Inadequate data the top barrier holding back ESG progress: IBM

IBM
IBM

A recent study by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) finds that both business executives and consumers prioritize environmental sustainability, but inadequate data is a significant challenge for achieving personal and corporate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals.

Executives consider inadequate data as the most significant obstacle to their ESG progress, followed by regulatory barriers, inconsistent standards, and inadequate skills. In contrast, consumers believe that they lack sufficient data to make informed sustainable purchasing or employment decisions.

While 74 percent of executives believe stakeholders understand their organizations’ ESG objectives and performance, only around 4 in 10 surveyed consumers feel they have enough data to make environmentally sustainable purchasing or employment decisions

The study shows that companies see ESG as central to their business strategy and view it as a revenue enabler rather than a cost center. However, only 10% of executives say their organizations have made significant progress toward ESG goals.

The report suggests that organizations looking to overcome data-related challenges and create sustainable change should automate ESG processes, tap AI for enhanced insights, align with ecosystem partners on ESG metric definitions and standards, and establish ESG data governance principles proactively.

The study also shows that companies are investing in ESG and view it as good for business. Additionally, while consumer commitment to sustainability has intensified, consumers do not feel they have sufficient information to make informed choices.

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