Why Sustainability Analytics is Essential in your Journey Towards Achieving your ESG Goals - Brillio
                           Brinditha Rai July 26, 2023

Why Sustainability Analytics is Essential in your Journey Towards Achieving your ESG Goals

A reliable net zero approach should now be part of every informed business strategy. Learn how to overcome the most common challenges in achieving your net zero goals leveraging Sustainability Analytics.

An increasing number of organizations want to do their share in actively contributing to sustainability goals and saving the environment. Certainly, multinational guidelines like the Net Zero Coalition’s demand to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 play into that decision. As a result, reducing the business’s carbon footprint is among the top priorities for each of these companies.

In addition to respecting U.N. goals and avoiding future compliance issues, sustainability efforts can also drive brand value as well as customer and employee engagement.

While enterprises pivot toward a strong focus on environmental, social and governance matters (ESG), they’re facing an array of challenges. Once they’ve committed to environmental goals, these businesses are finding that CO2 emissions represent only a fraction of a comprehensive strategy. That still leaves clean water and energy, responsible production and protecting ecosystems on land — not to speak of social and governance issues like equality or inclusivity.

As if the growing list of objectives wasn’t enough, these organizations also need to process enormous amounts of data to validate their sustainability claims. The following are the biggest challenges in achieving net zero goals and how your organization can overcome them.

Once You Know Where To Look, Sustainability Goals Become Achievable

Whether you’re looking at long-term sustainability guidelines or an individual corporation’s agenda, environmental goals are hardly ever a problem. The true challenge is bigger than all environmental and social considerations combined, simply because it affects each one, and that challenge is visibility.

Many organizations pivoting toward positioning themselves as champions of ESG are sitting on large amounts of data across their entire value chains without a coherent action plan or analysis strategy.

When we look at positive examples, we often forget the work and in-depth processing that goes into these organizations’ progress. McDonald’s, for example, highlights its focus on sourcing beef, as well as fish for its Filet-O-Fish® burgers, sustainably. But behind a seemingly simple statement like this there are years, if not decades, of data analysis and reporting on subjects ranging from animal health and packaging to climate action and responsible antibiotic use.

Most organizations struggle to either collect or to analyze the data necessary for this level of accountability, and the problems they face may manifest themselves in different ways:

  • Manual data collection: Some businesses still rely on manual processing, which is increasingly ill-suited to handle the volumes of data common today. As a result, their processes are more time-consuming and lack the transparency necessary to gain actionable insights.
  • No standardization: Without strong standardization initiatives across departments and suppliers, users are constantly confronted with the task of integrating new data formats into their solutions.
  • Multiple metrics: Tackling ESG goals is already challenging, but if stakeholders can’t agree on KPIs within an organization, they’re acting in the dark with no sense of direction.
  • Inconsistent industry standards: ESG standards can be hard to compare from one enterprise to another, especially if they’re in different industries. That’s why it’s advisable to benchmark against past performance or relative to competitors in a business’s niche.
  • Ill-defined company positioning: An organization without clear policies is like a ship without a rudder. Clearly documenting the business’s position keeps the organization accountable over time and ensures each department knows how to contribute.
  • Lack of investment: Whether the problem is deficient procedures, or a lack of teams dedicated to the sustainability strategy, an organization needs to fight back by allocating the proper resources to its environmental, health and safety policies.

Data analytics can help address many of these issues. Creating a clear ESG data strategy ensures you collect the right data from the right source systems while defining KPIs across your business that reflect best practices and common industry standards. This allows you to integrate your sustainability strategy into your business operations to drive the right actions to achieve the end goals.

The Benefits of Relying on a Targeted Sustainability Analytics Solution

As a business leader reporting on ESG goals, you want to not only have clearly defined goals but also know where to find the data that will help you get there. In this situation, most businesses rely on spreadsheets. And while there’s nothing wrong with Excel, it can only deliver static data in one format, which will significantly limit you in analyzing the flood of records in disparate systems and file formats.

Let’s say you’re trying to find out which delivery routes are contributing the most to your overall carbon emissions, which is a critical question in route optimization.

If one of your vendors relies on an industry software tool to manage its operations and you aim to track that partner’s effect on your emission goals through spreadsheets, the two systems will effectively fight each other.

However, with proper data analysis, you can not only find the optimal route, but even determine the best combination of seaway, airway and road transportation to achieve the lowest number of emissions. Keep in mind, this applies equally to carbon emission or all other aspects of environment, social or governance metrics.

With proper sustainability metrics, you can track everything from greenhouse gas emissions to your enterprise’s social impact for meaningful reporting and the peace of mind that you’re making a difference.

Brillio Provides the Sustainability Insights You Need

To provide organizations with a holistic view of their ESG goals and accomplishments, Brillio has built an ESG solution that gives you a holistic view of your enterprises sustainability metrics while solving for the underlying data issues.

This solution provides a foundational layer that helps businesses get comprehensive and in-depth insights into their current state in an accelerated manner. Sustainability Analytics coupled with our Supply Chain Digital Twin solutions can drive visibility into each organization’s ESG footprint and drive optimization to achieve sustainability goals.

If you would like to learn more about how Brillio can help your organization achieve ESG goals, let’s connect! We’d love to hear from you.

About the Author


Brinditha Rai

Brinditha leads the Insights & Analytics team as Senior Director at Brillio’s Data & AI Practice. She’s responsible for Data Analytics and BI capability build and talent development to meet the demands of the ever-changing technology landscape and solves customer problems leveraging Business Intelligence, Digital Analytics & AI enabled BI.

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