How Mature Is Your ESG Data Analytics Practice?
A business’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance, including its extended network of suppliers, partners, and distributors, increasingly affects not just its reputation, but also its operations and market position. How mature is your organization’s ESG data analytics practice? Take our short self-evaluation to find out.
The evaluation will yield customized results and recommendations based on your responses and should take no more than 2 minutes to complete.
Collection: Please rate your organization’s ability or skill level in each of the following areas related to collecting ESG data. (Select one per row.)
Analysis: Please rate your organization’s ability or skill level in each of the following areas related to analyzing ESG data and performance. (Select one per row.)
Application: Please rate your organization’s ability or skill level in each of the following areas related to applying ESG analytics. (Select one per row.)
Reporting: Please rate your organization’s ability or skill level in each of the following areas related to reporting ESG data, analytics, and performance (internal and external). (Select one per row.)
A business’s ESG performance depends on multiple core ESG data capabilities. Our evaluation evaluates participants across four key areas of competency:
Organizations that focus on mastering the core capabilities of ESG data analytics find ways to go beyond compliance and add value.
Your maturity result: Mature Progressing Emerging
Your score means your ESG data and analytics maturity is in the emerging stage.
- Your data collection is ad hoc and focuses on standard office technologies like spreadsheets and email.
- You’re duplicating data and work when you need to report the same, or similar, data to different ESG frameworks or authorities.
- ESG at your firm is almost entirely focused on compliance and provides a rear-looking, point-in-time understanding of your company’s ESG performance.
ESG data and analytics needs started out at a drip, but they’re now flowing much faster across the organization, and your business runs the risk of falling behind. It is time to:
Establish ESG data and analytics as a core competency across the business with dedicated headcount and budget for technology and services.
As you work to help your organization navigate ESG data and analytics more effectively, you should consider:
- Helping the business take a broader, more strategic view of its ESG exposure and strategy by running a process of capturing and reporting on the differing ESG needs and priorities of your stakeholders.
- Kicking off a strategic process together with your IT organization to begin improving how ESG data is defined and managed.
- Partnering with the procurement and/or purchasing organization at your firm to create a stronger, more holistic approach to collecting and analyzing ESG data from your suppliers.
Your score means your ESG data and analytics maturity has advanced to the progressing stage. You use some fit-for-purpose tools and technologies to support ESG data collection and analysis and report on ESG to different stakeholders. Some of your next steps towards ESG data and analytics maturity could include:
- Creating an ESG data working group that incorporates a member from each of your finance, enterprise risk, IT, procurement/purchasing, and operations organizations to increase alignment on needs as well as momentum for ESG data and analytics innovation.
- Establishing clear workflows for ESG data collection, normalization, and analysis, and building the business case to support these workflows through internal resources or dedicated third-party providers.
- Reviewing the market’s offerings for ESG ratings and benchmark data to underpin goal setting, as well as ESG data management and reporting technology and services.
- Doubling down on your organization’s capabilities to translate or normalize reported data across multiple frameworks, starting with high-impact areas and carbon reporting, which will attract more reporting focus for coming years.
- Starting data-driven conversations around ESG performance with key teams responsible for areas prioritized for ESG improvement, during which you work collectively to define success and discuss how performance is logged and reported.
- Bringing ESG data and analyses to the highest levels of the organization (e.g., board presentations) to inform discussions around risk, reputation, and values.
Congratulations, your score means that your ESG data and analytics are mature!
- You have a dedicated ESG capability of some kind, led in-house but potentially incorporating dedicated third-party ESG services.
- You’re comparably sophisticated at managing ESG data across the primary frameworks (e.g., SASB, GRI, or the UN’s SDGs).
- You’re reporting on ESG in a way that enables the right conversations on ESG performance to happen regularly across the company.
If you are not already, improve your game and shift from a focus on risk and compliance to value generation and innovation.
- Start using ESG data as an input to discussions around product and service innovation based on where your business is leading or seeing unique challenges before the competition.
- Explore new innovations in ESG data based on AI-driven modeling, which can create forward-looking analyses of your performance or feed into unique scenario analyses.
- Open discussions with the finance organization around how ESG performance is linked to corporate funding (e.g., sustainability-linked loans or bonds).
- Work with brand and marketing teams to explore how the business can, with complete transparency and data-driven integrity, tell a story of sustainable leadership and ongoing commitment.
Read the research
Thank you for taking the time to complete the ESG Maturity Evaluation! Do you need more information on what to do next? Click here to read the commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Dun & Bradstreet, "ESG Is Not Optional Anymore," and learn more about how to improve and further mature your company’s ESG data analytics.
Methodology And Disclaimers
In this study, Forrester conducted an online survey of 268 ESG performance decision-makers in compliance, sustainability, procurement, finance, and risk roles at global enterprises in the US, Canada, and the UK to evaluate the current state of their ESG data analytics capabilities, performance, and strategy. The study was completed in April 2022.
Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy and completeness of this assessment, Dun & Bradstreet and Forrester are unable to accept any legal responsibility for any actions taken on the basis of the information contained herein.