Sustainability management is quickly becoming a critical part of how organizations manage their emissions and comply with changing climate regulations. There are greenhouse gasses to track, emissions data to collect, and stakeholders to keep informed.
The question becomes: How are small to medium enterprises (SME) and large corporations supposed to stay on top of the increasingly demanding task of accurately reporting sustainability data and ensuring compliance?
For that, there’s sustainability management software. The best solutions in the space make the data tracking, insights, and reporting process easy and accessible.
Below, we walk through what exactly sustainability management software is, what features to look for when choosing one to integrate into your corporate sustainability workflow and some of the best solutions worth considering. Let’s dive in.
What is sustainability management software?
Sustainability software is a solution that helps companies manage all the data they produce as a result of their operations. It tracks data from climate information, biodiversity, diversity, waste, and finances. As a tool, it’s designed to help corporate leadership execute governance over sustainability data collection.
Sustainability software also helps organizations effectively communicate accurate data to stakeholders, investors, and regulators. Sustainability software can greatly impact revenue, company valuation, and brand perception. For this reason, robust sustainability software is a key part of any organization’s sustainability and carbon reduction initiatives.
What features to look for in sustainability management software?
The sustainability management software market isn’t necessarily new. But as the need for clear and accurate data management has increased, so has the plethora of tools in the market designed to manage it all.
However, not all sustainability software solutions are built equally. While some are built as end-to-end solutions to track every data point across departments, others cover the basics of data tracking and reporting. All in all, these are some of the most optimal features to consider:
Overall product strength: Some of the basics of vetting any enterprise service and software apply here. Key signifiers like time in the market, historical performance, and even market share give you a better-rounded look at how well a solution manages sustainability data and its initiatives for SMEs and larger organizations.
Additionally, consider whether the sustainability solution was created as an addition to a greater tool or offered as a component of a larger suite of productized solutions. It can be a telling factor in whether the software can scale and grow alongside your organization's needs.
Data processing: Sustainability management software providers should have robust data tracking and reporting capabilities. What specific data points does the sustainability management software you’re considering track? Consider the data tracking needs of your organization, including:
- Sector benchmark reporting
- Supply chain emissions coverage
- Materiality assessments
- Fleet management
- Incident management
- Waste management data
- Mileage records
- Financial reporting
- Facilities management data
- Energy consumption rate data
Reliable support: Experts offering plenty of support and insight is a critical part of a sustainability management solution that will take you beyond the basics of data tracking and reporting. When considering a sustainability solution, it helps to vet the team. It should be knowledgeable in emissions data reporting, environmental management, and ESG performance KPIs. Often, the best teams offer real-time support when necessary.
10 Sustainability Management Software Options To Consider In 2023
Both small and large organizations can take advantage of Persefoni’s sustainability management and carbon accounting software to report on and track all things emissions. With it, organizations can more easily meet climate disclosure requests and work their way to achieving net zero.
Once you upload data, Persefoni’s automation guides you through its carbon tracking process from beginning to end. One particular standout feature of Persefoni’s carbon management and accounting platform is that teams don’t need extensive prior knowledge of climate disclosure frameworks. With the help of its expert support team and a complete self-service onboarding experience, it is easy to incorporate Persefoni and its regulatory-grade framework into your existing workflow.
Specifically, Persefoni enables organizations:
- Track financed emissions calculations
- Compare carbon performance against peers with its Climate Impact Benchmarking Module
- Set net zero targets with its Climate Trajectory Modeling Module
- Meet reporting and disclosure requirements
Learn more about how to get started with Persefoni here.
Workiva is a leading sustainability management platform, providing Workiva’s user-friendly drag-and-drop capabilities and enabling teams to create data sets and reports quickly. It also emphasizes automation by allowing teams to set up and automate task assignments, manage approvals, and update data.
Workiva focuses on making sustainability management and reporting easy and accessible, not so much on complexity or the use of AI for advanced reporting. It can be a great tool for teams that struggle with disjointed data, time-consuming manual processes, and data assurance. For example, in terms of data connectivity, Workiva connects cloud and on-premise data sources to ensure organizations see the complete picture.
Novata is a sustainability solution specializing in the private markets, giving general partners and portfolio companies a clear, simple, customized technology platform for seamless data collection, reporting, and insights.
Offering a fully customizable experience across the full spectrum of sustainability metrics, Novata allows its customer base to design a full-service experience to make its sustainability journey accessible and achievable.
As sustainability software, Ecometrica is built with tools that enable organizations to manage impact reporting, monitor climate change risk, and achieve compliance. Additionally, it also enables organizations to run supply chain risk monitoring.
You can analyze and monitor a global portfolio of commodities, assets, suppliers, and even sourcing regions with features like:
- Area filters
- Area search
- Built-in display layers
- Built-in time-series layers
For example, organizations can get ahead of forest or water risks by using the profiler to monitor deforestation risks and restoration history. Gauging future water risks based on climate predictions is also made possible. However, Ecometrica also offers a bespoke solution to organizations looking for a tailored solution.
As a sustainability management solution, Quentic is focused on being a unified cloud-based system for both EHSQ and ESG management. Through a mix of data analysis tools, and integrated systems Quentic structures your sustainability processes comprehensively.
Through its ability to collect and process indicator data, organizations can get comprehensive insights to improve their sustainability performance. Once you set deadlines, organize reporting, and use its analytics dashboard, departments can develop a more actionable and comprehensive sustainability program.
Sustainability is quickly becoming a key factor in an organization’s revenue growth. For that reason, Cority seeks to centralize the need to track sustainability metrics, including:
- Air emissions management
- Waste management
- Water management
- Sustainability and ESG software
- Risk management tools
- Chemical management
Rather than only focusing on ESG and sustainability management as their principal area of expertise, Cority aims to cover more ground with its suite of environmental solutions. While this might work for some organizations, it might not fit the needs of smaller SMBs.
7. Scope 5
Scope 5 aims to centralize your ESG data into one comprehensive repository you can use to draw insights and make sustainability decisions like science-based targets and carbon fees. However, Scope 5 doesn’t just offer standalone software. Accompanied by turnkey consulting solutions, it can help organizations pinpoint wasteful resource management and extract data-driven insights.
The consulting feature can be a great value-add for companies that are barely starting to get a handle on their sustainability efforts. Scope 5’s software and consulting offerings can be helpful for up-and-coming organizations that need to meet stakeholder expectations and centralize their data management efforts.
8. Benchmark Solutions
As a sustainability management system, Benchmark Solutions focuses on collaborative ESG reporting across an organization. This ensures quality with the end goal of helping organizations build trust and rapport with stakeholders.
Benchmark Solutions gathers data and ensures organizations can manage it with access controls. Building reports is made easier with drag-and-drop functionalities, perfect for teams that constantly need to stay on top of building reports and communicate clearly with stakeholders. It’s built so that data teams within organizations can respond seamlessly to every ESG data disclosure request.
Diligent offers tools and features that simplify ESG reporting and tracking tasks. It aims to unify data by gathering it all from spreadsheets, surveys, and additional applications organizations use to keep track of key data records like global waste and disposal rates, and greenhouse gas calculations.
Diligent works best for organizations needing a suite of tools that ease the process of collecting and then reporting on that data in a straightforward process. However, increasingly complex tasks beyond basic reporting and data tracking may require an end-to-end management option.
Metrio’s focus is on centralizing data. You can expect the usual suite of tools sustainability tools offer. This includes data tracking, analytics, and stakeholder engagement tools.
With Metrio, you can publish multi-format reports with built-in data frameworks you can customize to make your own. It approaches data collection by shortening the process. With both automated and manual features, Metrio requires documentation for any data entries and centralizes records in one place.
Meanwhile, administrators can closely monitor the data to conclude which points get approved or otherwise. One of Metrio’s standout features is that, unlike other ESG software that only offers ESG expert support, Metrio emphasizes offering IT support. As ESG software, Metrio has a history of working with Fortune 500 companies and SMEs across industries.
Do more with sustainability software
The critical need for both large and small organizations to manage and report their sustainability initiatives with complete transparency can’t be ignored. The growing complexity of supply chains and the constant need to cut down on emissions calls for systems and tools highly tailored to those needs.
Thankfully, today’s organizations don’t have to leave stakeholders in the dark regarding reporting on mission-critical metrics like greenhouse gas emissions and their actions to mitigate their carbon footprint. With reporting software like Persefoni, organizations can get an end-to-end look into their emissions control efforts with accurate data, expert support, and accessible analytics.
Learn more about Persefoni, an industry-leading climate disclosure, and carbon management solution.