Social Sustainability Issues Top ESG Software Spend
August 1, 2022
environmental issues have dominated the ESG/sustainability narrative, a
recent International Data Corporation (IDC) survey finds that social
sustainability topics account for the largest share of use cases for
sustainability software. These human and social capital uses include
diversity, equity and inclusion, employee health and safety, data
privacy, human rights, and product access and affordability.
The 2022 Global Sustainability Software Buyer Value Survey provides
insight into IT buyers’ priorities and spending intentions regarding
software that helps achieve sustainability goals. Sustainability
software solutions are designed to help organizations track and report
their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance and
provide relevant data to improve their operational performance.
This requires software providers to think about ESG use cases
holistically, especially in the context of complex issue areas such as
employee health and wellbeing, decarbonization, and sustainable supply
chain management. And given that improving operating costs and
fulfilling executive mandates are among the top investment drivers for
sustainability software, the software needs to help organizations
actively manage their sustainability performance, instead of simply
"checking off boxes" for ESG reporting.
"Environmental issues like decarbonization have traditionally topped the
list as sustainability priorities for many organizations. However, over
the past few years, the impact that the pandemic has had on the
workforce has raised the level of emphasis by organizations on social
sustainability issues such as employee health, safety, and wellbeing”,
said Bjoern Stengel, Global Sustainability Research and Practice Lead,
Sustainable Strategies and Technologies at IDC. "Software vendors play a
critical role in helping organizations operationalize ESG and move from
target setting and strategizing to creating measurable impact in regard
to their most material ESG issues."
Other key findings from IDC's survey include:
social sustainability issues related to human capital management are
amongst the top business value benefits that organizations expect to
achieve by utilizing sustainability software solutions.
Sustainability/ESG software plays an important role across all use cases
related to internal operations, highlighting the need for comprehensive
solutions that capture information across different issue areas.
Unlike in previous IDC surveys, respondents to this year's
sustainability software survey say that IT plays a bigger role in
enabling organizations to track their ESG performance for reporting
purposes and driving desired business outcomes. The blend of responsible
IT and line of business functions requires software vendors to
successfully convey their value proposition to both buyer groups.