Having the 'Right Data' for ESG Reporting

May 20, 2024

Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) is on the agendas of many enterprises today. As sustainability becomes a key focus, ESG reporting is a way for organizations to record their achievements and progress. It all starts with data.

To explore how organizations are using their industrial/operational data for ESG reporting, AspenTech commissioned Vanson Bourne to survey 200 senior information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT) professionals across North America (US, Canada) and Europe (UK, France, Germany) working in a range of sectors (Energy, Oil and Gas, Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Engineering, Mining and Metals). Respondents were all from organizations with more than 1,000 employees.

Key Findings

Despite high demand for using industrial/operational data for ESG reporting, organizations need to invest in data analytical skills and technology to take full advantage of their data.



The research showed that organizations are leveraging their industrial/operational data to help them reach their sustainability goals due to its ability to measure and log compliance on everchanging goalposts from water usage to carbon footprints to other ESG objectives. In fact, 91% of survey respondents are using their industrial/operational data to some extent for ESG reporting.


Organizations represented in the survey are already facing several challenges when it comes to getting the most out of their data. Organizations are reporting struggles such as lack of high-quality data (33%), too few employees with analytical skills (31%) and lack of data technology (28%).

When it comes to utilizing industrial/operational data specifically for ESG reporting, organizations’ challenges intensify. About one-in-two experience aggregation of data (52%) and data quality (49%) as key challenges for ESG reporting.

Ensuring the right technology and upskilling of people to report on this data will be critical as regulations for this will not be slowing down, and in fact, will be ever evolving. Despite the challenges surrounding industrial/operational data, a number of organizations (41%) are still managing to use a significant amount of this data for ESG reporting.




Having the “Right Data’ for ESG Reporting

Having high-quality, fully sufficient and reliable industrial/operational data would, of course, enhance the quality of ESG reporting. While most respondents (78%) expressed that their organizations have good to excellent quality data, the technology currently in use to provide this information is falling short as only one in four organizations reported having fully reliable (25%) and sufficient (24%) data. This lack of the ‘right data’ may be restricting over half of organizations (59%) from using a significant amount of their data for ESG reporting.


Industrial/operational data has many organizational uses including support of sustainability objectives and strategies along with compliance with ESG regulations. Leveraging more of this data for ESG reporting, and investing in the technology to back it, will help organizations not only in maintaining their compliance but also in futureproofing in an ever-changing regulatory environment.

To read the whole research report, click here.

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