Business performance across industries is increasingly factoring in environment, social and governance (ESG) reporting, as stakeholders expect clear, standardized information. The recent milestone announcement at COP26 is likely to build on this momentum. For technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) companies, the opportunity is significant to influence the ESG narrative, particularly since their products and services permeate other sectors and provide the enabling capabilities.
As you assess the related impacts for your business, ask yourself the following questions:
Regardless of how you responded to these questions, it’s important to also consider how your competitors would respond. As ESG reporting and regulatory guidance evolves, companies that progress faster than others will not only be better positioned to react to potential outcomes, they’re likely to gain a competitive advantage in being at the forefront of the issue.
According to PwC's 2021 Pulse Survey of C-suite executives, producing investor-grade ESG information is a priority for 55% of technology, media and telecommunications CFOs
Different companies are at various stages of tying the elements of ESG into their reporting and incorporating ESG into their broader strategy. Moreover, not everyone is using the same standards and frameworks.
Once a company decides what ESG information to report, it then needs to contend with the challenges of how to effectively collect, analyze and report the information accurately. The breadth of ESG data creates significant reporting complexity.
What should you include in your ESG report? The identification of what’s material in ESG may be different than financial statement materiality, as the various standards and frameworks have different concepts of materiality. It involves more judgment by management, who may consider input from various stakeholders such as board members, customers and employees.
Applying ESG standards, frameworks and developing metrics and controls over reporting will often involve many different parts of a company’s operations. It will likely take time to develop the appropriate systems and processes. We suggest defining a narrow set of priorities:
Read our report for further details about these priorities and the related challenges and opportunities for TMT companies.