ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance. As the name suggests, it incorporates environmental and social investments into enterprise governance. It allows businesses to make socially responsible investments. In fact, there are many agencies that rate businesses based on their ESG score. The higher your ESG score is, the more lucrative your business would be for customers who want to do business with your company or want to buy your company stock.
Many businesses are worried about their ESG score which is why they are diverting more resources towards socially responsible initiatives. Some have even hired a Chief Sustainability Officer who can help them improve their ESG score. There is a lot that goes into improving your ESG score than just hiring a chief sustainability officer.
In this article, you will learn about how CIOs can drive change through environment, social and governance.
How IT Leaders Can Bring Change Via ESG?
Here are some of the ways IT leaders can improve the ESG score of their organization.
1. Minimizing Energy Consumption
Small steps such as turning off the lights and electronic devices when not in use can go a long way in reducing your electricity bills. If turning these electronic devices seems like a daunting task, you can even put them on standby mode or sleep mode to slash your energy consumption.
If you want to build a data center, make sure that you build one which is green-certified. These data centers consume a lot of resources so any type of environment friendly rating helps. Replace energy savers with LED bulbs and invest in electronic devices that consume less power. You can use natural light whenever possible instead of artificial lights. You can also switch to cheap dedicated server to save more money.
2. Social Responsible Tech Applications
Social responsibility scores also consider how accountable a company is to their customers. If your business is ignoring customer needs, you can get a low score. Technology leaders should play a crucial role when ensuring security and privacy of customers and their data.
They should make sure that the applications they are using are not putting their customer data at risk. Moreover, the applications you are using fulfill all the compliance requirements. If that is not the case, you should switch to better securer and more compliant alternatives, another aspect that usually gets ignored is ethics. The applications you are using should be developed in accordance with the ethical principles in mind.
Make sure all these elements are top priority for software developers who created these applications. If they are not, you are better off looking elsewhere. Ensure that the software developers have integrated all these elements from the beginning and made it an integral part of the software development lifecycle. Without this, they will never be able to create apps that fulfills social responsibility.
3. Opt For DEI Enabled Technology Solutions
Thanks to advancement in technology, you can easily find a technological solution for everything from talent acquisition to employee development according to your budget. You can opt for cheap dedicated server hosting or go for a premium tier. Not every solution is the right fit for your company or users.
That is why it is important to choose the right technology solutions such as VPS Singapore that are tailor made to fulfill your business needs. You need to first assess the feasibility of each tool and make sure whether it is the right fit for your business or not.
DEI stands for Diversity, Equity Inclusion. It is basically a way to define policies to ensure participation of different groups irrespective of their caste, religion or gender. Sadly there are many challenges that prevent organizations from adopting DEI solutions.
Some of them are:
- Lack of skilled human resource
- Tracking the right metrics
- Convincing stakeholders on DEI solutions
- Assessing the impact of culture on employees
4. Data Privacy
Data privacy has always been the top concern for businesses but implementation of data privacy laws such as GDPR has brought it into limelight. Due to this, ESG raters have started giving more weight to data privacy implications. Same goes for consumer and business investors. You will have to implement stringent data privacy controls in order to protect your user data from getting stolen or abused. In fact, you should make data privacy an integral part of the design process.
5. Leveraging Sustainable AI
One of the last things on business minds when implementing artificial intelligence is sustainability and environmental impact. Most AI models are resource hungry and consume a lot of power. This can significantly increase your carbon footprint, which can go against you and your business ends up getting a lower ESG score. Irrespective of your industry, sustainability should be your top priority when implementing artificial intelligence. For instance, if you are using artificial intelligence in manufacturing, make sure that your robotic process automation processes do not consume that much more.
6. Compliance Reporting
Since the global landscape of ESG requirements is in a flux, you will have to take control as a CIO. Analyze your existing and future requirements and understand the business capabilities in order to fulfill compliance requirements efficiently. You could have multiple compliance obligations of multinational presence or you could still be using legacy systems which can make compliance reporting more challenging for your business. As a CIO, your goal should be to get over these hurdles to simplify compliance reporting. More importantly, it will also help you fulfill the compliance requirements.
If you think that ESG is just a fad that will go away then you are wrong. It is here to stay. In fact, it will become more and more important with the passage of time. Your ESG score could determine the success and failure of your business in future so you should take it seriously. The key to success with ESG is to incorporate ESG into your daily operations and make it an integral part of your enterprise strategy. Follow the best practices and make investments that are not only good for the environment, society but also for compliance.
How do you use environmental, social and governance factors to bring a positive change? Share it with us in the comments section below.