How to choose the right ESG and sustainability software?

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Your company has decided it’s time to select and deploy ESG and sustainability software. Great! That’s a smart decision because the best companies know that software can make a big difference in the success of your ESG and sustainability program.

Making the decision is the easy part! Now comes the hard part: how do you choose the right ESG and sustainability software for you? With so many vendors and such a wide variety of software applications, choosing the right solution can be a challenge.

But we have made it easy for you! Read on to learn how to choose the right ESG and sustainability software for your business.


Identify your ESG & sustainability goals.


Even before you start looking at different ESG & sustainability software, you first need to look at yourself! You need to ask yourself this question, “What are my goals?” Are you looking for software to collect data and run a sustainability reporting program? Or are you looking for something more ambitious to improve your ESG performance over the longer term?

Also, determine your priorities, both for today and tomorrow. Let us say that all you need today is software to collect ESG data and produce TCFD, SASB, GRI, CDP and other reports. But you think that in about 2-3 years you will need a more advanced system that provides insights through analytics. In that case, do you really want to go through two software evaluation processes?

Selecting ESG and sustainability software starts with knowing your needs better.


Determine your ESG and sustainability software budget


What you are willing to spend on ESG and sustainability software has a big impact on what you can buy. That’s why the previous step, identifying your goals, is so important. If you have big goals but a small budget, then you have a problem. But if you have small goals but a big budget, then you may be missing an opportunity.

Also, think about the payment model you like. Do you want to purchase a software license with a one-time fee (plus implementation and annual maintenance fees) or do you prefer SaaS, where you pay an annual fee and do not have to worry about implementing, maintaining and updating the ESG and Sustainability software?

If you have a large need but are concerned about your budget, a SaaS model may be better because you pay a single, predictable amount each year.


Determine the scope of the software solution


Once you have identified your goals and set your budget, you can move on to the next step of choosing the right ESG & sustainability software. This step is about determining the scope of the solution. Here, you will get a better idea of the complexity and functionality of the software system you want.

This step is important because ESG and sustainability software comes in all shapes and sizes. Some systems are more data management tools with limited functionality. Others are based on artificial intelligence and analytics with real-time data collection and offer a very comprehensive feature set. And then there are all types of solutions in between to drive sustainability efforts.

If you do a poor job of defining the scope of the solution, the evaluation process for ESG and sustainability software can quickly overwhelm you.


Determine the scope of ESG and sustainability software use


Some organizations are complex. They span multiple business units with different business strategies or have subsidiaries or plants in many countries. If this is the case for you, you should determine the scope of the ESG & sustainability software.

You may only need ESG & Sustainability software in one location to start with. However, if there is a high likelihood that all of your sites will use the system, then you should factor that into your budget. Also, buy for your future needs, not just your current needs. Think about the needs of your internal and external stakeholders as you drive financial performance.

Scalability of the ESG & Sustainability software solution is an important factor in improving sustainability and increasing business performance. You may start with a limited number of users. But will it then be easy to expand the software application to the entire company? This is also a reason why a SaaS software platform might be better.


Take advantage of free advice from ESG and sustainability experts.


Evaluating software is not easy. It’s also not easy to know how to build your business case for ESG software. You could use some assistance! An unbiased opinion on choosing the right technology and securing a budget for ESG & sustainability software can be very helpful. Some consultants charge a lot of money for their services, but there is an alternative. 

At we simplify your software search. Free of charge! So you can choose the best ESG & sustainability software for you.

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