What objectives can be set when it comes to digital transformation for ESG?

18 Jun


Written by

Bella Foxwell




What objectives can be set when it comes to digital transformation for ESG?
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The need for organizations to embed Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles into their core operations is more pressing than ever. A recent report found that 83% of consumers believe companies should be actively shaping ESG best practices. As the corporate world increasingly leans towards sustainability, digital transformation emerges as a pivotal enabler.

When strategically aligned with ESG criteria, digital transformation offers organizations a powerful lever to achieve operational excellence and sustainable growth. It allows companies to track progress, manage resources more efficiently, and make data-driven decisions that are ethically sound and socially responsible.

This article delves deeper into how organizations can establish objectives for ESG-driven digital transformation, focusing on the role of Digital Asset Management (DAM) in these efforts.

Understanding ESG in the Digital Era

ESG criteria measure a company’s impact on society and the environment, highlighting the importance of responsible business operations. 

‘Environmental’ looks at what an organization is doing to limit its carbon impact, manage waste, and support sustainable initiatives. 

‘Social’ is about how a company manages its relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities in which it operates. For example, ensuring a balanced and diverse recruitment process. 

‘Governance’ standards ensure a company pursues integrity and diversity when selecting leadership and uses transparent accounting methods. At Wedia, our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitments are shared with employees and subject to consistent review to ensure commitments are being met.

Organizations that perform well in these areas enjoy many benefits including reduced risk, lower costs, better employee retention, and increased sales. According to McKinsey, 70% of studies have found a positive relationship between ESG scores and financial returns, whether measured by equity returns, profitability, or valuation multiples.

Digital Transformation's Role in ESG

Digital transformation provides tools like data analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and blockchain to enhance ESG initiatives. These technologies enable organizations to track their ESG performance with greater precision. For example, a hospital could use Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to track water usage, waste production, and energy consumption. 

Cloud computing is another example of digital technology that optimizes server utilization and reduces a company’s overall energy consumption. It also better facilitates remote working, removing the need for employees to travel to work every day of the week or at peak times, reducing their carbon footprint. DAM systems play a critical role in ESG integration by centralizing digital assets, thereby enhancing accessibility and reducing redundancies. They enable organizations to track the lifecycle of ESG-related documents and multimedia content, simplifying compliance and reporting processes.

Then there are digital platforms that enable companies to share real-time ESG updates with employees, gather feedback, and provide a two-way communication channel.

Setting ESG Objectives 

Before you can set specific data-driven ESG goals, organizations need to understand their broader objectives and reasons for committing to ESG.

Here are some examples of those objectives and how digital tools support them.

Enhance Data Collection and Reporting

Objective: Implement data analytics to track ESG metrics accurately.

To achieve this, organizations should use digital tools to gather real-time data on ESG indicators. A user-friendly platform that can collect and translate data into practical action for employees is essential. 

Improve Stakeholder Engagement

Objective: Leverage digital platforms to strengthen stakeholder relations.

Digital tools help organizations conduct surveys and focus groups on factors like employee satisfaction and diversity and inclusion metrics, which play a crucial role in an ESG strategy. Interactive tools and social media can be utilized to communicate ESG goals and accomplishments across the company. 

Ensure Greater Accountability

Objective: Improve transparency and oversight in ESG practices.

Digital technology like blockchain creates immutable records of ESG data, such as carbon credits or supply chain due diligence. With a system like DAM, organizations can manage and archive all digital assets related to ESG activities, ensuring well-organized documentation and accessible evidence of compliance for audits and reviews.

Accelerate Value Creation

Objective: Enhance ESG contributions to business growth using digital tools.

Organizations must ensure that ESG reporting is given the same weight as financial reporting. To do this, companies should gather relevant data from a wide range of sources to get a full picture of how ESG initiatives impact sales growth, employee retention, productivity, and more. 

Turning Objectives Into SMART Goals & How DAM Can Help 

Once you’ve defined your broader ESG objectives, it’s time to drill down into more specific goals. These goals should be rooted in concrete data to ensure their relevance and effectiveness.

Here are some of the goals you might consider under the “E”, “S”, and “G” of ESG and how DAM specifically can help you achieve them.

Environmental Goals

Example goal

How DAM can help organizations get there

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030

  • Implement DAM to decrease the number of physical assets by 50%, reducing the company's carbon footprint from transportation and storage

Reduce annual energy consumption by 15%

  • Use DAM to store digital assets in secure and energy-efficient servers
  • Optimize formats, sizes, and quality to reduce bandwidth consumption and speed up delivery

Reduce data waste by 40% by 2026

  • Implement DAM to reuse and recycle assets, and prevent waste associated with content duplication
  • Advanced search features ensure quick access, reducing the time and energy spent searching for assets and promoting their reuse instead of creating new ones

A Single Source Of Truth Prevents Unnecessary Waste

One of the main ways that DAM enables sustainable content management is by offering a centralized database. This reduces an organization’s reliance on multiple, energy-intensive tools that all do (essentially) the same thing and replaces it with a ‘since source of truth’ that makes it easy to find, sort, and filter digital assets.

A DAM system like Wedia will support you in these sustainability efforts. For example, inside the Wedia dashboard, users are given a sustainability score and actionable insights to enhance environmental efficiency. Things like removing unused, duplicate or expired assets will be suggested, which directly impacts their sustainability score and demonstrates the tangible benefits of sustainable content management

Social Goals

Example goal

How DAM can help organizations get there

Maintain a comfortable work-life balance for employees

  • Implement a DAM to digitize assets and streamline workflows, removing the need for employees to travel to work every day of the week. This helps to foster a culture of collaboration and innovation

Ensure that all marketing materials reflect diversity in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, and abilities

  • DAM can be used to tag and track the usage of images ensuring that various groups are represented fairly across all company materials

Governance Goals

Example goal

How DAM can help organizations get there

Achieve 100% traceability of all edits and accesses to key digital assets by the end of 2025

  • DAM systems can provide comprehensive logs of who accessed what content and when. This is crucial for maintaining transparency in the use and distribution of digital assets and for auditing purposes

Reduce digital asset loss and unauthorized access incidents by 90% by June 2025

Maintain 100% compliance with data protection regulations such as GDPR in Europe

  • By maintaining detailed metadata for each asset, DAM can help ensure that all digital content is tagged with the correct information concerning copyright, usage rights, expiration dates, and other compliance-related details

Meet ESG Objectives With DAM

With digital technology like DAM, organizations are one step closer to achieving their ESG objectives and meeting growing consumer demand for corporate sustainability. 

Ready to try DAM for your organization? Book your free demo here.

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