An environmental, social, and governance (ESG) solution must do many things. However, what’s most important is that it creates a more robust supplier program and maintains market access by creating transparency in the supply chain, unveiling gaps in maturity, and uncovering risks.

Ask these five questions to ensure that your ESG solution provider has the solutions and capabilities needed to meet your business goals.

1. Are you built for durable goods?

ESG solutions should not be singularly focused. You deserve a solution that is designed to address concerns with your broader set of risk topics. Considering the magnitude of regulatory concerns within complex manufacturing, along with market access needs, brand reputation, and more, you need a solution that is purpose-built specifically for complex goods delivery and supply chains.

The truth is that many solutions don’t address the breadth of topics that ESG covers. Most are point solutions looking at individual topics and don’t support supply chain engagement, making it difficult to summarize the various areas required to paint a complete picture. 

Part of what sets Assent’s solution apart from the pack is that it is purpose-built for complex goods producers. We understand that you need a solution that can accommodate this complexity and cover the entire supply chain ESG workflow.

2. Does the solution help create transparency and drive change?

Did you know that up to 90 percent of your environmental ESG impact (carbon footprints, air emissions, and pollution) happens outside your organization’s four walls? Not only that, but the worst ESG risks — including child labor, human trafficking, and slavery — are hidden deep in your supply chain, where you have the least visibility and control.

That’s why it’s essential that your ESG solution enables you to gain transparency into the practices of your suppliers. Otherwise, you will miss a huge swath of your impact because you are responsible for your entire ESG footprint. Customers, investors, and ESG scoring agencies are all paying attention to these details. That puts organizations at risk for supply chain disruption and brand crises, among other concerns.

With Assent’s ESG solution, you can focus on your supply chain, mitigate risks proactively, and protect your market access, which also helps improve your ESG scores.

While all eyes are on ESG right now, product compliance remains important. Learn how ESG, product compliance, and sustainability are intertwined in our guide, ESG, Product Compliance & Sustainability: How They’re All Connected.

Read the guide!

3. How do I start my ESG journey? What is your long-term vision?

Deep sustainability is not attained overnight, and a productive ESG solution cannot be created out of thin air. Additionally, it’s too large and complex a topic to tackle alone with only internal resources. That’s why it’s important to find a partner that can guide and grow with you and your suppliers, using a combination of technology, support, and expertise.

Regulators and investors also want to see progress. That’s why starting out strong, and taking a definitive first step, is so important.

When starting your ESG journey, it’s important to focus on your most essential ESG topics. You should also work with suppliers so you can capture the right data and improve their practices. As your ESG program grows, you can ramp it up by adding more topics and more suppliers, following evolving risks and priorities. 

4. Does your solution work with compliance systems or data?

The most important letter in “ESG” is “P” — product, process, and people. Not only does compliance data drive an effective, evolving ESG program, but product compliance and supply chain data can give you a defensible starting point.

Product compliance is also intricately linked to ESG. That’s because product compliance regulations are grounded in human rights, safety, and environmental concerns. Therefore, you can’t credibly report on ESG or make informed decisions without aligning your compliance and ESG data.

Additionally, compliance professionals are the data experts and the driving force behind manufacturing ESG. Without them, your ESG solution lacks a solid foundation.

Assent’s solution unifies both your ESG and your product compliance efforts, allowing you to make the most of your data.

5. How does your solution support telling your ESG story?

Sustainability reporting and the demonstration of how your program intends to drive change is the most critical outcome. If all you do is report on outcomes, you’re missing the point of sustainability.

Organizations that understand the purpose of sustainable growth will provide reports that focus on intent to change, create accountability, and raise awareness of opportunities, even when those opportunities reveal a gap.

In today’s environment, non-financial disclosures present as much value as sound financials.  More sustainable companies are better-performing companies with an eye on the future.

Assent’s solution supports your summary of the supply chain engagement, helps you understand what to do next, and helps you build awareness and education in your supply chain.

Growing With Assent

ESG programs are complex to build and difficult to implement. Not only that, but these programs are a long-term venture. Assent understands that this is a daunting proposition. With our combination of technology, expertise, and support, you can build a solid program foundation and ensure it will grow alongside your business.

If you would like to learn more about Assent’s ESG solution, reach out to us at info@assent.com or download your free copy of ESG, Product Compliance & Sustainability: How They’re All Connected.

Jared Connors
Regulatory & Sustainability Expert, ESG & Responsible Sourcing

Jared is focused on helping companies achieve their corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals through increased understanding and mitigation of risk. His 12 years of leadership in human rights, anti-bribery  Read More

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