Datamaran celebrates its 8th anniversary as ESG reaches its own milestone
14 June 2022 - by Marjella Lecourt-Alma
Last week we celebrated the 8th anniversary of the launch of Datamaran. Starting a business is a tough but rewarding journey - from a spark of an idea to a leading team of talented and passionate experts spread across the globe. It’s especially exciting, not because 8 is considered the luckiest or most powerful number, or that it represents infinity, but because our story is inextricably linked to ESG becoming more recognised by the day as a serious and strategic business framework.
Rise of ESG and Datamaran
When we launched in 2014 our idea was a brand new concept of strategic ESG software. We used many creative descriptions to explain the impact it would have, “the Google Maps of ESG”, or that “we’ll do the legwork while you do the masterminding”, because we were ahead of the curve and creating the category. The idea struck a chord with everyone we spoke to and we landed a high profile client (a certain company that became the largest in the world in fact) but ESG was very different to what we see today.
When Datamaran was created the space was still dominated by the “nice to have” CSR rather than a business focused and strategic approach using financially relevant information on the risks and opportunities. Responsible investing has of course been around for some time. But the ESG from the ‘Who Cares Wins’ UN Global Compact Report in 2005, has only recently moved from investment focus to a strategic business tool as technological developments, stakeholder demands and the business case have all converged.
As the benefits of ESG as a strategic tool have emerged, we have continued to develop and thrive - as a business, as a technology, and most importantly how the insights we provide help companies shape, implement, monitor and update their ESG strategy.
With double materiality too gaining momentum in recent years, the need for a focused view of future risk has become a necessity for every business, rather than just those organisations that look at ESG in a more progressive and strategic way.
These tables show that references to ESG as a strategic tool, or double materiality as a holistic view of risks and opportunities, are gaining considerable momentum in financial and non-financial reports. The growth has been dramatic and coincides with the increased focus on putting ESG at the heart of a business strategy.
ESGs inflection point
This exponential growth has been for those that have championed ESG for so long, but it has also led to considerable challenges. There are so many more opportunities for companies as the attention of standard setters and ESG professionals shift towards the strategic approach.
Datamaran still stands alone at the strategic level, helping companies to create a blueprint based on all the available data and tailored to their industry. Goal setting and data management are then more focused and add real value to the business. Our clients are the pioneers and pace-setters, managing risk and opportunities more effectively, often having a competitive advantage over those taking a more conservative or tactical approach.
But with the greater attention comes greater scrutiny. From negative campaigns by high-profile US politicians to more frequent and well publicized greenwashing cases, these are perhaps the growing pains from the difficult transition from a compliance led to a strategy driven approach. Growing so quickly has also meant that the skills, budget and experience within businesses have yet to catch up, which makes the transformation challenge even greater and further increases the risk of greenwashing. We have reached an inflection point and there are some that are questioning the future of ESG as a framework.
While our growth stories mirror each other up to now it will be interesting to see if ESG can continue to thrive in the same way Datamaran is considering the difficult challenges it faces - whether justifying its very definition, or differentiating itself from woke capitalism towards a more logical stakeholder driven approach that is almost impossible to argue against being embedded in all business decisions.
In many ways it seems that ESG now needs Datamaran more than the other way around. After all, data, insight, focus, and strategy are the only antidote to greenwashing or politicization. And, as was the case when Datamaran was launched onto the scene in 2014, we are still the only ESG strategy software available today that can deliver this.
I am more excited and confident than ever that we will celebrate the next 8-years of Datamaran’s success with a strong strategic ESG thread through every business we work with. A thread based on real insight that is woven into the fabric of every organization.
ESG Policy-Making in 2022: an essential breakdown of climate-related requirements
Companies need to prepare for strict mandatory climate disclosure requirements. That’s why, for the first time, Datamaran is making the latest version of its client-exclusive, quarterly Policy Brief accessible to the wider public.
This Policy Brief provides essential insights for businesses looking to be compliant and stay one step ahead. It features expert commentary from DLA Piper, a Datamaran partner and global law firm.
Download this free Policy Brief to understand what’s changing, when, and how you can respond.