• May 11, 2023

Corporate progress on ESG issues is partly a big data challenge, global research finds

Corporate progress on ESG issues is partly a big data challenge, global research finds
Garrett Ilg writes on how using advanced technology for data collection and updating business models can fuel ESG.
When it comes to corporate progress on environmental, social, and governance issues, there’s still a big disconnect between what the public wants to see and what companies are actually delivering.

Making progress on ESG isn’t just the right thing to do for the planet and society. It also makes good business sense, the Oracle report finds, by helping companies strengthen their brands, increase their productivity, attract new customers, improve supply chain management, recruit talent, and ultimately increase their profitability.

Despite all those compelling reasons, 94% of Asia Pacific respondents to the Oracle survey think companies aren’t making enough progress on ESG matters. The reasons cited? People are too busy with other priorities, focus too much on short-term profits, are generally lazy/selfish when it comes to acting on ESG matters, and/or lack reliable data. Inertia appears to rule the day.
The business leaders we surveyed say getting the data they need to set goals and show progress remains a formidable challenge. For starters, companies worldwide need to make better use of advanced technologies to help them automate the collection of ESG data from all areas of their business, verify that it’s accurate, and set and revise targets. As the old saying goes, you can’t improve what you can’t measure.

In fact, 94% of respondents in the region say they would trust AI-based software over a human to make sustainability and social decisions, mainly because such software is better at collecting different types of data without error, making unbiased decisions, predicting outcomes based on metrics/past performance, and identifying new ways to solve problems.

No single answer but as Oracle Chief Sustainability Officer Jon S. Chorley acknowledged in a recent blog post: “Changing a system that has worked so well for so long for so many will not be easy, and there will not be a single answer. It will require behavior change, policy and regulatory change, business model change, and technological change.”
Meet the author:
Garrett Ilg is the President – Japan and Asia Pacific, Oracle.

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