CIOs Take Center Stage on ESG Strategies, Battling an Overflow of Data

With ESG strategies forming a core part of organizational business plans, CIOs need to tap into various areas of expertise to ensure ESG efforts are organized and integrated.

2 Min Read
green data

As environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies climb the list of priorities at organizations worldwide, chief information officers find themselves playing an increasingly central role in ESG efforts.

Today's ESG efforts are often ad hoc, siloed, and manual, with data and operations scattered across disparate systems in an organization.

Digital transformation presents a powerful opportunity for companies to turn ESG efforts into impact and business value, and the CIO has a front-row seat to how digital transformation is intersecting with every facet of the business.

With enterprise data at the heart of a company's ESG strategy, CIOs -- with their compete view of the interdependencies and interactions between people, processes, and technologies across every business function -- are critical to advancing ESG objectives.

Chris Bedi, chief digital information officer at ServiceNow, says it's up to the CIO to inform the rest of the organization of the environmental impact in terms of energy usage in data centers and business processes or advise on hardware and software purchase optimization.

Keeping ESG Top of Mind

The CIO is also responsible for managing technology lifecycles and informing governance policies that promote data trust and transparency. "It's incumbent upon the CIO to make innovation decisions and direct technology purchases with ESG in mind," he says.

Related:Cloud Sustainability: Migration Isn't Just About Efficiency Anymore

From Bedi's perspective, an effective ESG program needs to be embedded into a company's business strategy, culture, and values across global operations.

When ESG efforts are siloed end everyday business decisions aren't linked, it presents real business risks -- suppliers chosen through procurement affect a company's carbon footprint, risk profile, and data privacy.

Workplace services created by facilities affect employee health, equity, and prospective talent, while data accuracy maintained by multiple groups affects transparency in reporting.

"There are hundreds of ESG point-products in the market that support discreet, disconnected ESG efforts, compounding the problem," he says. "And companies rely on different operational systems that support individual, siloed processes."

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About the Author(s)


InformationWeek, a sister site to ITPro Today, is a trusted source for CIOs and IT leaders seeking comprehensive and authentic coverage of the constantly evolving world of technology and its impact on business. Our experienced and ethical journalists conduct in-depth examinations of crucial issues and the impact of global events on IT operations and strategies, helping forward-thinking executives stay at the forefront of their industries. InformationWeek also provides a platform for enterprise IT leaders and leading tech companies to share their insights and experiences through exclusive interviews, opinion pieces, and events, offering firsthand accounts of strategies, trends, and innovations.

Nathan Eddy

Nathan Eddy is a freelance writer for ITProToday and covers various IT trends and topics across wide variety of industries. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, he is also a documentary filmmaker specializing in architecture and urban planning. He currently lives in Berlin, Germany.

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