As indicated by the APlanet startup, companies that develop sustainability strategies and plans, that manage good governance and implement compliance or equality measures they need to measure the impact achieved by their actions. In this process, they face a series of difficulties that complicate the analysis of the data and delay the preparation of reporting reports, which translates into a loss of efficiency for the company. APlanet defends that automation is the key solution to solve the five challenges that professionals face when measuring the impact of their organizations.
“Today, the main challenge for companies in the field of sustainability is the reporting. Both those that are required by Law 11/2018 on non-financial information and diversity, as well as those that take these measures out of their own conviction, need to involve their teams and defend their commitment to sustainable development with data that demonstrate the value that their shares not only to society, but also to business. Technology holds the key to measure this contribution and streamline reporting”Says Johanna Gallo, CEO and co-founder of APlanet.
To the company, the five key challenges of measuring sustainability impact of the organizations are:
The relevant data on sustainability are distributed among different departments (Human Resources, Operations, Purchasing, etc.). Bringing all that information together in one place would save responsible professionals a lot of hours of manual compilation work.
Through a tool specialized in sustainability management, these data could be collected automatically, feeding with them a central system in charge of consolidating all the information collected.
The main barrier that companies encounter is the difficulty of evaluating the contribution and return on investment of each project carried out, which is related to the poor quality of the information handled in these areas. The application of the appropriate technology would, however, allow updated data to be stored in real time, detecting irregularities and incorporating documents and invoices evidencing said data, thereby increasing the reliability of the information.
Parameterization and definition of KPIs
To measure, it is necessary to establish the parameters to take into account when analyzing the data, and the most advisable thing is to adopt one of the global standards for measuring sustainability, such as GRI, SABS or IR, in addition to linking the impact on any of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by the UN.
When all the consolidated information is available on the same platform adjusted to standards, it is possible to define a dashboard or control panel with the KPIs that interest us and, automatically, visualize its evolution and its adaptation to objectives, monitor its impact by sectors or geographic areas, etc., which greatly facilitates reporting.
Administrative burden and resource allocation
Companies dedicate specific resources to the development of all this activity, which normally falls to the director of CSR or Sustainability, or to the HR department. When all this is not automated, these professionals dedicate a large part of their day to the processes of searching, consolidating and measuring the data. However, exempted from this administrative burden, they can devote more time to defining corporate strategies and executing projects, which translates into greater productivity and more efficiency in the activities carried out in terms of sustainability.
For the sustainability strategy to be truly effective, and for the reporting of results, it is essential to involve all the company’s stakeholders (employees, customers, investors, suppliers). But this task is not easy and it is one of the main handicaps of organizations. Having a tool that allows the segmented and personalized sending of surveys, as well as maintaining active social listening on social networks, will facilitate the monitoring of conversations and the analysis of opinions on social, environmental and good governance issues, to obtain significant data around them.