Can technology measure the ‘S’ in ESG?

We had the privilege of speaking to The Times business supplement on 17th Sep 2022 about the importance of proven, validated data when making claims for social value and ESG technology. Companies, and their social value claims are being monitored more closely in the future as these claims generate turnover and increases economic value of the company through mandatory procurement related social value requirement. Additionally, investors invest in ‘good companies’ with higher valuations. Therefore, it is not insignificant whether the claims of environmental and social impact are true or not. Companies are being sued for faulty, unverified claims. This more rigorous attention to validated data is only growing and long overdue.

Any unintentional greenwashing and social washing is avoided by relying on data from the ground/source. If a company works with grass root charitable organisations to improve societal and environmental conditions in our society, the outcomes and impact should be reported by the party who actually works with the beneficiaries and monitors the progress of the project. Companies funding or volunteering with charitable projects should not try to guess outcomes or long term impact.

At whatimpact.com, the matchmaking marketplace, comprehensive impact reporting is embedded to the matches made on the platform. This BSI 8950 and PPN 06/20 aligned reporting gives data and evidence to any funder directly from the beneficiary organisation. This way, companies can engage with their stakeholders and communicate their ‘S’ in transparent, validated way.

The ‘S’ in ESG is a hot topic and the world is trying to make sense of it with turning it into numbers, as the article demonstrates. One can surely calculate monetary value for social value, but only when the difference being made is known and validated. This means we need to know the progress made through action – this requires qualitative information. After having this data and evidence, we can speak about turning it into numbers. And the philosophy and data sources appropriate to use for the purpose. Therefore, proxy numbers, statistical averages as such have a big margin of error as they cannot take into consideration to start and the end point of particular project.

Different calculators and monetisation models suit different purposes and as London Business School professor Ioannis Ioannou says in his quotes, but we also agree with this view on that, at the moment, we are far from having a single optimal calculation approach.

Find the full article on page 4.


You can read more about impact reporting and our impact reporting model on our recent blog!

whatimpact.com is a matchmaking marketplace for companies to match with local and nationwide charities and social enterprises when donating their skills, products, services or money. The platform provides comprehensive social impact reporting on the partnerships and helps companies to build their brand and engage with their stakeholders. whatimpact.com is for all sizes and types of companies who wish to contribute social and environmental value for our society.

 

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