An ESG Management System: Aspects and Advantages

IsoMetrix’s Robin Bolton, Executive Head of Sustainability, outlines how a management system can assist in controlling, securing, and understanding ESG data.

Watch Robin’s segment from the conference, including how IsoMetrix implemented an ESG management solution for a global investor.

RRM Use

The Responsible Raw Materials 2021 Annual Conference brought experts and thought leaders from across the full value chain of raw materials together to share tools, tips and techniques. As a result, attendees were more knowledgeable of ESG matters and enabled on how to make environmental, social and governance (ESG) a reality.

Presenting at the conference, IsoMetrix's Robin Bolton expanded on the following aspects:

  • Managing ESG data
  • Analysis and reporting
  • Advantages of having an ESG management system

Managing ESG data

For organizations, some of the aspects and questions central to managing ESG data include:

  • Identifying the drivers for acquiring the data. What data does an organization need to gather, and why? Is it for a specific reporting requirement, specific standard or internal sustainability reporting? A management system can also help in understanding the material risks relevant to a business, and in gathering the associated data metrics.

  • Where does this data reside and how is it acquired? Data gathering is a huge part of the ESG process and sources can range from being scattered across systems, sites, and departments through to being centralized and well-controlled. Many businesses spend a considerable proportion of their time merely gathering data. This is an inefficient process and the time taken to gather the relevant data thus needs to be minimized.

  • What is the quality of the data like? Can the organization identify where the data is not meeting preset or previous threshold limits? With an ESG management system, checks and variation limits can be set, anomalies investigated, and the relevant people notified.

  • Collaboration has become increasingly important. How can parties comment and collaborate on sets of data to ensure they are correct, and have them approved by the right people?

  • How secure is the data? Who has access to it and how can restrictions be set and enforced around this?

Analysis and reporting

Some relevant aspects and questions regarding the analysis and reporting component are:

  • Computation or calculation tools may be necessary. For data analysis such as performing consumption calculations, or a carbon footprint, computation engines may be required. Are those in place? Are they adequate for the job?

  • Visually displaying data to assist in understanding it. Do visual components like dashboards, graphs and charts help the organization to understand trends and compare measured data to target sets, etc.?

  • Report generation. Does the organization sufficiently understand reporting requirements to create meaningful reports?

  • Different data displays. Various organization levels may want to see different aspects or interpretations of the data. Does the management system have this facility?

Advantages of having an ESG management system

Among the many advantages of having an ESG system in place, Robin highlighted the following:

  • It allows for the full process to be considered, from initially gathering the data through to the final reporting and viewing of the data

  • Centralized data storage impacts positively on security

  • Having a holistic view of various risks helps to eliminate information silos and reduces the amount of time required to gather data

  • For environmental, health, safety and governance risks, a management system can add extra value by leveraging data to increase an organization’s understanding of risk, manage it and lower its overall risk profile

  • Having a centralized management system can increase organizational flexibility, transparency, and accountability towards third parties such as auditors

  • A standardized, company-wide system can assist in gauging progress and scoring between organizational divisions or regional operations globally, etc.

  • Flexibility allows for changes in reporting requirements i.e. ESG Standard updates, to be easily accommodated. A central system can also cater for the equivalency concept where a single data set is only captured once but applied to many questionnaires asking for the same data

It is clear that there are multiple aspects to consider when evaluating the need for a centralized ESG management system. For those willing to make the investment however, the benefits can be considerable.

Discover how the IsoMetrix ESG management system can help you analyze and manage your ESG data, and lower your overall organizational risk profile., and lower your overall organizational risk profile.

About Robin Bolton

Robin P5050030

BSc (Hons) Microbiology, BSc (Hons) Water Utilization, PMD (GIBS), Pr Sci Nat.

Robin has 20 years of experience in the sustainability field, firstly as an environmental and social consultant with a focus on the extractive industries across Africa and the Middle East and thereafter with management systems.

His key experience is in integrated management systems, Environmental, Social and Governance analysis, carbon footprint calculations, environmental and social risks, water efficiency mechanisms, environmental authorizations, environmental monitoring, auditing and feasibility studies, international lending requirements, mine closure, and the environmental and social license to operate.

He is currently Executive Head of Sustainability at IsoMetrix, an integrated risk management software provider.

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