Businesses worldwide are experiencing mounting pressure to expedite their progress toward sustainability targets by prioritizing a comprehensive range of Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) capabilities within their operations.

Ola Williams, the Country Manager of Microsoft Nigeria, highlights the growing awareness among companies regarding the significance of ESG for their long-term success. In recent years, more businesses have recognized the importance of incorporating ESG goals into their strategies. These goals encompass various objectives, such as achieving net zero emissions, becoming water positive, minimizing waste generation, and pursuing other sustainable practices to ensure long-term environmental and social impact.

The shift towards sustainable business practices also holds significant financial benefits. McKinsey & Company reports that implementing sustainability measures can result in cost reductions, potentially impacting operating profits by up to 60 percent. This reinforces the notion that sustainable practices not only align with responsible business values but also make sound economic sense.

As companies strive to meet the growing demands for sustainability, they are expected to focus on integrating ESG considerations into their decision-making processes, supply chains, and overall business strategies. By doing so, businesses can effectively address environmental concerns, social impact, and governance practices, ultimately fostering a more sustainable and resilient future.

“To progress their sustainability agendas, organizations need to not only set sustainability targets but track them as well. You can’t progress what you can’t measure.

“The challenge, however, is that many businesses lack the timely, accurate access to the information they need to monitor their sustainability efforts, with fragmented data sitting in siloes across the organization. It can be difficult to unify and consolidate this information into one sustainability scorecard or keep track of progress against their goals year on year.

She said organizations need more accessible, centralized data intelligence to make the decisions that are required to address these complex issues, weighing both business and ESG criteria to direct capital toward investment opportunities that balance growth and impact.

A report by PWC notes that cloud-based data management and reporting can help support ESG by automating processes and standardizing the data, providing increased transparency within the organization as leaders seek to better understand diverse social and environmental risks. Integrated data solutions enable organizations to examine and manage the footprints of their facilities, fleets, and production processes and shift the activities of their people to be responsive to the changing requirements of a sustainable economy.

“How CIOs deploy and configure their IT tools can affect the environmental footprint of their own systems. One of the key challenges is ensuring that organizations gain the transparency and insights they need to manage their environmental footprint, and embed sustainability initiatives throughout the organization and value chain to create new value.

“Moving to the cloud is an important part of the sustainability journey for CIOs. On-premise datacenters are resource-intensive, and one way organizations can reduce their environmental impact and increase business value is when they replace tools, systems or activities with more efficient options.

“Sustainability is at the core of our business, and it has been for more than a decade – extending from optimizing our own operations to building a community of customers and partners learning and working together to advance their sustainability ambitions.

“Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability empowers organizations to accelerate sustainability progress by bringing together a growing set of Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) capabilities from across Microsoft Cloud portfolio plus solutions from our global ecosystem of partners.

“Together, we’re enabling organizations to gain the transparency and insights they need to manage their environmental footprint, embed sustainability through their organization and value chain, and create new value in a changing landscape,” she added.

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