Using ESG Data to Drive a Net Zero Future

Steve Bailey
5 min readJan 9, 2023

ESG data: The Key to a Sustainable Future

Photo by Stephen Dawson on Unsplash

Currently, the global community is still not doing enough to tackle the climate challenges we face. The necessity to achieve net zero by 2050 is paramount as the alternatives are apocalyptic. The chief of the UN, Antonio Guterres, has warned that Unless action is taken soon, some major cities will be under water, “unprecedented heatwaves, terrifying storms, widespread water shortages and the extinction of a million species of plants and animals”.

In his book How to Review a Climate Disaster, Bill Gates states that “Getting to zero by 2050 might be the most difficult challenge humanity has ever taken on”. In the same book, the philanthropist also explains how innovative technologies that are yet to be operationalised will be required to support the global communities’ quest for net zero.

One thing that is for sure is that data will play a prominent role in bringing new technologies to market, through simulation & R&D. However sustainable data is not just for new products, it will be key to help monitor existing mitigation initiatives. A couple of examples are; the data output of climate sensors, and analysing resource usage to improve understanding that can lead to efficiency gains.

The Current State of Sustainability Data

The demand for ‘ESG’ data (environmental, social & governance) has been growing year on year and this trend grew rapidly in 2022. With a Deloitte insight acknowledging that ‘ESG incorporation may no longer be a differentiator for investors, but rather a standard input for consideration in the investment decision-making process’. Another large global consultancy highlights the momentum toward using ESG data from investors;

Institutional investors are aligning their portfolios toward better ESG performance. This signals a different approach from focusing on “responsible funds,” and instead seeing ESG issues as fundamental to the performance for all investments.

Matthew Bell, EY

It is increasingly the case that investors see ESG data as a mandatory business process. This is great news as it drives positive action in measuring & improving business & government ESG metrics. Examples of these metrics are reducing emissions…