It’s time for businesses to make a strategic shift in how they operate: Nimble companies that can reimagine their products and their supply chains to fight climate change are poised to dominate the future economy. With nearly 87% of global GDP covered by a net zero pledge—accounting for over 89% of global emissions—your operations are probably already required to meet these goals. Meeting ESG goals is material to the long term health of an enterprise, and investors and regulators alike are seeking accountability on how these goals will be attained.

ESG compliance can feel like an exercise in box-checking: corporations making  claims to a sustainable and equitable ethos without a clear plan on how to get there. With a plurality of options to sort through—using solar or wind energy, electrifying delivery fleets, sourcing recycled materials—there’s no formula or set of best practices for organizations to achieve their ESG goals. What is clear is that successful businesses will scale sustainability across the entire enterprise, both to adapt to the changing regulatory landscape, and to withstand increasing pressure from investors and other stakeholders.

New policies will hold companies accountable for upstream and downstream impact

Looking at direct suppliers is no longer enough to meet climate impact reporting standards. Currently, many companies focus only on the sustainability of their direct suppliers, with the idea that asking for sustainable practices from first tier partners will create a green cascade that trickles through the rest of the supply chain. These narrowly focused corporate policies, however, ignore the impacts in the outer tiers of the supply chain, which are often riddled with environmental and social management problems.

Forward-looking corporate leaders need to look both upstream at energy use by suppliers and partners, and downstream at distribution, consumer use, and end-of-life treatment of products to gain the full picture of their organization’s environmental footprint. Companies that take the initiative to make their entire supply chain sustainable, gain not only resource conservation and lower costs, but the opportunity to set the standard in their industry for ESG leadership into the next decade.

Plan for a sustainable future

Large businesses are complex, with far-reaching value chains that ripple outward in directions that can be hard to see. Finding the right set of actions, which take into account the complexities of business operations, consider the needs of vendors and partners, and leverage the capabilities of available and relevant technologies is key to driving organizational change.

ACTUAL provides forward thinking leaders with:

  • The ability to get moving quickly, without analysis paralysis
  • The tools to create dynamic plans which take into account the supply chain, location, available technologies, and local regulations
  • A clear path to create OKRs for employees and performance metrics for suppliers
  • Benchmarks and actuals for board and investor management
  • Traceable and auditable capabilities, enabling clear and straightforward regulatory compliance and reporting, and continuous process improvement

As we see the effects of climate change affect everything from the availability of water, to the costs of energy, to transportation for goods and people, rapidly undergoing an ESG Transformation is imperative to managing your business’s risk. An enterprise with a plan for working in a rapidly evolving environmental climate will be at a distinct competitive advantage as we navigate the next decade. Get ahead of the curve on net-zero emissions, and help create a healthy, livable planet for all of us. Contact us to learn more.

Copywriting by Danica Sachs, a writer and editor based in San Francisco.

Illustration by Stefan Gustafsson of Stefangus Design.