Data Driven Sustainability Decisions

Gerald Trites, FCA, CISA

While companies have traditionally viewed sustainability decisions as separate from monetary decisions, this is changing. It’s partly because of generational changes, with millennials now being the largest component of the workplace and partly considerations driven by customer demand, investor demand regulatory requirement and common-sense observation of the destruction caused by climate change. Compelling reasons.

Companies have been moving more clearly to data driven decision making for several years. So it makes sense they would turn to data to drive their decisions in the sustainability area.  

To accomplish this, they need to first define their sustainability goals. This usually begins with industry trends and information from stakeholders about their sustainability concerns and the development of a sustainability strategic plan. Second, begins the process of data modelling and analysis drawn from internal and external sources. Many organizations have well defined data gathering processes already in place, but these need to be modified to take into account sustainability goals. Finally, the adoption of data driven sustainability decision making requires the adoption of AI techniques to automate data gathering, modelling and reporting functions.

Established enterprise systems are moving in this direction, the availability of which, as well as their compatibility with existing systems, is an important consideration.

Overall, a creative combination of data management, analytics, AI and integration of sustainability processes with established corporate processes are crucial to a successful outcome – the creation of a truly sustainable enterprise.

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