Insights on ESG Reporting Challenges & Automation Solutions

Explore UiPath’s groundbreaking study on ESG reporting challenges and the transformative power of automation.

UiPath, a prominent enterprise automation software firm, has introduced a fresh study on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. The study delves into the common challenges organizations face in ESG reporting and suggests approaches to extract value from ESG data. With escalating ESG reporting standards, businesses encounter difficulties in collecting and presenting precise data, an area where innovations like automation offer substantial assistance.

According to the report, 58% of senior decision-makers in Singapore-based businesses regard data inaccuracies or poor quality as a significant hurdle in ESG data collection. About 53% are contemplating investments in automation to bolster ESG data management.

Conducted by UiPath in collaboration with Eco-Business, the study titled “Navigating ESG Reporting Challenges Through Innovation and Collaboration” gathers insights from senior decision-makers in various sectors across Australia and Singapore. Among the facets of ESG reporting, data collection emerges as the most demanding, with 79% of Singapore respondents citing its resource-intensive nature. Moreover, 56% reported inconsistent and irregular data collection procedures, with reliance on time-consuming methods like spreadsheets (70%) and manual entry (60%), prone to human errors.

To address these challenges, companies are increasingly turning to automation. In Singapore, 35% have already adopted automation for ESG management, and 50% are considering it to enhance ESG outcomes.

Jess O’Reilly, Area Vice President, Asia at UiPath, highlights the role of automation in translating ESG intentions into actionable strategies. Software robots streamline compliance processes, simplify data collection, and aid in understanding performance against ESG initiatives, ultimately improving sustainability management.

Singapore’s upcoming regulations mandate climate-related disclosures for public and private companies by 2025 and 2027, respectively, creating the necessity for more efficient reporting processes. Technology investments, particularly in automation, can assist in robust ESG data collection, validation, and reporting to meet these requirements.

However, maximizing the benefits of automation necessitates stronger collaboration between sustainability and IT teams, an area where only 36% of surveyed Singaporean business leaders report occasional interactions. Breaking down silos between these teams facilitates resource-sharing, grants access to AI-powered automation tools for analysis, and enhances ESG data processes.

Despite notable productivity improvements (61%) and a significant impact reported by 13% in Singapore, only 24% of surveyed companies leverage automation in data reporting. AI-powered software robots offer capabilities to monitor key ESG metrics, streamline data processes, and provide real-time insights for informed decision-making.

Promoting shared responsibility and accountability between IT and sustainability teams optimizes sustainability efforts within organizations. Yet, there’s observed lack of designated sustainability roles among technology decision-makers (23%), inadequate definition of existing responsibilities (35%), and limited involvement of company decision-makers in sustainability committees (15%).

Moving forward, an integrated approach is essential, encompassing clear ESG goals, seamless implementation of automation tools, and fostering an automation-driven culture across organizations. Such an approach, as emphasized by O’Reilly, paves the way for improved data-sharing, streamlined workflows, and better decision-making, benefitting businesses and society at large.

In a landscape marked by increasingly stringent ESG reporting demands, the transformative potential of automation stands as a beacon of progress for organizations striving toward sustainability. As businesses grapple with the complexities of data accuracy and reporting, the adoption of automation emerges not only as a solution but a catalyst for enhanced collaboration between IT and sustainability teams. This final stride towards an integrated approach promises streamlined processes, informed decision-making, and ultimately, a tangible contribution to a more sustainable future. As UiPath’s study illuminates, the journey towards ESG excellence is not merely about adopting technology but embracing a mindset that embeds automation at the core of responsible and forward-thinking business practices.