ESG reporting

Set the course now for legally compliant and efficient ESG reporting

The European Parliament adopted the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) at the end of 2022. Numerous companies – capital market-oriented companies, but also many SMEs – will be legally obliged to publish information on the social and ecological impact of their actions (“Environmental, Social, Governance”, or ESG for short) by the beginning of 2025 at the latest and to report on this in accordance with a clearly defined set of criteria. This also creates internal transparency, which in turn provides important impetus and valuable insights into optimization potential, for example how cost savings can be achieved in a corporate network. It is already becoming clear that those who ignore this reporting obligation or do not comply with it adequately will face severe penalties.

The key question is therefore how transparent reporting can be efficiently mapped with IT support and how digitalization and process automation can help to bundle all the necessary data from different sources and make it available in a clear dashboard. In this context, our IT experts explain which three building blocks are essential for successful ESG reporting.

Creating a stable basis: The ESG strategy approach

A stakeholder and materiality analysis is mandatory under the CSRD. This alone shows how important this first building block is. A materiality analysis lays the strategic foundation for a company to identify not only the key objectives and measures in sustainability management, but also those areas of action with the greatest impact. This allows economic, ecological and social impacts to be assessed, enabling a company to formulate concrete sustainability goals and establish appropriate measures for sustainable development.

To ensure that the ESG strategy approach is robust and methodically correct, we at PTA rely on renowned partners such as Steinbeis, one of the world’s most successful service providers in knowledge and technology transfer. Today, Steinbeis is a global network of over 1,100 transfer companies in which 5,200 experts contribute their know-how. In this way, we place your strategic ESG foundation on solid pillars: Because a careful and well-conducted analysis increases transparency, improves stakeholder confidence and strengthens the company’s positioning in the market. On request, our IT experts will also be happy to prepare a detailed analysis of the current status of ESG-relevant data from internal company data sources, i.e. a survey of all data procurement processes that are of central importance for analysis and reporting. As part of the analysis, it is important to determine whether relevant ESG data can be extracted from existing IT systems. Subsequently, the requirements can be defined by means of a detailed determination of the process flows that are necessary for the automated procurement of relevant data for an ESG dashboard.

The processes - or how data procurement can be digitized and automated

Once the strategic ESG foundation has been laid, the actual results are compared with the underlying processes, i.e. the target status, the set goals and measures. Here, our IT consultants explore how ESG reporting can provide the necessary transparency and the underlying reporting structure. The focus here is either on a definition of requirements in accordance with scope verification in accordance with ESRS (European Sustainability Reporting Standards) or a company-specific sustainability management system. This methodology makes it possible to reliably determine which data is required, from which sources it originates and who is responsible for it. With these results, the next step is to determine how this data can be transparently bundled in a suitable data warehouse concept and how its procurement can be digitized and automated in order to finally relieve the management board in the company with suitable dashboards in the course of the reporting obligation.

Implementation - embedding requirements in the IT architecture and using the right tools

Once the strategic foundations, scope verification and data procurement issues have been clarified, the insights gained can be transferred to a suitable IT solution. At the start of such an implementation project, our IT consultants sound out the points at which manual input is required for data collection and the points at which automatic interfaces can be used. Once these requirements have been clarified, it is important to deal with the necessary IT architecture and the right choice of tools.

In-depth advice on the right choice of tool is important. In this context, the question of “make or buy” must be clarified. This means determining whether a company is better off opting for an individually developed solution that uses and integrates relevant parts of the existing IT architecture, for example, or whether the choice of standard software available on the market is more promising. Software manufacturers such as Microsoft and SAP have already launched standardized reporting solutions on the market. In addition, there are now a number of specialized providers for sustainability reporting, such as leadity. Financial as well as sustainability and governance key figures can thus be precisely monitored and controlled. These integrated solutions have the advantage that they can be easily embedded in an entire ecosystem of sustainability solutions and enable the creation of a sustainability solution from a single source.

Your ESG reporting with PTA IT consulting

No matter which path you choose, we are familiar with all common implementation and development methods. As part of our requirements engineering, we work with you to define the requirements for the reporting system to be developed: from data integration using ETL to the development of entire data warehouse architectures. Our agile software development ensures that the benefits for your organization are maximized. For us, this always involves a systematic approach from the project idea to the objectives that we define together to a complete set of requirements that we define. Practiced requirements engineering, a tried-and-tested concept and modern design are important methods and therefore decisive guarantees of success for the quality of such a development or implementation project. Extensive test cycles round off the quality assurance of the solutions we develop.

We help you to establish your individual ESG reporting in your company, to digitize the data required for this and to have it procured automatically. You can also find out what sustainable IT consulting means to us.

Have we sparked your interest?

Dr. Frank Gredel

Head of Business Development

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