The Rise of ESG: Why You Should Embrace It & How ServiceNow Can Help?

 

The corporate world has always been bound by strict regulations and ethical practices in its business operations. People and Planet – these two are increasingly becoming the most important focus areas for businesses adopting the sustainable route. Organizations must ensure their operations revolve around protecting the environment, and the people they relate with and ensure strict governance to build a robust reputation among all stakeholders.

Enterprises can no longer sustain themselves in the market with a self-centric approach. The world is far more interconnected today and businesses must shift their perspective from “short-term profitability” to “long-term sustainability”. In today’s business world, the success of an organization is determined by its sustainable business practices, and enterprises are expected to adopt a long-term holistic approach to create a positive impact on all stakeholders, employees, and customers.

Furthermore, there is increasing pressure on companies to apply governance best practices to eliminate corruption and ensure ethical business proceedings. Today, investors demand transparency in business operations due to the various regulatory requirements and legal compliances.

Hence, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors have become an inextricable part of businesses seeking to create value for all their stakeholders. In the last two years, the global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic has further augmented the need to follow ESG practices for corporates to ensure sustainability, efficient management, transparency, and responsible undertaking.

Benefits of Implementing ESG Practices Across Your Enterprise

1. Business Expansion:

Activating ESG assists enterprises in complying with legal requirements efficiently and handling businesses with integrity. This helps build trust among the governing authority. Such credibility allows organizations to explore multiple opportunities in different markets. This gives an assurance to consumers and investors that the business is being carried out diligently and, in an environment-friendly manner, especially in the case of energy and utility companies. Besides, it helps companies in tackling competitive challenges.

2. Talent Acquisition:

Adopting ESG initiatives that highly value employee rights and social requirements helps companies attract new and capable candidates and increase employee trust and retention rates. The demand among the workforce to be a part of the company rises when there is an effective ESG strategy in place. Besides, it can act as a key performance indicator for companies.

3. Prevent Activists’ Intervention:

Activists are always on the lookout for companies that lack governance and do not comply with regulatory requirements. Implementing strong ESG initiatives can tackle environmental and social issues, establish credibility, and avoid activist intervention.

Adopting ESG initiatives that highly value employee rights and social requirements helps companies attract new and capable candidates and increase employee trust and retention rates. The demand among the workforce to be a part of the company rises when there is an effective ESG strategy in place. Besides, it can act as a key performance indicator for companies.

A research report by IDC, released in October 2021, states that 72% of organizations consider sustainability to be an important business priority and 77% are already moving ahead with their programs.

However, many enterprises lack the required resources and expertise to implement ESG initiatives. They need help!

  • 74% lack sustainability expertise and capabilities
  • 61% need IT tools to report and measure on impact
  • 59% believe the necessary operational technology hasn’t yet been invented
  • ServiceNow fills this gap efficiently and helps enterprises achieve their ESG goals – transform business processes, deliver business value to all stakeholders, and build reputation and trust among investors – with its digital workflow solutions.

    Let’s learn more about the role of ServiceNow in supporting ESG practices across the board.

    ServiceNow ESG – An Integrated Solution

    ServiceNow emphasizes the need to develop a sustainable, community-oriented, and forthright business model that contributes to enterprise growth. Today, organizations must invest their time and effort into developing and mobilizing their ESG initiatives effectively.

    According to a 2021 C-suite survey conducted by ServiceNow, 81% of enterprises considered ESG as a top responsibility.

    ServiceNow helps businesses scale by digitizing traditional processes through cloud-based solutions that leverage automation and machine learning algorithms to eliminate tedious processes, optimize employee productivity and enhance customer experience.

    ServiceNow, with its wide-ranging applications and solutions, helps mobilize ESG strategies and eliminates silos for companies, enabling them to stay ahead of competitors, encouraging socio-economic initiatives, and ensuring long-term sustainability.

    Here are some of the key building blocks of ServiceNow ESG:

    a) ServiceNow Hardware Asset Management (HAM) (‘Environmental’ Use Case)

    The current business world is moving towards digital transformation, and the deployment of technologies is increasing the amount of e-waste. Therefore, it is essential to adopt sustainable environmental practices to manage and reduce the production of such e-wastes.

    According to a report by Global E-waste Statistics Partnership, worldwide e-waste is estimated to reach 74 Mt by 2030, almost double the 2014 figure, fueled by higher electric and electronic consumption rates, shorter life cycles, and limited repair options.

    And, to lower the impact of e-waste, companies must utilize their IT assets sensibly and efficiently, and dispose of these assets responsibly. But to ensure this whole process gets carried out proficiently, businesses need to understand and have visibility over their assets’ lifecycle. Moreover, many enterprises lack the required knowledge and resources to invest in an efficient asset management process.

    To assist businesses in managing their IT assets adeptly, ServiceNow offers a modern Hardware Asset Management (HAM) solution as part of the ServiceNow IT Asset Management suite. HAM enables companies to track the status of their IT assets and reduce failure rates and discard old equipment or reuse them accordingly. Besides, it helps companies analyze asset utilization and demand to purchase assets only when required and avoid over-purchasing.

    b) ServiceNow Safe Workplace Suite (‘Social’ Use Case)

    Enterprises across every industry are expected to focus on creating a socially responsible workplace and ensure employee well-being to maintain and build a robust business reputation. In the current scenario where our society is interconnected through digital platforms, the lack of social orientation practices can increase the chances of hampering enterprise credibility.

    Besides, ever since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become necessary to strengthen employer-employee relationships by leveraging modern technologies to ensure safe workplaces and avoid regulatory violations.

    The ServiceNow Safe Workplace Suite helps mitigate employee safety risks by providing health screening tools and status tracking. It enables managing social distancing criteria and sends alerts to employees if they are in contact with a sick person via data-driven contact tracing.

    Enterprises can get a centralized view of their employees’ status, track vaccination status and enable self-service workplace reservations through a single dashboard. These practices help enterprises elevate their reliability and trust among employees and the public.

    c) ServiceNow Security Operations (‘Governance’ Use Case)

    With the growing stringent regulations and complex legal requirements, the success of an enterprise depends on the level of governance and risk mitigation strategies it adopts. Implementing a robust governance framework is essential to keep up with the current market requirements and build trust among stakeholders.

    Many businesses forgo investing in modern security systems due to a lack of knowledge. And the complexities in today’s workflows and involvement of big data give room for increased privacy threats and vulnerabilities, for which outdated or traditional security practices may not be compatible.

    ServiceNow Security Operations solution helps businesses strengthen and accelerate their security analysis by leveraging automation and machine learning algorithms. It helps categorize and prioritizes sensitive data breaches and vulnerabilities based on severity.

    These digital solutions help enhance collaboration between security and IT teams through centralized dashboards and reporting capabilities. This way, the trustworthiness of the enterprise is showcased to the investors to make informed decisions.

     

    d) ServiceNow ESG Management and Reporting (ESGMR)

    An All-in-one Solution to Monitor and Streamline Your ESG Initiatives

    Traditional operational procedures can be inefficient in the current business world that deploys advanced technologies and modern solutions. And handling ESG programs comes under the same umbrella where companies need to utilize digital solutions to oversee their operations effectively.

    Enterprises need to have control and visibility over their ESG initiatives to avoid uncertainties and disrupting workflows. Traditional processes may not be enough to fulfill these requirements. This is where ServiceNow comes into the picture.

    ServiceNow provides a platform – ESG Management and Reporting (ESGMR) to drive ESG programs across the organization, allowing end-to-end visibility and automated processes. ServiceNow ESGMR helps visualize and document ESG performance in a single platform with on-demand dashboards. It leverages automation to help collect, organize and report ESG data and metrics for companies. The goal here is to provide enterprises with a centralized view to monitor and streamline their ESG initiatives.

    The Way Forward…

    Running an enterprise is not just about having a profit-oriented business plan. It involves developing a collective operating model that highlights the diligent work culture and abides by government regulations.

    For instance, in 2021, the Biden Administration signified that racial equity would be a core focus. President Biden issued his first executive order on advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities through the Federal Government. Since then, several initiatives taken by Biden have emphasized attention to racial equity and diversity.

    Enterprises must prioritize this collective approach for sustaining their business in the market and building a robust reputation in the long run.

    ServiceNow evaluates business requirements and helps establish this silo-defying approach through modern automated solutions and creates long-term value for enterprises.

    KANINI, a ServiceNow premier partner, helps enterprises implement ServiceNow solutions seamlessly. Please contact us to know more about how we can help you with your ESG initiatives.

    Author

    Jason Wischer
    Working as an Advisory Consultant with KANINI, Jason Wischer gets to build human connections between processes and technology. Jason’s core focus has been working across the ServiceNow platform providing business advice on implementations with the ITSM, ITOM, ITAM, ITBM, CSM, HAM, HRSD, and security and risk applications. He has drawn from his experience working with several different tools such as BMC, JIRA, and Microsoft M365 to provide a technology-agnostic approach to managing service.