Why an ESG data platform is important — and why ServiceNow is the ideal choice

Rik Burgering
6 min read
Drive responsible business with the right ESG data platform

Companies are increasingly looking to ESG data platforms to help drive sustainable and responsible business practices. Data quality, availability, and consistency are essential for ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) compliance — but simultaneously pose some of its largest challenges.

Gathering, validating, and visualizing ESG data is a mammoth task. As such, the right ESG software is essential for organizations to ensure ESG compliance.

At DXC, years of experience working with ServiceNow have shown us it’s an excellent ESG tool. Here, we’ll explore why ESG is so high on corporate agendas. Also, how ServiceNow’s ESG software supports firms to report thoroughly and efficiently on their ESG data. Ultimately, saving both money and time. 


Why is ESG so important?

Evolving laws and regulations are sharpening focus on ESG compliance. Future-proof ESG strategy is imperative in VUCA markets. And ESG reporting is very much on investors’ radars.

However, ESG data management remains a challenge. Legal requirements and standards are being evolved and reassessed, generating uncertainty. Even within the European Sustainability Reporting Standards, due by summer 2024 for financial firms, depth requirements remain ambiguous.

In parallel, most organizations are undergoing digital transformation journeys. Departmental silos persist in businesses, and in their methods of gathering, storing, and communicating ESG data. Different departments, entities, and geographies tend to have point sustainability tools for data collection, which are mostly manual. Data manipulation and analysis then happen outside these tools, hampering traceable ESG audits. As a result, ensuring consistent, reliable, and updated ESG data is a thorny, time-consuming challenge.

For financial firms, ESG data management is particularly complex. As the majority of banks and insurers’ reporting requirements fall within Scope 3, they depend on accurate data provision from clients and vendors. Many firms work with SMEs that currently have no legal requirement to report on ESG factors. This means finance firms are working, at best, with assumed data values.

In addition, organizations need to report on a widening ESG spectrum. ESG audit requirements include climate, biodiversity, water, waste, circular economy, and social factors across the full business value chain (upstream and downstream). No matter if ESG data is sourced from HR, IT, procurement, or suppliers and customers, it needs to be refined into a single, holistic ESG report.

This holistic approach is essential for firms to enhance ESG data transparency, comparability, and readability. This applies to internal reports providing insights that evolve into policy and action, and to external reports for stakeholders. As a crucial element of demonstrating firms’ commitment to sustainability, a holistic ESG report enables and enhances measuring performance, and increasing organizations’ ESG capabilities.

Working with a centralized ESG data platform is the only way to streamline these data gathering, management and reporting processes. 


How an ESG data platform solves business challenges 

The right ESG tool ensures your data is correct, and gathered and stored compliantly. It will also be consistently updated via automations, reducing your team’s manual workload. For instance, you’d auto-receive data center reports on power consumption — with the granularity you need. Think power type; spread; coolant usage; whether month-on-month relative consumption is in line with emission-reduction goals.  

Your ESG platform becomes a single source of truth for your ESG data, facilitating higher-level reporting. It will also improve your ESG data integrity and accessibility, for informed ESG decision-making. Rather than remaining stuck in challenging manual processes, your people can focus on providing the right ESG information, their ability to report on it, and connecting internal ESG strategy with the relevant external standards. Your risk of human error in once-complex ESG data processes will also be minimized.

What is ServiceNow?

ServiceNow offers businesses an ESG data platform solution, with vast OOTB and custom capabilities. Its user-friendliness is a highlight, blending intuitive workflows with the intricate data flows and access permissions needed for effective ESG management. For a multi-layer data approach, without messy data sheets.

The ServiceNow ESG data platform is particularly powerful as it’s built from a single cloud platform, data model, and architecture. It can integrate and communicate with enterprise systems, such as SAP (vital in ESG for procurement), HR software, and data center infrastructure.

The software streamlines collecting, validating, and displaying quantitative and qualitative ESG data from multiple sources. ServiceNow’s executive ESG dashboard enables viewing the status of ESG indicators (including key topics, targets, and announcements) in one place. Automated disclosure keeps your teams informed, with streamlined reporting against ESG standards and regulations such as SASB, TCFD, and CSRD.

Why choose ServiceNow as your ESG data platform?

ServiceNow’s ESG Management Tool supports companies to shape a transparent, efficient approach to ESG data management and ESG reporting. It brings your ESG data into a single platform, ensuring smooth data collection and traceability.

In parallel, ServiceNow’s ESG tool enables implementing robust ESG policy and processes, aligned with business strategy and corporate governance needs. Organization-wide adoption is crucial to ESG progress; ESG strategies must be embedded in daily processes, with all teams clear on roles, responsibilities, and expectations. (As an example, banks’ procurement specialists need to ensure ESG criteria are integral to their vendor assessments.)

With ServiceNow’s ESG software, businesses can:

Leverage ServiceNow products for ESG use cases

Examples include:  
E: Responsible procurement, e-waste management 
S: Safe return to the workplace, vaccine management, employee safety 
G: Governance, ethics & privacy, 3rd-party risk, vulnerability response

Use creator workflows for industry and customer-specific needs

Examples include:  
E: Waste management, green lending 
S: Employee engagement 
G: Vertical-specific ESG compliance workflows

Get a running start with the ServiceNow Store, leveraging integrations and partner-built apps

Examples include:  
E: Carbon tracking, vendor sustainability ratings 
S: Giving and volunteering ESG modules 
G: Data discovery for privacy  


DXC and ServiceNow

At DXC, we use ServiceNow ourselves to improve an array of ESG data. We utilize the ESG data refinement and simplification ServiceNow offers to gain control, improve integrity, and make our ESG disclosure more holistic. With ServiceNow, we’re improving our own operational sustainability, and helping our customers set and achieve their ESG objectives.

To date, ServiceNow has enabled us to:

  • Reduce emissions by 50% since 2019, via our virtual-first business model and data center efficiency initiatives. We aim for a 65% reduction in Scope 1/Scope 2 direct emissions by 2030, alongside engaging our suppliers to reduce Scope 3 emissions.
  • Hone an inclusive, people-first culture. We’ve implemented 20 Employee Resources Groups, and attract and develop diverse talent globally.
  • Instill trust in our stakeholders through transparent ESG disclosures. We have a robust ethics program and invest in information security/data privacy to maintain our best-in-class assurances.

Improve your ESG management with ServiceNow

Without the right ESG software, ESG data management simply can’t be done. At DXC, after over 15 years leading the ServiceNow ecosystem, we know ServiceNow’s power and flexibility are what our clients need: Simplifying ESG data management and generating actionable insights.

DXC ServiceNow Business Group is on hand to help you implement, integrate, and automate ServiceNow for ESG.

To begin your ESG journey, contact us here.

For further insights, read our whitepaper on starting the journey towards ESG enlightenment

Whitepaper Start your journey towards ESG enlightenment



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