Why and how to apply ESG to IT?
ESG, that stands for environmental, social and governance , evaluates the practices and care of companies regarding the impacts of their actions on the environment. Its objective is to signal to consumers, suppliers and investors that the company they interact with is aware of its responsibility to society and the transparency of its actions. The ESG concept revolves around sustainability, requires a comprehensive ecological awareness and represents an evolution in business behavior. The acronym was first mentioned in 2005, at the UN, at a meeting for the creation of guidelines in favor of the environment. Despite the acronym being recent, the concern with investments in sustainable companies has been around for some time. The SRI (Socially Responsible Investing), from the 70s and 80s, emerged when the proof of the responsibility of companies in environmental catastrophes became a requirement for the approval or not of investments. The MSCI KLD 400 Social Index, 1990, was designed for socially aware investors to consider social and environmental factors in selecting capital investments. It's the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, from 1999, was a financial performance indicator whose principles gave rise to the ESG.
In general, at ESG, environmental criteria assess companies' positioning in relation to waste management, pollution, carbon emissions, deforestation, preservation, energy efficiency, biodiversity, global warming. Social criteria assess human capital management, respect for the law, equal rights, inclusion, health, safety, consumption. Those in governance observe fiscal, political and administrative practices, corruption, transparency, composition of boards, corporate purposes and conduct.
Adopting ESG brings business benefits by attracting investors and customers alike concerned about sustainability. As its criteria gained importance for investors, the implementation of ESG practices in the philosophy of companies became almost a matter of survival and the use of IT in business took on a special role. Among countless resources, the adoption of digital tools that optimize processes and integrate systems, improving deliveries, stand out; cloud solutions that ensure online work and reduce physical data storage, generating savings; process automation that eliminates repetitive work, reducing time and costs; the internet of things, which monitors data from communication between devices, improving the quality of services; O blockchain, which tracks the production chain and everyone involved in the processes. These actions were already taking place, when 2020 reiterated that it is vital technology for business continuity and companies already in the process of digital transformation found themselves better able to deal with the risks posed by the pandemic and the undeniable weaknesses of the world. In addition to the thousands of deaths, unemployment, inequality and social vulnerability, cases of corruption have shaken people's confidence and environmental accidents have sharpened the perception of the ecological imbalance that the world has been facing, making ESG practices even more relevant and the commitment of the world most urgent corporate.
Working for years in the IT area and experiencing these changes, Sphere is aligned with the ESG goals and prepared to work in this new context, directing its teams to the use of smart IT, attentive to sustainability issues that raise the degree of competitiveness of their customers in their respective areas of expertise. Adopting ESG practices boosts companies' efficiency and credibility. Its principles aim to give back to society by building a more ethical, dignified and sustainable world. Every action in this regard is important. And we are all responsible.