Environmental Social Governance (ESG) is a self-regulating model that helps an organisation be socially accountable to itself, its stakeholders and the public. Through ESG, companies can be conscious of the type of impact they are having on all aspects of society, including their economic, social, and environmental impacts. First coined back in 2005 in a landmark study entitled “Who Cares Wins“, it has become clear that investing in ESG facilitates long term top-line growth. These three letters encapsulate a very broad set of issues from sustainability to social impact, and these factors aren’t always easily measured or managed.
Heading in the same trajectory, the advancements in tech has reached unprecedented speeds with McKinsey reporting an acceleration of 5 years in digital adoption within the first few months of the Covid-19 pandemic. The correlation between these is clear and it might just be that tech is the secret weapon to facilitate and maximise the return on ESG initiatives.
Often the Customers we work with approach us with a focus on digital transformation and whilst we agree this is a priority, we challenge them to address the journey as reinvention. Within this, we want to explore how ESG initiatives can spark reinvention as organisations adopt digital first strategies.
Driving Business Efficiency
A shared objective of any digital transformation or ESG policy is efficiency. This can be looked at from multiple angles, all as valuable as each other. Starting with the sustainability aspect, in line with government requirements and growing social pressures, it is imperative that companies optimise supply chains and minimise waste to reduce their carbon footprint and improve efficiency. ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems and other technologies are great platforms that track this however having multiple systems goes against our desire for efficiency. With Salesforce, the aim is to create a single source of truth by integrating existing platforms and eliminating disconnected data with solutions such as MuleSoft.
This connected source of data and insights relays efficiency onto other aspects of the business. Employees can access all the relevant information they need within the Customer 360 enabling them to make data-driven decisions. For example, a clear snapshot of energy usage patterns via Tableau will improve trust with customers, employees, and potential investors.
Enhancing Customer Experience
Customers continue to become more and more savvy about ESG and therefore the importance of meeting and exceeding expectations is an ongoing commitment. Collecting and collating data provides organisations with valuable insights on their customers. This allows businesses to gain a greater understanding of the community they serve allowing them to align their actions with what each stakeholder values.
In recent years there has been a seismic shift in the impact climate change has on consumer behaviour. More and more conscious consumers are seeking sustainable offerings and married with their aptitude to utilise digital platforms to survey alternative options, competition is fierce. Organisations must be demonstrating their efforts to remain competitive, and avoid the costs associated with not adopting ESG initiatives and digital transformation. Honesty and transparency is key here for creating the right experience, providing easy instant access to key metrics which demonstrate your commitment to ESG. Words without data are guaranteed to create a less favourable experience.
We’ve already mentioned the impact ESG has on the Customer experience, but we mustn’t forget the pivotal role in which employees play within that journey and the value they can add to accelerating growth. Values once gone unchallenged behind corporate walls now are exposed as businesses appear to operate in glasshouses where values, culture and conduct are visible to all. The social stake starts from within and having an engaged and empowered workforce on key initiatives such as ESG should be considered a high priority.
Empowering employees including key decision makers with executive-ready dashboard data is absolutely key for success. Providing rich data visualization and dashboards to evaluate corporate environmental impact, track energy patterns and emission trends helps decision makers better understand and create a plan to drive sustainability solutions.
Salesforce’s ability to connect data across the organisation from Service and Marketing Cloud to Tableau and other third-party integrations can be a huge influence on the success of ESG initiatives. More specific to tracking environmental costs and an organisations carbon footprint Salesforce have launched a Sustainability Cloud to measure climate impact.
Unsurprisingly, in addition to providing ESG enablement solutions, Salesforce is Net Zero, delivers a carbon neutral cloud, achieved 100% renewable energy for their operations, and is a founding partner of 1t.org. You can be inspired by their journey by reading more about their initiatives and progress here.
Another great source of inspiration is our parent company Globant who early this year announced they too have achieved Carbon Neutrality. As part of their Race to Zero journey and the wider global movement, they have signed the Science-Based Targets Business Ambitions for 1.5°C commitment letter and were involved with discussions at the recent COP26 conference. Discover more about the initiatives Globant are undertaking as part of their Be kind to the planet ethos and the support they offer businesses through their Sustainability Studio.
For more information on ways in which CloudShift & Salesforce can support your ESG through digital transformation, please get in touch with our team.