We are in the era of sustainability, and more stakeholders are demanding ethical business operations. At the lower level, customers, partners, suppliers, and communities are insisting that every company must be responsible for working towards making the planet a better place for all. All about environmental compliance software just below.
At a higher level, governments and international organizations are setting policies/ laws to promote the adoption of sustainability-related solutions. If your enterprise is yet to start the sustainability journey, we must say that compliance with emerging regulatory requirements can be pretty tough.
The biggest challenge faced by companies based on ESG and EHS requirements is how to accurately handle or manage data for sustainability.
Often, gathering information and processing it is a tall order, especially when a company lacks the required skills and time. To address this challenge, you need to get the right environmental compliance software and reporting solution for your company, but how do you go about it?
This post identifies the common mistakes to avoid when selecting an ESG or EHS compliance and reporting app.
Mistakes Managers Make Selecting Environmental Compliance Software
The following are the biggest mistakes that companies and managers make when selecting environmental management software or environmental health and safety tools/ products for tracking sustainability efforts. So, make sure to avoid them for optimal performance of your company, better ESG reporting, and ensure a high ESG rating in your industry:
Not Internalizing the Concept of ESG for Your Company
The first major mistake that companies make is rushing to buy software solutions to manage their products or services without understanding the whole concept of sustainability. It is a major risk. They fail to answer two crucial questions, “why does my company need ESG software?” and “where will it be used to help improve services or product performance?”
This mistake results in selecting apps that do not match your business needs. If you select tools designed for businesses that offer financial services via their websites online while yours manufactures products for sale, there is a risk of poor performance.
The solution might also not help with regulatory compliance and you are likely to incur huge losses at all levels, from product design to waste management and report creation.
This is why you should understand what ESG is, its crucial features or pillars, and how it can help the organization become a better enterprise.
The adoption of ESG reporting demonstrates a commitment to sustainable practices and responsible corporate citizenship.
You should take a closer look at ESG/ EHS and appreciate that it is not an “end product” as many people think, but a continuous process aimed at helping brands improve how they perform regulatory compliance, and overall management. This means that the environmental compliance software you select should help to demonstrate this continuity.
For example, if you plan to cut down the company’s carbon footprint by 50% in the next five years, the app should help to accurately capture the entire journey and track the challenges for clients/ stakeholders to see.
When stakeholders look at the final ESG report, which outlines your business’s impacts on water, air, and emissions, they want to be convinced of how you did. Therefore, it is prudent to ensure sustainability is part of every part of the organization’s management all the time.
A good app makes it possible to manage the risks and helps to generate comprehensive reports by identifying a goal and tracking it to the end of the reporting phase.
It also helps to improve a company’s performance in different areas, such as product design and waste minimization, in the next phase depending on current achievements.
Selecting Apps Not Designed for Their Industries
When designing environmental, health, and safety (EHS) or ESG apps/solutions, some developers opt to only focus on specific industries. This is the reason you will find some ESG programs working very well for industrial manufacturing companies and others for the finance industry.
Therefore, selecting environmental compliance software without factoring in your industry could result in picking the wrong option.
Think of the key components that your business works with, from water to other resources, and establish if the solution can help to accurately track their management.
To be sure that the app or platform will work in your company, consider carrying out some due diligence before acquiring them. Particularly, it is advisable to check back and establish how effectively the tool helps other businesses in your niche.
You might even ask for a demonstration of the sustainability platform by the company’s experts to determine how it would work in your situation. If the app/ platform comes with a free trial option, make sure to utilize it too to test its effectiveness.
Working with Programs that Risk Your Company Data
ESG/ environmental, health and Safety (EHS) is mainly about data, analysis, and reporting. Time required to achieve specific results and industry also come into play.
Because the data involved touches on all areas of company operations, from financial performance to staff management and regulatory compliance, failing to factor in its safety can be a big mistake. Software without data safeguards can risk crucial information falling into the hands of cyber criminals or competitors.
Therefore, you have to comprehensively interrogate the safety of the selected tools before making the decision to acquire and use them. Think about the products, services, personal data, and compliance demands for your company.
For example, does the app meet your country’s set standards for regulatory compliance? If it does and easily allows you to work with different parameters of interest, go ahead and check the next attribute or feature.
At this point, you should think about the organizational strategies and secrets that should not fall into the hands of third parties. The app you select should come with advanced features for enhanced protection of your organization system.
Even if it comes with specific features that might look complex to use but are necessary for the platform’s performance, ensure they are easy for your team to learn.
The selected environmental compliance software should come with multiple layers of security to ensure that unauthorized persons will not get access. Also, it should allow tracking of the parties that accessed the platform and locations.
For example, one of the requirements of the platform might be that users can only access the app or push forward free requests when at the workplace using specific cloud services.
Only a few of the trusted officers in the management should be allowed to access the platform or specific features of the sustainability management tools outside the business’s official premises.
If you work with EHS/ ESG management team members and they need to run various operations separately, the app should make it possible to grant access rights only to them via the cloud.
The production manager should be able to log in and provide information for tracking emissions while the legal compliance officer can quickly key in a new risk based on emerging policies. This is crucial in making the information in the ESG report easy to verify.
Other useful data protection considerations include that you should consider include:
- Multiple backups on the cloud to reduce the risk of data loss.
This is particularly crucial at a time like now when every business, no matter the industry, is faced with the risk of ransomware. With a reliable backup, it becomes easy to restore the system and ensure product development or production continues with minimal disturbance.
- Multi-factor authentication for members granted access rights.
No unauthorized persons should be able to access your business or ESG platform. Therefore, the app should be able to identify the authorized user and note when a different person tries to gain access. It can even come with specific alarms as crucial benchmarks for notifying your business that unauthorized access was granted or declined.
- Regular updates by the developer to enhance the safety of the app.
When you get a solution to track a business’s ESG performance, be it water use, emissions, or focus on waste reduction, know that cybercriminals are always looking for ways to break in.
Therefore, the app developer should provide the assurance of regular free updates to guarantee optimal security. This would reduce the danger of cyber criminals getting access to your system through the integrated ESG app.
Environmental compliance software : Failure to Factor in Your Company’s Growth Trajectory
In some cases, managers simply look at the cost of environmental management apps and go for the cheapest. This is likely to result in serious challenges during implementation because such apps come with a lot of restrictions. Also, it is likely to make scaling difficult, forcing you to buy new programs and incurring additional costs.
This could limit focus on sustainability or ESG, especially when targeting to increase focus on new parameters, such as air quality and support for local communities.
When selecting an environmental app, look at the long-term perspective of your company. Even if you want to simply start the process of sustainability, perhaps by changing to energy-saving lamps and training staff on sustainability, the data is expected to increase with time.
Indeed, the activities and operating benchmark will change or be intensive and require a more comprehensive ESG app. Therefore, it will be a good idea to go for the software that allows you to quickly scale operations by adding functionalities, access rights, analysis and easily prepare an ESG report.
Ignoring Customer Support
Once you acquire a new ESG app to track air and emissions, among other attributes of your company, it is important to appreciate that it can break down.
Therefore, failing to check for good customer support for the app is a big mistake. When a breakdown happens, getting help for the integrated app is likely to be a big challenge. The result is likely to be lengthy downtimes and interference with system performance. Here is what you should check to ensure your app comes with good support:
- Visit the developer’s website to see its mission and determine if it is committed to customer value. Reports by previous users can also help you to understand how the developer handles every request, inquiry and complaint.
- Confirm that the company has a dedicated support staff to quickly address issues that might arise along the way. If the software is integrated with the company system and issues, perhaps error reports develop, how fast can the support address the problem?
- A good customer support should have multiple channels for clients to put through queries of requests. These include live chats, toll free lines, and email support. Again, the response should be professional and helpful.
- When you visit the app designer’s website, it should have a lot of information so that the user can access and learn more about the software. When professionally done, most app users will be able to get answers directly to address different requirements and only put forth a request on the most challenging things.
The environmental compliance software you select is very important in helping your company’ team learn and attain its ESG requirements and goals. Therefore, you should make sure to avoid the mistakes we have highlighted in this post. In addition, you should avoid apps with no customer support or offered by low-rated companies.
Contact us on their website for expert assistance on matters of ESG and the best ESG compliance software.