Companies should be climate data planning ahead of SEC’s final rules

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Here’s an excerpt from this Reuters’ article:

For many companies, compiling these calculations will go hand-in-hand with adoption and utilization of technology. And certainly, the simplest way to track this sort of data — and the one many companies use — is simple spreadsheets. But Mukund believes those who rely on spreadsheets are acting more reactively to potential regulations than using proper proactive planning. “When you’re reactive, the spreadsheet is the solution that appears to suit all objectives, because you pull out a spreadsheet, it sounds great,” Mukund says. “That is literally the most reactive response and approach you can have.” Unfortunately, spreadsheets become more like a blunt instrument that is used because it’s all you have, and you’re going to just try and beat the problem into submission, he adds.

More forward-thinking companies, however, aren’t relying on technology as their final solution at all, Mukund adds. Instead, ESG data should be thought of as a larger strategy — one that includes technology, but also a framework component for how to use the technology, as well as a people component to make sure the ESG data framework is being followed. “Put together a framework and a strategy that says, here’s what my ESG program is trying to accomplish,” he explains, noting that the strategy should include the items that stakeholders and management care most about and how leaders are going engage their workforce and internal group, because ultimately this is going to be driven by what they accomplish.

That strategy requires forward-thinking, however, and even with delays, a final draft from the SEC may be coming soon. That’s why, even before the new SEC greenhouse gas disclosure rules are finalized, forward-thinking organizations should begin tackling their ESG data strategy now.