft.com/en-us/industry/blog/sustainability/2021/11/03/microsoft-cloud-for-sustainability-tackling-net-zero-with-data/

Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability is a comprehensive sustainability management solution that enables organizations to collect, analyze, and report on their ESG data intelligence,  including their ESG footprint, ESG performance vs. goals, data governance, and impact and progress. It offers advanced analytics, integration with Microsoft’s other business tools, and robust reporting capabilities. 

The cloud-based software empowers companies to measure and reduce environmental impact, drive social responsibility initiatives, and ensure governance integrity. With its seamless integration with Microsoft’s ecosystem, users can leverage familiar tools such as Microsoft Teams and Power BI for enhanced collaboration and data visualization.

Microsoft has been actively investing in sustainability initiatives, including a commitment to become carbon-negative by 2030. The company’s ambitious goals and innovative approach to sustainability have garnered attention from industry leaders and environmental advocates, positioning Microsoft as a trailblazer in corporate sustainability.

Clients: Make-A-Wish, Johnson & Johnson, Impact Observatory, REI Co-op, Kendra Scott, iHeart Media, PwC, and TomTom

2. SAP Sustainability Control Tower

Provider: SAP

SAP Sustainability Control Tower

Image Source: https://www.sap.com/products/scm/sustainability-control-tower.html

SAP Sustainability Control Tower provides real-time visibility into sustainability data, allowing organizations to track and optimize their sustainability footprint and environmental and social performance. It offers insights into carbon accounting, resource management, and more. 

The platform equips businesses with sustainability management tools to set ambitious sustainability goals, monitor progress, automate and tailor reports, and drive continuous improvement. By leveraging advanced analytics and predictive capabilities, organizations can identify trends, mitigate risks, and seize opportunities for sustainable growth.

Various industry analysts have recognized SAP as a sustainability software leader. The company’s commitment to environmental stewardship and innovation has earned it accolades and endorsements from customers and stakeholders worldwide, solidifying its reputation as a trusted partner in sustainable business practices.

Clients: Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team, Nestle, WTA, ZEISS, Hitachi High-Tech, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Richemont, and Ajinomoto

3. IBM Envizi ESG Suite

Provider: IBM

IBM Envizi ESG Suite

Image Source: https://www.ibm.com/products/envizi/resources

IBM Envizi ESG Suite is a comprehensive solution that helps organizations set and achieve sustainability goals and develop and implement sustainability strategies. It includes tools for carbon management, energy management, and ESG reporting. 

The platform empowers companies to measure their environmental impact, optimize resource utilization, and enhance operational efficiency. With its customizable dashboards and real-time insights, organizations can gain a holistic view of their sustainability programs and performance and make data-driven decisions to drive positive change.

IBM has been at the forefront of sustainability, offering innovative solutions to help businesses reduce and manage their carbon footprint. The company’s commitment to sustainability-driven innovation and thought leadership has positioned it as a trusted advisor and partner for organizations seeking to integrate sustainability into their business strategy.

Clients:Growth Point Properties Australia, Melbourne Water, The GPT Group, Downer, Celestica, and BanFast

4. Oracle Sustainability Management Cloud

Provider: Oracle

Oracle Sustainability Management Cloud

Image Source: https://blogs.oracle.com/sustainability/post/delivering-sustainability-with-cloud-epm

Oracle Sustainability Management Cloud is designed to help companies measure, report, and reduce their environmental impact. It offers capabilities for carbon accounting, energy management, footprint management, and sustainability reporting. 

This sustainability management platform enables organizations to streamline sustainability initiatives, improve data accuracy and transparency, automate reporting, and enhance stakeholder engagement. With its intuitive interface,  diverse ESG tools, and customizable reporting templates, users can efficiently track their progress toward sustainability goals and demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship.

Oracle has been recognized for its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.  In fact, sustainability is at the center of its operations. The company has been working to achieve its 100% renewable energy goal and is known for its proper use and management of natural resources and responsible supply chain practices.  The company’s investments in sustainable technologies and initiatives have garnered praise from customers and industry experts, underscoring its dedication to driving positive change through innovation and leadership.

Clients: Sail GP, National Grid, FL Smidth, Unilever, Circulor, and Retraced

5. Enablon Sustainability & ESG Reporting Software

Provider: Enablon (A Wolters Kluwer Company)

Enablon Sustainability & ESG Reporting Software

Image Source: https://www.wolterskluwer.com/en/solutions/enablon/vision-platform?compositeLink=%7B049185D3-9F46-42AE-9445-FB1DACA5B8D4%7D

Enablon’s Sustainability & ESG Reporting Software enables organizations to set their ESG metrics and track, manage, and report on their sustainability initiatives. Its sustainability suite offers solutions that include action plan management, air compliance management, environmental analysis, external reporting, performance metrics, initiatives and donations management, and stakeholder management, just to name a few.  

This sustainability & ESG reporting software provides a centralized hub for organizations to monitor their operational sustainability performance, identify areas for improvement, and engage stakeholders effectively. With its comprehensive suite of tools and customizable workflows, Enablon helps organizations align their sustainability efforts with business objectives while enhancing their sustainability and ESG reporting and driving tangible results.

Enablon has received industry awards for its sustainability management solutions. In 2023, Verdantix hailed Enablon as a Green Quadrant ESG Reporting and Data Management Software Leader. Customers and industry experts have recognized the company’s dedication to delivering innovative and user-friendly software, cementing its position as a leader in sustainable business practices.

Clients: SoCalGas, LendLease, Avery Dennison, Suncor, Pfizer, and CEPSA

6. Sustainalytics ESG Solutions

Provider: Sustainalytics (A Morningstar Company)

Sustainalytics ESG Solutions

Image Source: https://www.sustainalytics.com/esg-data

Sustainalytics offers a range of ESG management solutions, including data and analytics, ratings, and research. It helps organizations assess and improve their ESG performance and integrate sustainability into their investment decisions. 

The platform provides actionable insights and benchmarking tools to enable organizations to identify risks, seize opportunities, and drive positive social and environmental impact. With its robust data sets and industry expertise, Sustainalytics enables investors and companies to enhance their sustainability and management reporting process and make informed decisions that align with their sustainability goals and values.

Sustainalytics has gained recognition for advancing ESG integration in the investment industry. It is also recognized as a leader in independent ESG and corporate governance research, ratings, and analytics. The company’s commitment to transparency, accuracy, and innovation has earned it accolades and endorsements from clients and stakeholders worldwide, solidifying its reputation as a trusted partner in sustainable investing.

Clients: Holaluz, FYI Resources Ltd., The Co-operative Bank, Westports Malaysia, DNB, Ossia Inc., Japan Airlines, BMC Software, Sydney Airport, Windstream, Downer,  and First West Credit Union

 

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7. MSCI ESG Manager

Provider: MSCI

MSCI ESG Manager

Image Source: https://www.msci.com/documents/10199/0d289772-c7de-4bb3-8b37-7414600a900b 

MSCI ESG Manager is an online platform that provides an integrated suite of tools and services to help organizations measure, analyze, and report on their ESG performance. It offers ESG ratings, research, and indices. 

The sustainability management and reporting tool lets organizations benchmark their sustainability performance against industry peers, track progress over time, and identify areas in their sustainability practices for improvement. With its comprehensive data sets and customizable reporting features, MSCI gives organizations the power to integrate ESG considerations into their operational and investment strategies, work towards KPIs, and drive long-term value creation.

MSCI is a prominent ESG and sustainability data and analytics player. The company has been known to provide accurate, reliable, and actionable ESG insights and sustainability solutions, earning it recognition from publications and organizations worldwide, including The Wall Street Journal, Buy-Side Technology, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, and FOW Global Investor Group. Such recognition establishes it as a trusted source of ESG information and analysis.

Clients: Asset Managers, Pension Funds, Banks, Corporates, Hedge Funds, Insurance Companies, and Wealth Managers

8. Greenstone+ ESG Software

Provider: Greenstone+ (A Cority Company)

Greenstone+ ESG Software

Image Source: https://www.greenstoneplus.com/blog/greenstone-enables-responsible-investing-through-launch-of-investor-esg-software-solution-and-becomes-a-pri-signatory

Greenstone+ offers ESG software solutions that help organizations collect, manage, and report on their sustainability data. It includes modules for carbon accounting, ESG reporting, and stakeholder engagement. 

The software enables organizations to streamline sustainability disclosure processes, improve data accuracy and transparency, and enhance stakeholder communication. With its user-friendly interface and customizable dashboards, Greenstone+ empowers organizations to make informed decisions that drive positive environmental and social impact.

Greenstone+ has been recognized for simplifying ESG reporting for businesses, consistently providing award-winning sustainability and ESG software solutions and services for over 15 years. The company’s intuitive and scalable software solutions have been used by clients in over 100 countries across 15 industry sectors worldwide in their sustainability efforts, including achieving net zero emissions and preserving biodiversity.

ClientsAssociated British Ports, Allen & Overy, Bidvest, CGI, Clifford Chance, Davines Group, Eurostar, Fenner, Finastra, Fujitsu, and Gamma Telecom

9. SustainIQ ESG & Sustainability Data Reporting Software

Provider: SustainIQ

SustainIQ ESG & Sustainability Data Reporting Software

Image Source: https://sustainiq.com/

SustainIQ offers a comprehensive ESG & Sustainability Data Reporting Software that uses four unique pillars that empower organizations to track, measure, and report on their environmental, social, and economic performance in real time. These four pillars are (1) procurement, (2) environmental management, (3) people, health and diversity, and (4) community engagement and partnership.

The platform provides advanced analytics, data visualization tools, and customizable reporting templates to help organizations streamline sustainability reporting processes and drive positive environmental and social impact. Users of SustainIQ also benefit from uniform data collection methods, enhancing the efficiency of reporting processes and ensuring greater accuracy in organizational sustainability claims.  

ClientsCamden, Elliot Group, Combined Facilities Management, ODgroup, McCue, Henry Brothers Limited, Gilber-Ash Limited, and Heron Bros.

10. Cority EHS and ESG Performance Solutions

Provider: Cority

 Cority EHS and ESG Performance Solutions

Image Source: https://www.cority.com/sustainability-cloud/

Cority offers EHS (Environmental, Health, and Safety) and ESG performance solutions for organizations to manage their initiatives across the enterprise. To support clients’ ESG reporting journey, Cority offers cloud solutions for sustainability, environment, quality, and analytics. Each cloud solution offers powerful key features, such as science-based and net zero target tracking, data analysis tools, data assurance and validation, framework mapping, and emissions calculations. 

Organizations can use the solutions to access accurate and meaningful data, accelerate their sustainability management processes, improve regulatory compliance, and drive continuous environmental and social performance improvement. Put simply, Cority empowers organizations to achieve their sustainability goals and enhance stakeholder trust through comprehensive, people-first solutions. 

Cority has been recognized for its commitment to supporting organizations on their sustainability journey. The company’s SaaS solutions and industry expertise have earned awards from organizations and agencies like Verdantix, Canadian Occupational Safety, and Capterra. 

ClientsHypertherm, Fujitsu, Davines, Koch, Vopak, Red Cedar Gathering, Carleton University, and Toyota Manufacturing Company

Considerations in Choosing the Best ESG Software

When selecting the best ESG software for your organization, several factors should be taken into account to ensure it aligns with your specific needs and goals. Here are some key considerations:

    • Data Collection Capabilities: Ensure the software can efficiently collect data relevant to your sustainability goals from various sources.

    • Integration Options: Look for software that integrates seamlessly with your existing systems and tools to streamline data collection and reporting.

    • Cost-Effectiveness: Consider your budget and choose software that provides value for your investment.

    • Scalability: Ensure the software can grow with your organization’s evolving sustainability needs.

    • Ease of Use: Opt for user-friendly software your team can adopt without significant training.

    • Reporting Capabilities: Assess the software’s reporting features to ensure it can generate the types of reports your stakeholders require.

    • Compliance: Ensure the software helps you meet regulatory requirements and industry standards.

    • Customer Support: Evaluate the level of customer support and training the software provider offers.

    • Security and Data Privacy: Ensure the software prioritizes data security and privacy to protect sensitive sustainability data.

Ensuring the Security and Privacy of Sustainability Data When Using ESG Software

When using ESG software to manage and report sustainability data, concerns about data security are entirely valid. After all, these tools often handle sensitive information that could be damaging if it falls into the wrong hands. Therefore, ensuring the security and privacy of your data should be a top priority. 

Even with the robust security measures built into ESG software, there are additional steps you can take to strengthen data security and privacy:

    • Data Encryption and Access Controls: Implement robust data encryption mechanisms within your ESG software to protect sustainability data from unauthorized access or interception. Utilize access controls to restrict data access to authorized personnel, ensuring that sensitive information remains secure.

    • Compliance with Regulations: Ensure your chosen ESG software complies with relevant data protection regulations such as GDPR and CCPA. It should offer tools and features that facilitate compliance, such as data anonymization, consent management, and data subject rights management, to uphold the privacy rights of individuals.

    • Regular Security Audits: Stay on top of your software’s security capability. Conduct security audits of your ESG software to identify and address potential vulnerabilities or security gaps. Engage with reputable cybersecurity firms to perform comprehensive assessments and penetration tests, mitigating the risk of data breaches or cyberattacks.

    • Secure Data Transmission: Utilize secure communication protocols such as HTTPS to encrypt data transmission between your ESG software and external systems or networks. Implement measures to protect against man-in-the-middle attacks and data interception, ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of sustainability data in transit.

    • Robust Authentication Mechanisms: Employ strong authentication mechanisms such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) to verify users’ identities accessing your ESG software. Implement password policies that require complex passwords and regular password changes to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive sustainability data.

    • Transparent Data Handling Practices: Select ESG software providers that demonstrate transparent data handling practices and adhere to industry best practices for data security and privacy. Review the terms of service and privacy policies of ESG software providers to ensure alignment with your organization’s security and privacy requirements.

    • Employee Training and Awareness: Provide comprehensive training and awareness programs to educate employees about the importance of data security and privacy when using ESG software. Foster a culture of security awareness and accountability, empowering employees to promptly recognize and report potential security incidents or data breaches.

Conclusion

ESG reporting software has emerged as a vital tool for organizations committed to sustainability and responsible business practices. These tools offer companies the capability to collect, analyze, and report on their environmental, social, and governance performance, helping them make informed decisions and engage with stakeholders effectively.

As the world continues prioritizing sustainability and ESG factors, choosing the right ESG software is essential for businesses looking to thrive in a changing landscape. By considering the key factors outlined in this article and exploring the top ESG software solutions outlined above, organizations can pave the way for a more sustainable and prosperous future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is ESG reporting software?

ESG reporting software, or Environmental, Social, and Governance reporting software, is a type of sustainability management software that helps organizations collect, analyze, and report data related to their sustainability and ESG initiatives, including their value chain and supply chain, greenhouse gas emission, consumption targets, and community impact, just to name a few. 

Why do companies use ESG software?

Companies use ESG software to comply with regulations, make informed decisions, engage with stakeholders, manage risks, and improve their sustainability performance. They also use these tools to identify opportunities for emission reduction and sustainable practices and assess social and environmental impact across the supply chain.

What should organizations consider when choosing ESG software?

Organizations should consider factors such as data collection capabilities, integration options, cost-effectiveness, scalability, ease of use, reporting capabilities, compliance, customer support, and data security and privacy when choosing ESG software.

What are some key features to look for in a sustainability solution to help with carbon accounting?

 When seeking a sustainability solution to aid with carbon accounting, look for features such as emissions tracking and verification, scenario modeling, and integration with industry benchmarks to ensure accurate and comprehensive carbon accounting.

Can ESG software integrate with existing business systems and tools?

Many ESG software solutions offer integration capabilities, allowing them to seamlessly connect with existing business systems and tools such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and financial reporting platforms. This integration streamlines data collection and reporting processes, providing organizations with a comprehensive view of their sustainability performance across all areas of their operations.

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