Smart software for sustainability
Managing data on your company’s SHEQ activities, as well as sustainability performance reporting, is often a bewildering prospect. IsoMetrix.NET could be the solution.
Faced with increasing pressure from internal and external stakeholders, more organisations are measuring and reporting on their social and environmental performance in addition to the usual financial reporting measures. Stakeholders are pressing companies to publicly report this information, either in annual financial reports to shareholders, or in voluntary corporate performance reports.
The worldwide growth of socially responsible investment funds and investment rating systems – such as the JSE’s Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Index and investment policy disclosure requirements such as the Equator Principles – have also put financial pressure on companies to make sustainability performance disclosures.
“However, most companies are overwhelmed by the types of data that are needed to be reported on, and the challenge of collecting and collating this data in a secure and efficient manner,” says Paul de Kock, MD of Metrix Software Solutions. There is also the question of how to store and manage all the required data with a full audit trail. A further complication is that there is no way to anticipate all future data requirements – one can only define a core set of data elements that are required now or are likely to be required. In reality, the data depends upon regulatory reporting frameworks, the organisation’s products and markets, stakeholder demands and internal management information reporting requirements.
The process of preparing for sustainability performance management and disclosure, then, needs to follow some important steps. Firstly, the data that is required, and the means to collect it, needs to be identified. Secondly, a data management strategy must be established. And, lastly, one will have to develop a comprehensive data management solution to store the data effectively and accurately.
“Without support from ICTs, progress towards sustainability reporting is difficult,” says De Kock. “Metrix Software Solutions’ IsoMetrix.NET is an agile web application that meets all of these criteria with the added ability to grow and become a comprehensive, fully integrated business management system application.”
IsoMetrix.NET as a solution is versatile enough to meet all of the data requirements, flexible enough to adapt to changing requirement, robust enough to support regulatory, internal and third-party audits and secure enough to allow direct data entry/submission by geographically dispersed users.
Usability is further enhanced by expressing data in management information dashboards, and having powerful follow-up and close-out capability to facilitate timely intervention and continuous improvement. For this purpose, tailor-made reports and dashboards that precisely meet the requirements of certain reporting standards and guidelines, or exactly to the information needs of the target groups, are possible.
De Kock points out that IsoMetrix.NET is therefore a tool that can enable an organisation using it to be in a position to carry out tasks concerning information management well, use its human and organisational resources more efficiently, and communicate on environmental and sustainability issues in a meaningful way.
In other words, it promotes ease of facilitating stakeholder dialogue, interactivity and feedback – which is certainly what any organisation could hope for in these times of increasing pressure.