By Ikano Insight
Simplify, consolidate and automate the capture, measurement, reporting and analysis of your ESG and business sustainability data. ESG Optimiser is an integrated software platform and toolkit that will completely manage your business journey to improved ESG and sustainability performance, reporting and disclosure, legislative compliance, waste reduction, energy savings and a future-proof business.
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Business sustainability refers to the practice of conducting business operations in a manner that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It involves considering economic, environmental, and social factors in decision-making to achieve long-term success while minimising negative impacts on the planet and society. And crucially it now also involves complying with legislative reporting requirements as governments world-wide set targets for businesses who trade within their national borders.
Adopting renewable energy sources and energy-efficient technologies to reduce carbon emissions.
Implementing circular economy principles to minimise waste and promote recycling.
Engaging with suppliers to ensure sustainable sourcing of raw materials.
Investing in employee training and well-being to enhance social sustainability.
Supporting community initiatives and philanthropy to address local needs.
Embracing eco-friendly packaging and sustainable product design.
Integrating sustainability into corporate governance and decision-making processes.
Technology plays a crucial role in advancing sustainability solutions. Businesses can leverage data analytics to monitor and optimise their resource usage, use Internet of Things (IoT) devices to track energy consumption, employ artificial intelligence for supply chain optimisation, and utilise blockchain for transparent sourcing. Technology enables businesses to make informed decisions and drive sustainability innovations.
Conducting a sustainability diagnostic assessment offers several benefits, including:
Improved understanding of sustainability strengths and weaknesses
Enhanced efficiency and resource optimisation
Identification of cost-saving opportunities through sustainable practices
Positive brand reputation and increased stakeholder trust
Alignment with international sustainability standards and reporting frameworks
The findings from the assessment should be used as a roadmap for implementing sustainable practices and improvements. Organisations can set realistic goals, prioritise actions, allocate resources strategically, and monitor progress over time to ensure continuous improvement in sustainability performance.
Remember, a sustainability diagnostic assessment is a valuable tool for driving positive change and fostering a more sustainable future. By identifying areas of improvement and implementing effective solutions, we can collectively work towards a greener and more socially responsible world.
Developing a sustainability strategy involves several key steps:
Conducting a comprehensive sustainability assessment of your business’s current practices and impacts.
Setting specific and measurable sustainability goals aligned with your company’s values and priorities.
Engaging stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, and communities, in the strategy development process.
Implementing sustainable practices and tracking progress regularly to ensure continuous improvement.
No, business sustainability encompasses environmental, social, and economic aspects. While environmental concerns are essential, a comprehensive sustainability strategy also addresses social issues like labour practices, community engagement, and diversity, as well as economic considerations such as financial stability and long-term profitability.
Scope 1 GHG emissions refer to direct greenhouse gas emissions produced by sources owned or controlled by the reporting entity. This includes emissions from combustion of fuels in company-owned vehicles, machinery, and on-site processes.
Scope 2 GHG emissions pertain to indirect emissions from purchased electricity, heat, or steam consumed by the reporting entity. These emissions occur during the generation of the purchased energy.
Scope 3 GHG emissions refer to the indirect greenhouse gas emissions associated with an organisation’s activities that occur outside its own boundaries. These emissions result from the entire value chain, including suppliers, customers, transportation, waste, and more.
Measuring Scope 3 emissions can be complex and challenging due to data availability, reliability, and the need for cooperation from suppliers and other stakeholders. Additionally, varying calculation methodologies and regional emission factors can introduce complexities.
Conduct a comprehensive sustainability assessment of your operations, supply chain, and stakeholders. Consider environmental impacts, such as energy consumption and waste generation, as well as social factors like labor practices and community engagement. Use this information to set specific targets that address your business’s most significant sustainability challenges.
Popular sustainability targets include:
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs)
Increasing renewable energy usage
Minimizing water consumption
Decreasing waste generation and improving recycling rates
Enhancing supply chain transparency and ethical sourcing
Promoting workforce diversity and inclusion
Supporting community development and charitable initiatives
ESG frameworks refer to established standards and guidelines used to assess Environmental, Social, and Governance factors in a company’s operations. These frameworks help organisations measure and report their performance in areas of sustainability, social responsibility, and ethical practices. By adhering to ESG frameworks, companies can demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices and transparency, gaining trust from stakeholders and investors.
Some of the major international ESG frameworks used for reporting include:
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)
Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)
Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)
Yes, selecting the right ESG framework depends on various factors, including the company’s industry, size, and geographic location. Additionally, companies should consider their stakeholders’ expectations and the specific ESG issues that are most relevant to their operations. Conducting a materiality assessment can help identify the most significant ESG topics for a company to report on.
Reporting against ESG frameworks offers several benefits:
Enhanced transparency and accountability.
Improved risk management and identification of opportunities.
Strengthened reputation and brand value.
Better engagement with investors, customers, and other stakeholders.
Access to sustainable finance and investment opportunities.
ESG building benchmarks and ratings assess the sustainability and ethical performance of buildings based on various criteria. Environmental factors may include energy efficiency, carbon footprint, and waste management. Social factors can involve occupant well-being and community impact, while governance encompasses transparency and ethical practices.
Several organisations offer ESG building benchmarks and ratings. Some of the prominent ones include:
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method)
Green Star (Australia’s national rating system for buildings)
ENERGY STAR (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rating for energy-efficient buildings)
GRESB (Global ESG Benchmark for Real Assets)
WELL Building Standard (focuses on occupant health and well-being)
An ESG value chain assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of a company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts throughout its entire value chain. It involves identifying and analysing ESG risks and opportunities at various stages, from raw material sourcing to product/service delivery, and beyond.
The ESG value chain includes all activities and processes a company engages in to bring its products or services to the market. This includes sourcing of raw materials, production processes, supply chain management, distribution, customer use, and end-of-life disposal or recycling.
A sustainability dashboard is a visual representation of key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics related to an organisation’s ESG goals. It provides real-time data and insights into environmental, social, and governance aspects, enabling businesses to monitor and track their sustainability performance effectively.
A sustainability dashboard includes a wide range of data, such as carbon emissions, water consumption, energy usage, waste generation, diversity metrics, employee satisfaction, supplier assessments, and governance indicators. The data is often presented using charts, graphs, and other visualisations for better understanding.
Common techniques include:
Trend Analysis: Identifying consumption patterns over time.
Benchmarking: Comparing energy usage to industry averages or previous periods.
Load Profiling: Understanding how energy demand varies throughout the day/week.
Anomaly Detection: Identifying unusual spikes or drops in consumption that might indicate inefficiencies or issues.
Cost Allocation: Allocating utility costs to specific departments or areas.
Yes, by analysing historical data and considering factors like seasonal variations and usage trends, you can make reasonably accurate predictions for future energy costs.
Interval meter data refers to detailed energy consumption data collected at regular intervals (e.g., every 15 minutes) from utility meters. It provides granular insights into how energy is being used within a business. Understanding interval meter data is crucial for businesses to identify energy usage patterns, optimise operations, and make informed decisions for energy efficiency and cost savings.
Analysing interval meter data offers several benefits to businesses, including:
Identifying peak usage periods to optimise energy consumption and reduce demand charges.
Uncovering abnormal energy usage patterns that may indicate equipment malfunctions or inefficiencies.
Assessing the effectiveness of energy-saving initiatives and sustainability efforts.
Facilitating data-driven decision-making for energy management strategies.
Accurate forecasting of energy costs and budget planning.
Investing in sustainability programme tracking software can provide several benefits, such as streamlining data collection, improving reporting accuracy, identifying cost-saving opportunities, enhancing transparency for stakeholders, and ensuring compliance with environmental regulations. It also enables organisations to showcase their commitment to sustainability, which can enhance their reputation and attract environmentally-conscious customers.
When choosing a sustainability programme tracking software, look for features like comprehensive data collection and analysis capabilities, real-time tracking and reporting, integration with existing systems, customisable dashboards, goal setting and progress tracking, carbon footprint analysis, and the ability to generate sustainability reports for stakeholders.
Organisations can use various methods, including health surveys, fitness trackers, wearable devices, biometric screenings, health risk assessments, and mental health assessments. Additionally, they can analyse employee absenteeism and turnover rates to gain insights into their well-being.
Tracking employee health and well-being is crucial because it helps organisations identify potential risks, improve productivity, reduce absenteeism, and enhance overall employee satisfaction. By monitoring their health, employers can implement targeted wellness programs and support systems, creating a healthier and more engaged workforce.
Values-based recruitment is a hiring approach that focuses on assessing and selecting candidates based on their alignment with the core values and culture of an organisation. It involves identifying candidates whose personal values align with the company’s values to ensure a better fit and enhance employee engagement and performance.
Values-based recruitment is crucial because it helps organisations build a workforce that is more engaged, motivated, and committed to the company’s mission. Employees who share common values are likely to collaborate better, experience higher job satisfaction, and contribute to a positive and cohesive work environment.
Advanced analytics refers to the use of complex techniques and tools to analyse large datasets, extract valuable insights, and make informed decisions. When applied to business sustainability, it involves using these methods to assess environmental, social, and economic factors to enhance a company’s sustainable practices and outcomes.
Predictive analytics uses historical data and statistical algorithms to forecast future trends. In the context of sustainability, predictive analytics can help businesses anticipate changes in demand, resource availability, and market conditions. This enables proactive adjustments to supply chain strategies and production processes, minimising waste and environmental impact.
Involve key stakeholders and users from different departments in the decision-making process. Clearly communicate the benefits of the platform in achieving sustainability goals. Look for a provider that offers comprehensive onboarding support, training sessions, and ongoing customer support to ensure a smooth implementation process and assist your team in utilising the platform effectively.