A new paper has outlined how business success hinges upon sustained commitment to ESG (environmental, social, and governance) measures overlapped with existing and evolving technology solutions.
Today’s IT leaders know that in addition to having a solid knowledge base and well-honed tech skills, they need a sound understanding of the way their companies execute business strategy.
This includes the ESG approaches embedded in the daily operations of an organisation, which can also overlap with technology, as detailed by, ISACA, in the international professional IT governance association’s new paper, “Governance Roundup: What Are You Doing About Environmental, Social and Governance Practices in Your Enterprise?”
In the same way that cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility, the publication stresses that ESG is also in everyone’s interest and weighs upon everyone’s shoulders, involving a range of stakeholders from investors, governments and boards of directors to activists, employees and external auditors.
Many may have long associated sustainability with solely environmental responsibility. However, the paper shows that sustainability should also incorporate social and governance components, and outlines examples of the business considerations that can apply to each, including natural resources and the effective sourcing and usage of raw materials; human rights – complying with supply chain labour standards; and corporate behaviour – the enforcement of anti-bribery and anticorruption measures.
The paper also explores the entities that should be included in ESG collaboration and ESG roles and responsibilities, and provides a practical approach to managing an ESG-focused programme. It includes the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and their key targets and focus areas as a reference.
Specialist comment within the report also illuminates how enterprises can leverage technology, such as the COBIT framework in their enterprise ESG efforts. By adopting the COBIT goal cascade to transform stakeholder needs into actionable strategy that includes ESG practices as well as using the phases of COBIT implementation to provide a solid baseline to address ESG issues sustainably.
Tech professionals, it is revealed, can also gain insight into how software can also be responsibly employed to leverage ESG objectives, including through:
- Green data centres that incorporate energy efficient components to reduce CO2 emission
- A moral relationship between technology and its users to ensure ethical technology
- Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) on technology teams, and the use of data to collect and track DEI information for ESG reporting
- Effective data governance architecture to facilitate responsiveness to ESG standards and reporting frameworks
- Telemedicine that expands access to healthcare
- Addressing privacy and information security within governance structures and as a cornerstone of trust between the enterprise and its internal and external stakeholders
Mark Thomas, president, Escoute Consulting, said:
“More and more, enterprises are realizing that engaging in environmental, social and governance practices is not only the right thing to do, but it also puts them at an advantage in driving growth and reducing costs and risk.
Caren Shiozaki, CIO and executive vice president at TMST, said:
“ESG goes beyond compliance and can help enterprises spur innovation and enhance reputation with internal and external stakeholders while also making an impact. Everyone plays a role in the long-term work of advancing ESG practices, and technology professionals are no exception.”