Cleantech
White Paper:
Growing Number of Companies Using Software Tools to Manage Sustainability Programs

Many companies already use manual systems to collect data on and manage their sustainability programs, but a growing number are using software tools that were professionally-developed for this purpose, according to a new white paper by CSRHub and French software company Tennaxia.

Tennaxia offers a wide range of employee health and safety (EHS), environmental tracking and reporting (ETR) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting solutions to hundreds of corporations operating in 70 countries. CSRHub provides sustainability information on more than 13,000 companies in 104 countries. CSRHub’s ratings and metrics are drawn from more than 360 sustainability data sources.

Tennaxia supplied CSRHub with the names of fourteen of its customers — CSRHub had data on thirteen and enough data to rate ten of these fourteen companies.

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According to the results, the average percentile rank of the six Tennaxia companies that CSRHub fully rates was well above average. The percentile rank compared to all CSRHub rated companies ranged from 74 percent to 99 percent, with an average of 88 percent. These high relative scores were not due just to a focus on certain high-sustainability industries, the white paper claims. The average rank for Tennaxia’s customers versus other companies in their industry was 85th percentile. While the eight companies involved are larger-than average, company size by itself had little effect on CSRHub’s ratings.

CSRHub tracks sustainability performance in twelve different areas. The average ratings across these areas were strong for the ten Tennaxia clients which had multiple rated areas.

All three employee subcategories had above average scores — one of the areas the researchers expected to see strength. The Tennaxia-using companies also did well in three environment subcategories — an area where software tools should be helpful.The two weakest areas were places where EHS and CSR Data tools would not be expected to play a role. Community development and philanthropy are functions that may be managed by groups outside of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) function in many companies. Board quality and procedures are also outside the scope of most sustainability software tools.

A recent survey by Rescore found that 78 percent of major organizations currently have or plan to add EHS and CSR-tracking software. Despite this intention to use software, a majority of the 50 companies Rescore surveyed use Excel spreadsheets to track their data. This situation has not changed much, over the past three years. This suggests corporate sustainability managers may not be convinced of the value of EHS and CSR Data management systems, or sustainability managers have not been able to convince senior management of their companies of this software’s value.

Investing in EHS and CSR Data software, and for integrating it into overall corporate management systems, can improve a company’s perceived sustainability performance. The CSRHub/Tennaxia white paper is a step towards demonstrating this connection.

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