Market Overview: Digital Sustainability Strategies To Transition From Voluntary To Mandatory Reporting

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Executive Summary

This report provides chief sustainability officers (CSOs) with the information they need to transition from voluntary reporting to mandatory environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures. The convergence of mounting regulatory pressures and heightened attention to ESG factors within the financial community will require firms to adopt digital sustainability strategies and adopt a proactive, long-term approach to sustainability management. This report outlines four digital strategies which firms can leverage to produce investor-grade disclosures and integrate sustainability into decision-making. Business leaders should use this report to assemble the necessary resources, workflows and technologies to navigate these challenges.

Table of contents

Upcoming Regulations Will Require Firms To Rethink Their Existing Sustainability Strategies
Corporates Must Undergo An ESG Information Overhaul To Meet Intensifying Regulatory Demands
Firms Must Continue To Address Non-Regulatory Drivers That Shape And Inform The Regulatory Landscape
Blueprints For Effective Sustainability Reporting Are Emerging
Firms Will Adapt Their Processes To Refine The Reporting Journey
Technology Solutions Have Emerged To Streamline Mandatory Reporting Commitments
Key Considerations For ESG Software Selection
Digital Strategies For Investor-Grade Sustainability Disclosures
Firms Must understand How Their Sustainability Reporting Programme Aligns With Their Overall Business Strategy
Building Blocks For An ESG Information Architecture And Investor-Grade Data

Table of figures

Figure 1. Frameworks And Disclosure Rules Prompting Spend In 2023
Figure 2. Overview Of Disclosure Regulations 
Figure 3. Regulation Timeline 2022-2028
Figure 4. Comparison Of Traditional vs Investor-Grade Sustainability Data
Figure 5. Commercial Software Categories
Figure 6. Firms’ Levels Of Commitment To Sustainability
Figure 7. Verdantix ESG Maturity Model
Figure 8. Four Digital Sustainability Deployment Strategies

Organisations mentioned

12Return, Accuvio, Achilles, Alaya, Alcumus, alva, APlanet, Archer Integrated Risk Management, Assent, Avetta, Aviva Investors, AXA, Bandwatch, Benchmark ESG, Benevity, BlackRock, Blendoor, Bloomberg, Borealis, Bright Funds, BuildESG, CarbonCloud, Cargill, CDP, Ceridian, Cervest, Circul8, Circular, Circular IQ, Circularise, Circulor, Clarity AI, Climate TRACE, Climate X, CLIMsystems, Conservice ESG, Cority, Costco, Cuantix, Culture Amp, Daato, Datamaran, Deutsche Bank, Deutscher Bundestag, DevonWay, Digimarc, Diginex, Diligent, Diversio, DNV , DWS, EcoVadis, EMpower, Enablon, ENGIE Impact, Equileap, ESG Book, ESG Playbook, ESG Trust, ethiXbase, Euronext, European Commission, European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), Evreka, EY, Fairown, FigBytes, Financial Stability Board (FSB), Foodsteps, GHGSat, Giki, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Green Story, Greenly, Greenomy, Greenstone, GRESB, Greyparrot, Gro Intelligence, Harvard University, Higg, HSI, Hult International Business School, IBM, IFRS Foundation, Intelex, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), iPoint-systems, IsoMetrix, Jambo, JBS, Jupiter Intelligence, Kanarys, Kezzler, Klima, KPMG, Lattice, Lixo, Lizee, Loop, Maanch, Makersite, MarketPsych, Mars, Matter, Measurabl, MESA Group, MetricStream, Metrio, Mighty Earth, Mondra, Morningstar, MSCI, NASDAQ, NAVEX Global, Neighbourly, NetBenefit, Nokia, Novata, Novisto, One Click LCA, One Concern, OneStream, OneTRust, onHand, OnProcess, Oracle, Pawprint, PepsiCo, Persefoni, Planetly, Position Green, ProcessMAP, Pulsely, pulsESG, Qliktag, Quentic, Recyda, Recykal, Refinitiv, Reporting 21, RepRisk, ReverseLogix, Risilience, riskmethods, SAI360, Salesforce, SAP, Schneider Electric, Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), Selerant, Selflessly, ServiceNow, SimaPro, SINAI Technologies, SmartHead, Socialsuite, SoPact, Source Intelligence, Sourceful, Sphera, Stryker, Submittable, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Sustira, Sweep, Sylvera, Target, Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), thinkstep, Topolytics, Toxnot,, UL Solutions, Ulula, University of Chicago, University of Trento, US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), VelocityEHS, Visier, VitalMetrics, Watershed, WayCarbon, WeSort.AI, WeSpire, WorkBuzz, Workday, Workiva, XDI Systems

About the authors

Luke Gowland

Industry Analyst
Luke is an Industry Analyst in the Verdantix ESG & Sustainability practice. His current research agenda focuses on the ESG reporting and data management landscape, as well as emerging technologies and market trends across industries. Prior to joining Verdantix, Luke worked at research and advisory firm GlobalData, producing ESG research reports for corporate clients. Luke holds an MSc in Sustainability and Management from the University of Bath.

Kim Knickle

Research Director, ESG & Sustainability
Kimberly Knickle is Research Director of the ESG & Sustainability practice at Verdantix. Her research areas encompass ESG regulations and reporting, ESG risk, supply chain sustainability, circular economy, social impact, and sustainable finance. Kim 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. Kim holds an MBA from Boston University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell.

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