CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Benchmark Digital (Benchmark), a leading provider of cloud-based environmental, social and governance (ESG) software solutions, hosted its fourth ESG Executive Collaboration Forum last week. Guests shared their views on the practical impacts of the U.S. SEC’s proposed corporate climate risk disclosure rules on the industry, steps organizations can take now to prepare for possible new direct reporting obligations; and they shared their perspectives on the roles emerging technologies will play in advancing corporate sustainability performance management and reporting.
Featured guests at this event included Dr Christine Hamansustainable development and ESG manager, Trinity Consultants, and Mahesh Ramanujamformer President and CEO, US Green Building Council.
Dr Haman began the session by exploring actions business leaders can take to best prepare to comply with the Scope 3 emissions provisions of the SEC’s proposed rules, stakeholder engagement tactics demonstrated to their corresponding monitoring and reinforcement methods.
“Companies can mitigate risk in their value chain, whether upstream or downstream, and unlock new collaborations and innovations through partner engagement, communication, support, monitoring and ultimately reinforcement,” Dr. Haman said.[And] many business goals can be achieved by creating and managing a Scope 3 [emissions] inventory. For example, companies can reduce their upstream energy costs by engaging their suppliers in emissions management and reporting through a supplier “code of conduct” and reinforcing this behavior through subsequent contractual procurement processes. .
Even with these approaches, the tasks of producing and reporting investment-grade Tier 3 emissions data require significant company resources. But, just as companies’ expectations to consider their sustainability performance across their value chains have increased, so has the functional sophistication of enterprise ESG software.
“We need to move beyond viewing ESG reporting requirements as a data collection exercise. Instead, we need to look at it from a year-over-year performance perspective and use ESG data for continuous improvement. This requires a culture shift and the realization that ESG compliance is everyone’s responsibility,” said Hornsby during his Q&A with Ramanujam. “The calculus has changed significantly. We are now looking at the entire value chain, which requires involving upstream supply chain actors, suppliers and manufacturers on a whole new level. »
Ramanujam and Hornsby agreed that business needs for sustainability performance management and data disclosure are not only dynamic, but increasingly complex. Considering this, Ramanujam discussed how blockchain technologies can enhance the contemporaneity, integrity and traceability of companies’ value chain ESG data.
“We live in a decentralized world with many standards, guidelines and software. We need to be smart about integration and harmonization and need to reflect the decentralized nature of climate action. How to meet people where they are and give them a technical architecture that allows them to capture, verify and validate data, thereby creating a higher level of trust for those making investment decisions. We need to track, trace and validate where the action is actually taking place. I see blockchain as a critical technology that comes into play.”
A recording of Benchmark’s fourth ESG Executive Collaboration forum is available here. Additional expert commentary on these issues will be featured in future sessions of Benchmark’s ESG Executive Collaboration forum series and as part of Benchmark’s ESG Executive Collaboration forum. LinkedIn group, to which interested parties are invited to join. You can also learn more about Benchmark Digital’s inaugural survey of investor attitudes towards ESG data and download the new e-book describing the results of the survey.
Interested in continuing the conversation? Join us at our Benchmark ESG 2022 conference on sustainability, ESG and operational compliance from May 10-12 in Orlando, Florida. Register and preview the agenda here.
About ESG Benchmark
Benchmark ESG™ (the next generation of Gensuite®) enables companies to implement robust cross-functional environmental, social and governance (ESG) solutions – locally, globally and across various operating profiles. Our comprehensive cloud-based software suite includes intuitive, best-practice process features, flexible configurations, and powerful extensions. For more than two decades, our digital platform has helped businesses run safe and sustainable operations around the world, with a focus on rapid return on investment (ROI), service excellence and continuous innovation. Join nearly 3,000,000 users who trust Benchmark ESG™ for their software system needs for operational risk and compliance, EHS, sustainability, product management, supplier risk, and ESG data management/reporting of disclosure.