Best Practices: Creating An RFP For ESG Reporting And Data Management Software

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Executive Summary

Firms are under increased pressure to improve and report on their sustainability performance, whether this is to meet regulatory requirements or to cater to demands from shareholders, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders. The EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) alone will require roughly 49,000 firms to disclose sustainability information as soon as 2024. Over 100 software vendors – ranging from small start-ups to major enterprise applications and platforms – have developed digital solutions to help corporates with this challenge. This report provides heads of ESG and sustainability – as well as other buyers of ESG reporting and data management software – with guidance on how to design a request for proposal (RFP), in order to navigate this crowded market and meet their firm’s specific needs, taking into account product functionality, services and customer support, as well as industry-specific experience.  

Table of contents

There Is Growing Demand For ESG Reporting Software
Corporates Face A Wide Variety Of Challenges With ESG Reporting
Considerations When Selecting A Software Vendor
Evaluate Services And Partnerships
Ensure Key Functionality Is Embedded In The Software
Look For Vendors With Industry-Specific Functionality And Experience

Table of figures

Figure 1. ESG Information Architecture Components
Figure 2. Questions To Ask When Preparing An RFP 
Figure 3. Examples Of Vendors’ Industry-Specific Experience

Organisations mentioned

AbbVie, AECOM, Agnico Eagle, Air Canada, Akamai, Al Dahra, Aldo, Allergan, Amundi Asset Management, APlanet, Asana, Baker Hughes, Benchmark ESG, Biogen, Boston Properties, Brembo, BuildESG, Campbell Soup Company, Castik Capital, Castolin Eutectic, CBRE, CDP, Citi, City of Phoenix, City of San Diego, Clarity AI, Conservice ESG, Cority, Danske Bank, De Beers, Deepki, DevonWay, Diligent Corporation, Dow Jones, DS Smith, Enablon, Endeavor Mining, ERG, ESG Book, ESG Playbook, Eurazeo, EY, Fiat Chrysler, FigBytes, Ford, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), GPA Global, GPT Group, Greenomy, GRESB, Hospital Care, IAMGOLD, IBM, IBM Global Real Estate, Intelex, International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), IsoMetrix, Kinder Morgan, Lavazza, Lazard, Locus Technologies, Manulife, Measurabl, MESA Group, Meta, NASDAQ, Naturgy, NAVEX Global, Norvestor, Novata, Novisto, O3 Mining, Oakley Capital, OneTRust, Orsero Group, Persefoni, Port Authority NY NJ, Position Green, Primonial REIM, ProcessMAP, PwC, Reporting 21, Sage, Salesforce, Salzgitter, Sanofi, Santander, SAP, Securities and Exchange Board of India, Sphera, State of Minnesota, Subaru, SUSE, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Swedbank, Swiss Life Asset Managers, Target, Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Tate & Lyle, The Clorox Company, Torex Gold Resources, UL Solutions, US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), VelocityEHS, Virgin Atlantic, WayCarbon, Wendel, Wolters Kluwer, Workiva, Worldfavor, XBRL US

About the authors

Jessica Pransky

Principal Analyst
Jessica is a Principal Analyst in the Verdantix ESG and Sustainability practice, which she joined in 2022. Prior to joining Verdantix, Jessica worked in consulting, focusing on ESG risk and opportunity identification, as well as EHS due diligence. Her current agenda covers ESG solutions for investors, ESG software, and risk in ESG and sustainability.

Kim Knickle

Research Director, ESG & Sustainability

Kim leads the Verdantix ESG & Sustainability practice, addressing business challenges and priorities in ESG and sustainability through technology and services. Her current research agenda focuses on ESG regulatory and market drivers, sustainability reporting, risk management, supply chain sustainability, circular economy, social impact.  Knickle has worked for more than 20 years in the IT industry, providing research and analysis to help companies invest wisely in new technologies. Before joining the analyst industry, she held various roles in IT services, engineering, and product safety testing, beginning her career at Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.  Knickle holds a MBA from Boston University and a BS in electrical engineering from Cornell.

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