Middle market companies face unique sustainability challenges as compared to publicly traded companies. First and foremost, they don’t have the same access to resources as larger enterprises. But they will be expected to meet the same rising customer expectations and regulatory pressures. The good news is that there is excellent sustainability software options available for mid-market companies. In this blog post, we’ll help you understand what to look for the right fit for your business.
- Define what sustainability software is and how it can help mid-market companies
- Offer guidance on how to select the best sustainability software for your company’s needs
- Provide tips on getting the most out of your chosen sustainability software program
- How can sustainability reporting improve access to finance for SMEs and SMBs?
- What are the benefits of sustainability for business?
Define what sustainability software is and how it can help mid-market companies
Sustainability software is an all-in-one platform that provides mid-market companies with the ability to easily track and report on business performance metrics related to sustainability. Simple! The better platforms can help you set a baseline by walking through a survey and producing a sustainability scorecard. This serves as a guide for your journey, which can connect the dots between environmental, social, and ethical objectives to ensure you reach all of your sustainability goals. It also allows you to monitor your progress over time through customized dashboards. By using sustainability software, companies are better able to understand the total cost associated with their choices. This will let them find ways to optimize both their economic and environmental performance. It makes getting an ESG score quick, easy, and affordable.
Discuss the key features to look for in a sustainability software program
The best software starts with a free survey which establishes a baseline for your company in your industry against the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Next, when considering a sustainability software program, ease of use should be key. Look for programs that simplify the sustainability process by helping automate the tedious manual entry of data and figures. It’s important to find a software program that helps you aggregate data from multiple sources, quickly and accurately. Additionally, advanced reporting features and customizations help simplify processes. This makes it easy to share information with stakeholders. Finally, security is also essential. Make sure you are comfortable with the sign-in requirements and encryption used in the software before committing to purchase. Get the Checklist! ✅
- Compatible with the SDGs and existing frameworks
- Automated data collection and tracking capabilities
- Real-time reporting and analytics
- Robust environmental impact measurement tools
- Easy to use interface, with intuitive navigation
- Provides a variety of dashboards for reporting to stakeholders
- Uses machine learning principles to streamline and simplify the process
- Provides benchmark mapping and KPI’s toward objectives
- Streamlined collaboration across departments
- Scalable solution that can grow with your organization’s needs
- Robust support system for troubleshooting and problem solving
- The ability to merge internal and external Content Management Systems with ease
Offer guidance on how to select the best sustainability software for your company’s needs
Selecting the right sustainable software for your company can be a stressful process, but it doesn’t need to be. To make the selection process easier, compare features. Some features of sustainability software to look for include:
• A survey to establish a baseline score
• Automated tracking and reporting of data
• Ability to integrate with existing systems
• Customized dashboards for monitoring progress
• Advanced analytics and reporting capabilities
• Security features that protect from unauthorized access
Finally, it’s important to consider the budget when selecting sustainability software. Most ESG software for measuring sustainability was originally designed for larger companies. Publicly traded companies are obligated by the SEC to report on their initiatives. Therefore, most software was developed for companies with a sustainability manager or sustainability department with deep pockets. But middle market companies, SMEs and SMBs, do not have that luxury. However, there are new innovators in the market who understand mid-market needs. Get the Checklist! ✅
Provide tips on getting the most out of your chosen sustainability software program
To get the most out of your chosen sustainability software program, it’s important to understand and track KPIs (key performance indicators). These will help in making meaningful improvements in the process. Additionally, aim to set realistic benchmarks or goals and analyze the differences between KPIs before and after making adjustments. It can also be beneficial to review the UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) aspects of your program to ensure you are getting the embedded value offered by this particular resource. Adopting these practices can streamline progress within your organization’s sustainability initiatives right down your supply chain. The best software comes with a high-touch white-glove onboarding process that allows users to wean themselves off once they are set up and moving forward. You might also want to inquire about the ability to purchase policy support documents. Sustainable software companies that do not advertise their pricing structure are not being transparent.
How can sustainability reporting improve access to finance for SMEs and SMBs?
Sustainability reporting can be a game-changer for small and medium enterprises that are looking for financing. It provides an avenue for firms to disclose their performance from a sustainability perspective. Improved transparency of material ESG issues, can help lenders and investors assess financing opportunities more effectively by enabling them to better understand the potential risks associated with financing an SME. An increasing number of financial institutions recognize the importance of sustainability when financing projects, with some financing structures even providing additional incentives for organizations that commit to sustainable activities. Otherwise, it may not be an opportunity that SMEs are able to capitalize on without effective sustainability reporting. These improvements in access to finance could also aid SMEs and SMBs in contributing further towards global sustainability goals.
What are the benefits of sustainability for business?
By implementing sustainable practices, businesses can lower their costs, improve efficiency, and strengthen customer relationships. This includes both their existing customer base and potential customer base. Sustainability is a great way to save money on resources like water, electricity, and new materials. Businesses can also find ways to reduce their waste and generate less carbon pollution from transportation as well as from production. Additionally, sustainability can show customers that the company has social responsibility which helps create brand loyalty with customers. It can also help re-engage the quiet quitters and attract more Gen Z applicants to your organization. At the very least, it will increase communications. Overall, sustainability practices help businesses gain financial benefits by cutting costs while energizing their marketing efforts and attracting attention. It is all about reducing risks to your sustainability.
Sustainability software summary
Sustainability software is a must-have for any mid-market company looking to boost its sustainability efforts. Your upstream partners and downstream consumers will be demanding it soon. By automating key aspects of the sustainability reporting process, these programs free up time and resources that can be better used elsewhere. When selecting a sustainability software program for your business, be sure to consider your needs carefully and choose a program with features that will best support your goals. Our team has put together a handy checklist of all the key questions stakeholders will be asking about your company in the near future.
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How can middle-market companies contribute to sustainable development?
Middle-market companies hold a tremendous opportunity to contribute to sustainable development in a meaningful way. Especially when you consider that 90% of the world’s 333 million companies are middle-market enterprises. And since 70% of CO2 emissions come from industry, SMEs and SMBs have a big part to play. By utilizing environmental best practices and innovations, middle-market businesses have the ability to minimize their own carbon footprints while making significant investments in green technology, energy efficiency, and renewable resources. They can also have a positive effect on providing a living wage and security for the world’s workforce. Companies can further their commitment to sustainability by encouraging expanded access to valuable resources. They can make meaningful donations to sustainability initiatives, or even consolidate with like-minded businesses in order to pool resources and gain additional purchasing power. With global change, middle market companies are perfectly positioned to play a crucial role in realizing our shared vision of a sustainable future.
What does ESG have to do with digital marketing for SMBs?
Investing in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives can have a major positive impact on an SME’s digital marketing strategy. Consumers are increasingly looking to purchase from companies that can demonstrate their commitment to environmental and social good. Research has shown that 78% of consumers believe that businesses should do more than provide goods and services in order to meet consumer demand. They should also be socially responsible. By taking proactive steps to incorporate ESG into their branding, SMBs can appeal directly to customers who appreciate such ethical practices. They offer added value to any marketing efforts by highlighting sustainability initiatives on digital platforms. This enables SMBs the ability to stand out from competitors in an increasingly noisy marketplace. Ultimately, the incorporation of ESG not only benefits customers but also companies themselves. It allows them greater access to potential customers when compared with businesses that lack commitment in this space.
What are ESG risk factors for SMEs and SMBs?
Small and medium enterprises and businesses need to pay attention to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in order to ensure they are operating responsibly. These factors are being to tied financing, exits, and rips. They are also being demanded by companies who are downstream in the supply chain. ESG risks associated with managing an SME/SMB range from environmental protection concerns, to social responsibility issues such as labor standards, anti-corruption, and human rights considerations. Additionally, SMEs and SMBs should also focus on corporate governance by having a transparent structure that aligns executive interests with the interests of the shareholders. This is especially important for new businesses that may not have yet established external auditing practices or policies in place. Considering these risk factors is essential for SMEs/SMBs attempting to remain resilient in today’s market and make sustainable progress over the long term.
What is a low-middle market company?
A low-middle market company is a business that typically has revenues which are between $10 million and $100 million. Such companies come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from small regional firms to larger regional chains or multi-state businesses. In terms of capital structure and liquidity, such businesses tend to have lower levels of financial leverage compared to higher-valued middle market or large-cap companies. This makes them suitable investments for both corporate buyers and private equity/venture capital groups looking for deals with less risk and more control. Low-middle market companies are becoming attractive acquisition targets for their immense potential growth opportunities, strategic fit, and relevance to many industries.
What are the non-financial assets and liabilities of sustainability?
Sustainability is often thought of in terms of financial assets and liabilities, but there are also non-financial components to consider. Non-financial assets of sustainability focus on environmental and social elements such as reduced resource use, lower volumes of emissions, and improved air quality. Liabilities can include the costs and impacts associated with the implementation of sustainability efforts, like increased labor or capital investment needs, reconfigured operations, or investments made in external programs. Non-financial risks should also be evaluated, such as reputational damages from failing to meet sustainability requirements or damages caused by changes in public opinion about particular initiatives. To ensure success, it’s essential for firms to assess all aspects – financial and non-financial – when determining their strategies for addressing sustainability goals.
What is greenwashing?
Greenwashing is a marketing tactic used by companies to deceive consumers about the environmental practices of their business. It involves making claims that are not backed up by facts and making false or exaggerated claims about products being eco-friendly, organic, and sustainable in an effort to make a profit. Often using vague language and generic images of nature on their products, companies may lead customers to believe that they are acting with more responsibility toward the environment than they really are. Businesses have historically taken advantage of the public’s perception of green goods and services as ethical investments. In turn, they have milked consumers for more money without actually contributing much environmentally.
What is greenwashing or green hushing?
In an age of conscious consumerism, some organizations are taking the ‘quietly conscientious’ approach. They are selecting to downplay their eco-friendly credentials. This tactic is known as greenwashing. This allows corporations to stay off the public radar and evade scrutiny while still contributing positively towards environmental initiatives. The movement has been spurned by the large number of greenwashing scandals over the last few years.
What is socialwashing?
Social washing is a term used to describe companies engaging in or promoting the appearance of ethical and socially responsible practices for the purpose of improving their public image. It gives the impression that a company is going above and beyond its legal obligations in terms of corporate social responsibility. When in reality they’re just attempting to whitewash any negative opinions of their activities. Socialwashing can be an attempt to attract more customers or benefit from positive publicity associated with taking ‘sustainable’ initiatives. Nevertheless, these acts may not actually improve the underlying culture and issues that a particular company may have. As such, it’s important for organizations to ensure that any social or environmental initiatives are authentic and address actual issues.
What is sustainability reporting software?
Sustainability reporting software is a tool used by organizations to demonstrate their adherence to global standards for corporate social responsibility. These programs provide great flexibility to create customized sustainability reports that are accurate and presentable. The software enables companies to communicate their environmental performance metrics transparently. This enables them to be more accountable for the impact they make on the planet. Additionally, sustainability reporting software can automate data collection processes and analysis. In turn, it allows organizations to achieve better insights into real-time performance quickly while easily comparing historical results against current KPIs. Sustainability reporting software provides companies with a comprehensive picture of their sustainability efforts so they can develop strategies that contribute positively across different dimensions.
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Dean Emerick is a curator on sustainability issues with ESG The Report, an online resource for SMEs and Investment professionals focusing on ESG principles. Their primary goal is to help middle-market companies automate Impact Reporting with ESG Software. Leveraging the power of AI, machine learning, and AWS to transition to a sustainable business model. Serving clients in the United States, Canada, UK, Europe, and the global community. If you want to get started, don’t forget to Get the Checklist! ✅