Navigating ESG reporting challenges through innovation and collaboration

Understanding how automation can enable better ESG data insights and decision-making to meet new sustainability standards

Collecting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data is a pressing challenge for many companies in Singapore and Australia. When ESG data is inaccurate, organizations run the risk of presenting investors and stakeholders with misleading reports – which could lead to greenwashing or compliance violations. Such missteps can significantly jeopardize investor trust and brand reputation. The challenge becomes even more complex in a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape. For instance, new global reporting standards issued by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) will come into effect in 2024, and pile more pressure on companies to provide detailed and accurate ESG reports.

Amid this, we are seeing a number of organizations betting on technology – including automation – for robust ESG data collection, monitoring, validation, and reporting.

Key findings:

  • 77% of respondents consider ESG data collection to be the most demanding aspect of the entire ESG reporting process.

  • In tracking or monitoring ESG or sustainability-related targets, industry benchmarking against peers’ ESG targets (47%), setting measurable and achievable targets (47%), and lacking a centralized repository or space (43%) were found to be the most challenging tasks.

  • Spreadsheets (72%) are the most popular way for companies to collect ESG data. 55% of respondents still rely on manual entry, while 46% collect data through online forms and surveys as well as metered data (including electricity data) provided by suppliers.

  • Automation software is seen to increase productivity: 48% report a moderate improvement since adopting automation for sustainability management. Meanwhile, 15% have experienced a significant improvement.

  • While greater synergy between IT and sustainability teams is key to improving ESG reporting, only 33% ofbusiness leaders said that both teams meet occasionally.

The UiPath ‘Navigating ESG Reporting Challenges Through Innovation and Collaboration’ study uncovers organizations’ common struggles with ESG reporting and ways they can unlock value from ESG data, based on insights from 87 professionals – 66 in Singapore and 21 in Australia. Conducted in partnership with Eco-Business, the study sheds light on how Singapore and Australia-based companies are coping with ESG challenges and solutions that they are considering.

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