Eating Your Greens: The Role of Good Data in Inspiring the C-Suite to Action

It’s not too presumptuous to say that sustainability professionals have already bought into the multitude of benefits that reducing emissions can bring to their business. The thing is, sustainability professionals don’t exist in a vacuum. They occupy what some might consider an obscure corner of the wider business architecture, and even the most cohesive, airtight net zero strategy will stay grounded without the C-suite saying so. 

Emissions reduction strategies are in the unfortunate position of being necessary and arcane. There’s no more complicated KPI you can measure, making it a hard sell for staunch bottom-liners. We don’t envy the department heads who must bring emissions data to the C-Suite and give them a digestible reason to buy in.

So here’s how Emitwise’s carbon management platform can help you alchemise all that data into something a little more palatable for your C-suite. Follow our advice, and they’ll be eating their greens and coming back for more.

The Secret Ingredient is Impact: Closing the Action Gap with Data

Accurate, verifiable emissions data is a non-negotiable prerequisite to getting the C-Suite on board with sustainable action, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. You can bring all the data you like to the boardroom, but you’re on the fast track to glazed expressions without a clear presentation. This lack of focus can lead to a lack of action and, therefore, impact.

Quality data isn’t just about accuracy. It’s about accessibility, visualisation and tangible links to business KPIs. No one ever convinced their kids to eat vegetables just by telling them they’re good for them. Even with the most accurate emissions data on the market, sometimes you need a bit of polish to bring sustainability to the C-suite.

It’s not only about what you present but also how you present it. That’s why Emitwise’s platform presents data in real-world terms that carbon management initiates can understand down to a granular level; with Emitwise, your COO can know how many emissions they’ll cut from the company books by taking their bike to work next week.

Dietary Requirements: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

To achieve sustainability goals, the gaps between pledges, action and impact must be filled with a company-wide commitment to reducing emissions. Business leaders are sometimes far more eager to make emissions reduction pledges than they are to act on them, and this is a sure sign that their sustainability commitment has yet to crystallise.

Given the difficulty in obtaining accurate emissions data, this is a case where it is easier to talk than walk the walk. Yet they have, and businesses are being held accountable for their promises by ESG-savvy investors, the ever-watchful media, NGOs and governments gearing up to regulate corporate emissions.

Every meeting you have won’t necessarily be a celebration that you’ve hit your targets. You need to communicate that emissions reduction is a process and ensure that the C-Suite recognises that this process will continue to add value to the business for the foreseeable future.

Presenting emissions reduction reports with appropriate granularity will allow your CMO to show off the incremental successes that make your overall strategy viable. It’s not just about the actions of your company’s employees or departments. Your procurement team can keep track of individual suppliers’ emissions reduction contributions through Emitwise’s Procurewise platform, so the good work you’re doing in your supply chain doesn’t pass the C-Suite by.

Solutions like Procurewise help the procurement and sustainability teams turn good data into good decisions. De-risking your net-zero strategy based on credible data is the fastest way to stop the C-suite from delaying the tough decisions and start making an impact now.

Feeling Great is for Everyone: Leverage the Sector

Nothing stimulates a CEO like the fear of being left behind, and nothing stimulates a boardroom more than the potential for lost business opportunities. If you can show how emissions reduction strategies have generated business advantages for competitors, you’ll be well on your way to securing a sustainable boardroom.

Sector-wide programmes can help codify KPIs that they can measure against other companies and create a kind of peer pressure for CEOs. The data platforms like Emitwise provide are highly automated and can be filtered by sector and industry, saving time for CIOs and their teams and helping executives understand how they are doing in relation to their competitors.

It isn’t just business competition that should be on the agenda for a sustainable C-Suite. With emissions expertise at a premium, it’s a seller’s market for sustainability professionals. Don’t fall behind in the “war for talent”. Most graduates want to work for businesses they see as sustainable. Having a sustainability strategy and the proof that you’re making measurable progress on it is more important than ever to critical stakeholders, from prospective talent to ESG investors who can boost the profitability of your business.

Nutritional Information: Activate Action by Linking Profit and Purpose

For the true bottom-liners who don’t believe in non-financial value or mission-driven capitalism, you’ll have to make the connection between purpose and profit the linchpin of your strategy. Emitwise is built on the assumption that emissions reduction and economic value are inextricable and that the business gains inherent in emissions reduction are the key drivers for adopting sustainable practices. With accurate, accessible data, your CFO can make clear the link between sustainability and economic gain.

Securing C-Suite buy-in isn’t only about loosening the company purse strings. It’s about ensuring every decision the company makes is informed from a sustainable perspective. The decisions made in the C-Suite make your company what it is, and to survive in a business ecosystem driven by regulations, ESG investing and public opinion, you’ll need to make sure your C-suite embeds sustainability into every decision they make. Arguments made to the C-Suite need to be convincing and well-evidenced. The same goes for suppliers. They can’t be expected to change their practices if the will to change isn’t woven through the entire business.

If you’re to make emissions reduction the heart of business decisions, you’ll need a platform that places it front and centre and allows for no doubts about its value. With Emitwise backing you up, you can drive the emissions reduction agenda by crystalising the gains in the boardroom, from the early adopters down to the hardcore bottom-liners. Give us a call.