Key Insights From ESG Reporting And Data Management Software Customers

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Key Insights From ESG Reporting And Data Management Software Customers

As part of the 2023 Verdantix Green Quadrant: ESG Reporting And Data Management Software, Verdantix conducted 35 customer interviews highlighting preferences, use cases and advice on achieving value from reporting and data management software. The customers interviewed work in a range of industries, spanning construction, financial services, oil and gas, technology, and utilities, and are located across Asia-Pacific (APAC), Europe, Latin America and North America.

Key takeaways:

  • ESG and sustainability roles tend to be the primary users of ESG reporting and data management software. Over half of the customers interviewed work within their firms’ ESG and/or sustainability teams, while the remaining are from compliance, CSR, EHS and finance functions. The number of regular users varies significantly – from two to over 500 users sitting across various functions.
  • Corporate priorities and use cases vary by a firm’s ESG maturity. Experienced firms that have carried out several iterations of ESG reporting seek in-depth data analysis tools, such as target-setting, scenario analysis and forecasting to support them with tracking, improving and optimizing sustainability performance. On the other end of the spectrum, corporates in the earlier stages of their ESG journeys value the automation of data collection – through surveys or APIs – to aggregate data in one system and support streamlined reporting, with associated guidance notes on frameworks as well as the relevant standards.
  • Value for money, multiple languages and vendor relationships are all key factors in the software selection process. Over 50% of customers cite value for money and the importance of getting a return on investment as significant, and preferred vendors that offered enterprise-wide licences. Firms operating at a global scale, with users inputting data across different countries, require a solution with multilingual capabilities. We also found that many customers purchase ESG reporting and data management modules from vendors they already work with, predominately in the EHS and GRC heritage space, to ease implementation and aggregate data in one system.
  • Customers indicate that businesses need to plan ahead, especially large global organizations. Most respondents report that implementation took an average of six months. Some smaller firms starting their journeys reported implementation time as short as three weeks, while for larger firms, particularly those in high-risk industries, it took as long as two years. Significant contributing factors were the time for configuration – which was noted as the lengthiest part of the process due to complex and specific needs – and setting up appropriate data input feeds – as data can be spread across multiple functions, locations and suppliers. Corporates need to factor implementation time into their schedules, and may look to prioritize vendors with a track record of user-friendly implementation services.
  • To optimize ESG strategies, many customers highlighted the need to actively seek supporting services offered by vendors or their partners. Consulting services play a vital role in helping organizations identify areas for improvement, set targets and formulate impactful action plans. A combination of both services and software supports firms in navigating the intricacies of ESG implementation with greater confidence and achieve goals more effectively (see Market Overview: The ESG & Sustainability Software And Services Partnership Ecosystem).


To learn more about the ESG reporting and data management software market, read the following reports:

Strategic Focus: Customer Insights Into ESG Reporting And Data Management Software
Best Practices: Creating An RFP For ESG Reporting And Data Management Software
Market Size And Forecast: ESG Reporting Software Solutions 2021-2027 (Global)
Smart Innovators: ESG Reporting And Data Management Software
Green Quadrant: ESG Reporting And Data Management Software

Jessie Wilson


Jessie is an Analyst in the Verdantix ESG & Sustainability practice. Her current research agenda spans areas such as ESG reporting, the circular economy and supply chain sustainability. Prior to joining Verdantix, Jessie graduated from the University of Bristol with First Class Honours in BSc Geography and French. Her dissertation was on achieving a circular economy for plastics with reusable packaging.