Corporate social responsibility (CSR (News - Alert)) is on everyone’s minds. Companies are under pressure today to be socially responsible in areas such as diverse hiring, charity work, responsible raw materials sourcing and environmental efforts to reduce carbon footprints and reduce waste.
Most companies aren’t doing it out of the goodness of their hearts; customers are demanding it, and local regulations are also making it necessary.
It’s not an easy thing to keep track of. If you like to buy from responsible companies, you’ll know there is often a flood of sometimes contrary information and a lot of efforts to “greenwash,” or making a company look better than it really is.
According to a new study from IDC (News - Alert) called “Global Corporate Citizens – the State of Corporate Social Responsibility,” accurate and reliable corporate social responsibility data will become increasingly important as a competitive factor for global companies. This development is driving the interest among companies in CSR tracking tools embedded in enterprise software.
The IDC survey, based on interviews with CFOs in global companies with an annual turnover in excess of EUR 100 million in eight countries, found that accurate and reliable CSR data will become increasingly important as companies are pressured to document their CSR activities and integrate sustainability and financial reporting.
“The survey clearly points to a burgeoning interest in CSR tracking solutions as an integrated, natural part of the overall ERP system,” IFS CTO Dan Matthews said in a statement announcing the report. “By investing in embedded solutions instead of third-party best-of-breed systems, companies can avoid complex and potentially costly integrations. We see non-financial reporting as an organic part of the value chain and by deploying embedded tracking functionality, companies can benefit from increased business transparency and improved process efficiency while complying with laws and regulations.”
The study found that only 21 percent of companies surveyed have environmental tracking and measuring functionality embedded directly in their enterprise system. Some rely on third-party product integration, while 38 percent are unable to track CSR impact at all.
Compared to the IFS-sponsored 2010 study, more companies today can track the environmental impact. But they’re less confident with the results.
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Edited by Braden Becker