4 min read
Revolutionizing ESG Target Setting with Generative AI
3 min read
We’re excited to introduce ‘Targets’, the latest innovation from our Smart ESG platform. Datamaran’s AI-powered Targets feature enables business leaders to set their ESG strategy north star with confidence by providing them with actionable insights on what their peers and competitors have publicly committed to - all in just a matter of clicks.
Smart ESG starts with good governance and marries innovation with best practices. For the past decade, market-leading brands such as Bridgestone, Dell Technologies, Pepsico and Sun Life have adopted the smart way to ESG using Datamaran. With its cutting-edge technology, C-Suite can focus on what matters most, bridge the ESG skills gap, and build differentiation amongst their peers.
It’s vital that companies set the right targets for their material ESG issues ensuring that they align with their level of ambition and vision and enable them to track progress accordingly. Setting targets that remain unmet can cause distrust and opens companies up to the risk of reputational damage and litigation. Similarly, not setting targets for material issues represents a critical failure in strategy and governance. Without transparent objectives, strategy is ungrounded, actions are uncoordinated, results have no context, and accountability gets lost. Yet this is too often the reality. In 2023, 97% of the S&P500 addressed workplace DE&I in their annual reporting - it’s become a cornerstone issue for US companies, ranking 6th overall in terms of the importance placed on it by management in disclosure. But still, just 28% of S&P500 companies reported an associated measurable, time-bound target. So what are the other 69% actually working towards?
Setting appropriate targets has traditionally been a challenging exercise for businesses due to the complexity of ESG issues, limited data availability, and resource constraints. Conducting competitor benchmarking can often take sustainability teams weeks of dedicated manual effort to sift through lengthy reports and analyze the data. For teams that have had insufficient capacity to perform this benchmarking in-house, the work is outsourced to consultants at a significant cost. Neither of these approaches provides companies with a complete picture of the landscape, which leaves them at a disadvantage.
This latest feature gives companies visibility of their peers' targets in real-time and perfectly complements the existing platform functionality that enables them to identify material issues, monitor regulatory changes, get disclosure ready, and manage stakeholder conversations. By using Datamaran’s Targets feature, a once labor-intensive exercise can be completed in-house in as little as 10 minutes (depending on how many issues you look at). Companies can view the targets of an unlimited number of their peers and competitors across 100 ESG topics and gather reliable and robust data to support and substantiate their decision-making processes. ESG teams can directly compare their targets with their competitors or gather competitor data to help them set theirs. Insights are presented in an intuitive comparison chart designed to give business leaders an immediate, data-backed view of the time-bound and measurable targets that their chosen peers and competitors have committed to - and show them how their company stacks up.
Screenshot of the new Targets feature
Speaking about the new Targets feature, Denise Vaughn, VP of ESG, at Ferguson Enterprises said:
"The Targets feature has enabled us to quickly prepare information to share with the C-Suite what other companies are doing. The feature gave us the data we needed in just a few clicks which will enable us to respond quickly to stakeholder queries on trending topics with supporting data."
Targets is a game-changer for business leaders, empowering them to make informed decisions with confidence. It is a technological step change that is transforming the status quo of target setting from a time-intensive, inaccurate manual exercise to an efficient, accurate and reliable process.
Targets is just one of the exciting features of the Datamaran Smart ESG platform that empowers business leaders to bring their ESG strategy in-house. This new capability is powered by a proprietary large language model (LLM) and is the latest in a long line of innovations we’ve introduced thanks to our ongoing investment in deep learning, LLMs and generative AI.
We will shortly be announcing another much-anticipated update to our already industry-leading Double Materiality assessment that will provide companies with unprecedented depth and breadth of information on impacts, risks and opportunities. With Datamaran, business leaders can ace the first two steps of their Smart ESG journey - deciding what issues matter most and setting meaningful and achievable targets.
Follow Datamaran on LinkedIn for news on upcoming feature launches, events and more.