Workiva And Persefoni Partnership – Bringing Together Strengths In E, S, And G For ESG Disclosures

On February 16th, Workiva and Persefoni announced their partnership to deliver investor-grade carbon disclosures. Both software vendors have been making headway in the ESG market, but with different histories and approaches. Workiva is better known as a top-tier GRC software provider expanding into ESG; essentially, Workiva’s offerings have been strongest in the “S” and the “G” in ESG. Workiva also brings the advantages of an established, NYSE-listed firm with TTM revenue of $416 million and 4,000+ customers.

In contrast, the relatively young and Arizona-headquartered Persefoni has been drawing the attention of financial investors through Series A and B rounds to expand its climate management and accounting platform. Persefoni’s spotlight comes from its intent to gather data for financial institutions on the footprint of their financed emissions. Persefoni has also focused resources on building its capabilities for climate scenario modeling, TCFD reporting, and carbon accounting for investor grade carbon disclosures. In brief, Persefoni’s core emphasis has been on the “E” in ESG.

Perhaps the most important reason for the partnership is in the phrase ‘investor grade’. Workiva’s experience with SEC reporting and SOX compliance (and general financial reporting and disclosure management) means that Workiva is more than familiar with what it takes to be investor-grade. Persefoni’s focus on carbon and carbon accounting means its platform is a TCFD-friendly data source for Workiva. The firms are aligned in key objectives such as transparency and auditability, as well as data models and data structures. To start, Workiva customers will be able to easily access Persefoni as a data source, but the product integration is expected to advance with time.

There are other synergies that make the two firms a good fit, including overlapping customers, success with firms in financial services, and a commitment to cloud-based delivery, for example. Both are headquartered in the United States, as well. And of course, both have recognized the big win for corporates comes from investing in software that makes carbon accounting and ESG reporting much more connected and automated.

While the partnership is in its early stages, the announcement stands out for its complementary nature and the blend it creates of innovation and maturity. What would we like to see from the partnership? Increasing the availability and ease of producing Investor-grade disclosures, absolutely. We also suggest firms think more broadly – corporates need to look at their overall approach - a carbon management information architecture, composed of multiple building blocks.

For further insights on the carbon management information architecture, see Verdantix report - Best Practices: Creating An RFP For Enterprise Carbon Management Software.

ESG Workiva And Persefoni Partnership Bringing Together Strengths In E S And G For ESG Disclosures

Kim Knickle

Research Director, ESG & Sustainability, Verdantix

Addressing business challenges and priorities in ESG and sustainability through technology. Specialties: manufacturing and retail industry subject matter expert, thought leadership, storytelling, emerging technology research and analysis (cloud, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, computer vision, IoT), sales enablement, competitive and SWOT analysis, market research, research operations.