With the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), sustainability goals are no longer just a ‘nice to have’ for listed organisations – they are a regulatory imperative. In much the same way companies listed on global stock exchanges have to report on their financial matters, companies now have to report on their environmental and social impact.
Our client, a large international retailer, had always operated at the forefront of sustainability and had been reporting on its climate footprint and social impact for years. A major problem was that data collection had become an increasingly challenging manual process, with data being collected in multiple spreadsheets. It was unlikely this clunky process would stand up to an audit.
The process was crying out for automation, which would be less demanding, less error prone, would enable it to grow with the business and make it much easier to meet regulatory demands. It would also result in data insights that could easily be integrated into business decisions and performance follow up.
Valcon was selected to lead the climate data programme and provide seasoned data professionals to deliver the initiative. Valcon was a good fit, due to its breadth of expertise working on data initiatives and sustainability reporting programmes.
The focus was to support the retailer in leveraging the company’s cloud-based data platform to automate the process of data collection, data transformation and data visualisation, to provide the insights for the climate reporting required for external regulatory needs and internal business needs.
The insights are gathered in dashboards, one for each aspect of the company’s value chain, which taken together make up the retailer’s entire climate footprint. The dashboards provide the amount of greenhouse gas emitted in kilograms of CO2 equivalent and the energy used in all business processes.
These metrics are produced for all aspects of the value chain, from raw materials to the end-of-life of a product. It even looks at the carbon footprint workers and shoppers create when they travel to stores. These dashboards give the retailer the opportunity to gain additional insights into how they can make their product range, their stores and their ways of working more sustainable. This enables them to set clear and ambitious sustainability targets, which they can measure their own performance against.
- Measurement of climate reporting goals: the new approach enabled the retailer to act on the insights derived from the data and measure their progress against their sustainability goals.
- Helping save the planet: the insights helped the retailer to understand where they could cut down on emissions, by choosing more sustainable materials for their products, supporting retailers in their transition to renewable energy sources, and having the right infrastructure to enable personnel and delivery trucks to drive electric vehicles.
- Meeting regulatory targets: the internal test audit of the technical part of the reporting process was successful, helping the company track and measure against regulatory KPIs.
- Freeing up resources: the automation of elements of the climate reporting programme has led to much less manual work. This in turn has freed up resources for more in-depth analytical work and has also enabled more time to start on the automation of other sustainability topics which have to be reported on.