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KPMG Survey Reveals Prevalent Spreadsheet Usage to Manage ESG Data

Respondents express confidence in their sustainability reporting capabilities despite a reliance on manual data management processes.

Despite the surging demand for digital sustainability and ESG solutions, a new survey by KPMG US has revealed that almost half of the large companies surveyed still use spreadsheets to manage their ESG data.  

The study involved 550 board members, executives, and managers from public and private companies, primarily in North America and Europe, with revenues exceeding $1 billion accounting for approximately two-thirds of the surveyed companies.

A reliance on manual processes to manage ESG data

While respondents mostly expressed confidence in being ahead of the curve in their ESG data and reporting capabilities, the survey highlights a surprising reliance on manual processes, particularly regarding spreadsheet usage.

The study appeared to expose a gap between perceived ESG reporting capabilities and actual preparedness, with 83% of respondents believing their organizations were ahead of their peers in sustainability reporting, yet 47% still using spreadsheets as their primary ESG data management system.

Beyond meeting compliance requirements, organizations that participated in the survey also see building ESG capabilities as crucial for enhancing organizational performance. ESG data analytics, supply chain sustainability management, ESG risk assessment and management, and carbon emissions management and reporting are all viewed as valuable skills for expanding ESG capabilities within companies.

The study also explored some of the main barriers facing companies in integrating a sustainability strategy within their broader business goals. Key barriers to sustainability integration include insufficient resources or effective collaboration capacity (44%), difficulty in measuring ROI for ESG activities (21%), and budget constraints or competing priorities (19%). Internal silos and limited communication between departments were additional key challenges.

ESG software as a more accurate and efficient alternative to manual processes

While the survey revealed the need for a cohesive ESG strategy driven by technology, the adoption of ESG software remains crucial for large companies to address the gaps, particularly those centered around manual processes.

Are you part of the 47% who still use spreadsheets as their primary ESG data management system?

We can help.

IsoMetrix Lumina offers a centralized ESG software platform that seamlessly integrates with existing systems and provides an automated and efficient data collection process, eliminating reliance on manual data collection and management methods such as spreadsheets.

Lumina’s streamlined data management process ensures that organizations can enhance their reporting accuracy and efficiency, ensure compliance with evolving ESG regulations, and enable effective and timely communication of company sustainability initiatives to their stakeholders.

Learn more about IsoMetrix Lumina.

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