As environmental regulations tighten and societal demands for corporate responsibility intensify, organisations are increasingly finding themselves under scrutiny. Business as usual is changing as companies face new expectations to demonstrate a genuine commitment to reducing their environmental footprint and prioritise sustainable practices across their operations and supply chains.

Managing sustainability requirements, at both a strategic and operational level, is no easy task. It impacts every decision made across the organisation; from the geographical placement of facilities to raw-materials sourcing; financial reporting to investor relations. Transformational planning requires many dimensions of information, analysis and expertise critical to securing the cross-organisational and cross-operational understanding that is key to success.

What do organisations need to achieve?

Disparate data sources must be shared and communicated to enable a real-time, single view of the truth to support more credible planning. Business teams need an effective cross-organisation communication, considering a common language that can be understood by all business functions to help remove silos and unify the transition strategy. Sustainability functions require direct connection with the board to ensure the business is resilient to climate-and-nature-related transition risks that can have serious financial consequences.

Rewiring an organisation to address the interrelated nature of sustainability requires a new approach that unifies teams and data; risks and opportunities; and the corresponding financial impacts into a single, connected view. Enter Sustainability Intelligence.

A new approach for Business 2.0

Sustainability Intelligence is the confluence of climate and nature analytics, data, technology and information flows that enables the ongoing measurement, monitoring and management of progress towards sustainability. With a quantitative approach, companies that embrace data, using the latest scientific and economic methods, will be armed with the tools to support ongoing operational and strategic decision-making across the entire business.

A sustainable business is one that integrates and balances the commercial value of the organisation with nature, climate and people. An integrated view requires a company to remain commercially viable, while considering the direct and indirect impacts of the business on the environment. Crucially, it also requires understanding interdependencies and trade-offs at the nexus of climate and nature.

Businesses can no longer operate with impunity. Increasingly, companies are required to look beyond just profit and consider the consequences of their actions for people and the planet. Leading firms are now establishing new standards, which will become the benchmark from which all organisations will be held accountable – giving them the social licence to operate as a business of the future.

Fiscally responsible decision-making requires understanding the risks and opportunities presented by sustainability. Being able to financially quantify and act tactically and strategically, as part of a transition plan for growth, is vital to ensure a business is resilient to nature-and-climate-related risks, while remaining profitably sustainable.

The transition to profitable sustainability

Sustainability Intelligence will play a pivotal role in enabling businesses to quantify their environmental impacts, identify areas for improvement and implement tangible strategies to reduce their carbon emissions, water consumption, waste generation and resource depletion. By leveraging advanced analytics and modelling capabilities, companies will be able to accurately assess their current performance, set ambitious yet achievable sustainability targets and measure their progress towards these targets over time.

Businesses that employ Sustainability Intelligence as a driver of innovation within the organisation will benefit from the long-term value creation that these investments will deliver. By integrating sustainability considerations into product design and development processes, companies can create environmentally responsible products and services that not only meet customer demands and create new revenue streams but also contribute to the net-zero and nature-positive future.