When one adopts of holistic view of an organisation it quickly become very apparent that non-financial data is in fact – financial. While not representing direct monetary value, electricity, water, waste and natural resource consumption figures are pre-requisites to the production of revenue with their roles in varying in intensity between sections and businesses. The goal is now understanding dependency relationships, business impacts, risk exposure and opportunities which cannot be fully comprehended or understood if we do not understand why and how much we consume.
GCX has noted a growing awareness by large corporates in the past 2 year’s climate change, water and energy scarcity and consequently a significant shift in the interest and prioritisation of data integrity. Whilst in the past the roles and responsibilities for sustainability matters rested at operational or managerial level, Executive Management are increasingly taking a stronger position on the matter which has allowed for the top down benefits of formal policy development and structures being implemented in order to “tighten belts” in this area.
The GCX Carbon & Energy team recently engaged in a project with client KAP Industrial to assess their current data collection processes and outcomes at site levels across South Africa. This resulted from an expressed interest by them to pro-actively improve the current year’s data in “real time” rather than after the fact limits remedial opportunities if data quality levels are questionable.
“Large corporates appear to be identifying the need for accurate consumption data for water, electricity, waste and GHG emissions sources,” says sustainable business analyst Karen Fourie. “This not only supports sustainability requirements and target setting, but also helps companies to understand the extent that business operations rely on these inputs for core functioning – and therefore reduces risk. This shift in prioritisation appears to be here to stay.”
Products and offerings to address these shortfalls are on the increase, both in the number and degree of sophistication in capabilities. Sustainability data collection software is being developed and sold by some of the largest software providers which have seen fit to diversify from main stream offerings into this new space. These systems are integrated with ERM, accounting and facilities management systems to produce robust and holistic information finally joining those relationship dots….