How well does your business stack up against environmental, social & governance (ESG) criteria?

ESG (or Environmental Social Governance to give it its full title) is perhaps a term you’ve not yet come across, or maybe you’re in the early stages of applying better measures to understand exactly how sustainably your business is operating. Whatever stage you’re at in the journey, the fact is that the concept is here to stay, with government initiatives and growing consumer pressure for businesses to lead the way with a more conscientious approach to their operations.

So what is ESG?

ESG is a global initiative that helps stakeholders understand the impact their business has on the environment, how it benefits society, and how its governance structures ensure transparency about risks and opportunities.

Setting an ESG Strategy

In today’s global arena, setting an ESG Strategy is seen as an important benchmark for how responsible organisations operate. A successful ESG strategy covers the three main pillars of sustainability: Environment, Social, and Governance. The purpose of an ESG Strategy is to demonstrate the environmental, social, and governance factors that your organisation believes to be intrinsically important to consider within your current and future business operations. 

What does it actually mean in real business operational terms?

Let’s break it down into some areas we can actually review and measure:

  • How much energy is the business consuming?
  • Is the energy utilised from renewable sources, or from fossil fuel?
  • Is all the energy consumption necessary?
  • How can I demonstrate that my business is proactively reducing its carbon footprint?
  • Is the working environment comfortable for the majority of the workforce?
  • How good is the air quality on site?
  • How quickly can you detect a potential incident?
  • How accurate is any of the data that you are recording in these areas?

How does IoT help with ESG Data Collection?

IoT (The internet of things) connectivity allows us to monitor and report on things that we couldn’t before. ESG metrics can be measured and collated with precision with IoT sensors, including:

  • Carbon footprint
  • Energy efficiency
  • Water quality and usage
  • Waste management
  • Indoor air quality

Importantly, Foresolutions’ IoT platform brings all of this data into a single place so that performance can be traced with accuracy. It’s easy to see whether or not a company is hitting its targets, or if steps need to be taken to improve efficiency.

How can IoT enhance ESG performance?

As we’ve mentioned already, IoT not only allows key ESG metrics to be tracked, but can also help to enhance performance across key environmental, social and governance factors.

For example, using IoT sensors to monitor indoor air quality is an easily quantifiable way to optimise occupant health, wellbeing and productivity. Smart alerts can notify you when key air quality parameters deviate from their optimal zone, so that steps can be taken to maintain a healthy indoor environment.

Smart Electrical Sockets are a simple yet innovative piece of tech that have two clear outcomes. Firstly, they indicate whether the power delivered to the socket is from renewable energy sources or fossil fuels which can influence your decision making on when to use that power source. Secondly, they can cease delivering electricity to devices that are not being used. This is a relatively simple way to lower carbon footprint and reduce costs.

Real-time occupancy monitoring can also help to improve ESG performance in a variety of ways:

  • Reducing energy consumption by ensuring energy is only used when spaces are occupied
  • Ensuring compliance with legal occupation requirements
  • Enabling hotdesking and flexible work practices
  • Facilitating social distancing by using smart alerts to avoid overcrowding

ESG and IoT: why wait?

ESG issues are becoming an increasing priority across the world, and regulation is constantly encouraging us all to become more sustainable.

Going forwards, companies will be subjected to an increasing set of non-financial reporting requirements, including disclosing their ESG impact. Using IoT technology is a great way to get started with ESG, helping you to collect accurate data and improve your rating.

If you’d like to learn more and speak to an ESG expert, get in touch with us today. We have a quick start IoT Accelerator service that allows businesses to test proof-of-concept in a short space of time for minimal investment.