Digital transformation at the heart of environmental data management

95% of French companies communicate about their sustainable development and ESG (Economic and Social Governance) according to the “Survey of Sustainability Reporting” study carried out by KPMG in 2022.

From January 2024, with the entry into force of the European CSRD directive (Corporate Sustainability Communicating Directive), companies will have to provide more extra-financial data and communicate about their environmental impact.

How can French companies respond to the call? How to configure and optimize the collection of reliable and qualitative environmental data? How to develop a more responsible growth model?

Addressing the challenge of data collection and analysis

CSRD requirements imply an increase in the volume and detail of data intended for the preparation of environmental reports. In fact, around a hundred indicators are taken into account, distributed across 12 standards and applied to each company’s subsidiaries, suppliers and partners. This requires a significant investment in time, resources and expertise to ensure reliable collection and qualitative analysis of data. But beyond simply responding to CSRD requirements, this work can be put at the service of companies’ global strategy.

Beyond compliance, pursue sustainability

In a world where sustainability is increasingly of economic interest, the management of environmental data linked to the company becomes an essential element of growth strategies. It is up to companies to identify emission sources and calculate their carbon footprint before implementing an appropriate strategy. Which, in fact, also serves to ensure monitoring of the real impact of the measures taken and to promote commitment to the Objectives of the Sustainable development (SDG). However, according to a recent United Nations report, the world is “far” from being on track to achieve most of the SDGs by 2030. It is true that, at the current stage, many CAC40 companies will not be able to respect the agenda 2030 defined by the UN.

The need for a global approach adapted to each company

To surpass CSRD requirements and join the leaders in sustainable growth, companies must take a holistic approach. There is no single solution because each organization has its own particularities, but the implementation of any green growth project requires the involvement of all the company’s strategic departments, with a model that combines audit, advice and change management. Data collection and analysis solutions are numerous and rapidly evolving, provided by Microsoft, Salesforce, Service Now, etc.

But data collection is the most difficult part of the process, as it is necessary to develop an API in the company’s technological environment and make the process autonomous. Without a tool to automate data collection, the audit – expensive and time-consuming – must be repeated every year.

Emerging technologies, valuable levers for sustainable action

Companies are increasingly using emerging technologies to manage their problems. The most innovative systems ensure all phases of responsible business engagement, from data collection to roadmap implementation. Environmental issues are no exception. Blockchain represents an added value due to the quality of the data collected and its security. Furthermore, AI and its analytical capabilities allow you to optimize the implementation of personalized strategies to reduce your carbon footprint.

By leveraging digital transformation in a global and personalized approach, companies can achieve effective environmental transformation. In any case, they no longer have a choice because their assessment (for example during mergers and acquisitions) will be based half on the sustainability factor. We must take the opportunity of the CSRD coming into force to mark a true turning point towards responsible business. We must transform our models and extend our new methods to society. And for this, technological innovation is the most appropriate lever.

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