COP26 Validates EHS Software Vendors’ Aggressive ESG Focus As They Gear Up To Play A Leading Role In Corporate Initiatives

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more widely known as COP26, has dominated headlines within the last two weeks. The 13-day event, which finished on Friday 12th November, hosted industry and political leaders, environmental subject experts and climate activists in a bid to accelerate sustainability action following the Paris Agreement. The conference shone a spotlight on emission reduction, moving away from fossil fuels and financing sustainability. The topic that will have in no doubt drawn great attention amongst corporates is the increasing requirements for emission reporting and transparency.

Corporations already face increased levels of scrutiny to show tangible ESG data within reports, take the UK Financial Conduct Authority, which has made premium-listed firms make disclosures aligned with TCFD principles since January 1st, 2021. With the EU and US SEC likely to follow suit, and ever-increasing pressure coming from financial investors, corporates must ensure they present watertight ESG credentials. What does this mean for the world of EHS? Outlined in Verdantix’s Smart Innovators report, the robust environmental monitoring and reporting capabilities of EHS software vendors such as Cority, Enablon, Intelex, Quentic, Sphera and UL will make them a key pillar in supporting ESG governance for many firms.

It is no secret that there is a vacuum in the market for a holistic enterprise-level ESG software solution to cater for corporate requirements. Many firms use a hodgepodge of EHS, energy management, corporate sustainability, GRC and supply chain risk software solutions to pull together ESG data streams. Prominent EHS software vendors are moving quickly to fill this void, for example Benchmark Digital has released ESG Director, a platform focused on ESG and sustainability reporting and disclosure workflows, which complements its existing EHS risk compliance, and product stewardship capabilities. Similarly, Cority has developed its Sustainability Cloud through the acquisitions of German headquartered ESG reporting software specialist, weSustain. Sphera has also been aggressive with its move into the ESG space, acquiring vendors such as thinkstep which have boosted its product stewardship capabilities.

The conclusion of COP26 will only further encourage EHS software and services vendors to continue diversifying their capabilities to fill the ESG software gulf. As the explosion of ESG grows EHS software vendors will face stiff competition from a wide variety of software and service providers, including the likes of EY, Deloitte, KPMG and PwC to become the industry standard for ESG and sustainability management.

EHS COP26 Validates EHS Software Vendors Aggressive ESG Focus As They Gear Up To Play A Leading Role In Corporate Initiatives

Tom Brown

Analyst, Verdantix

Tom is a Technology Analyst in the Verdantix EHS practice. His current research agenda focuses on technology mega-trends, EHS software, and sustainability. Tom joined Verdantix after graduating from the University of Nottingham with a M.Eng. in Chemical Engineering, with particular focus on Process Simulation and environmental sustainability.