Executives trust technology to take ownership of ESG: Nutrien explains why
Research suggests a number of companies lack the right expertise at the Board and Executive level to adequately manage environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities. Still companies face increasing stakeholder pressure from regulators, investors and customers to understand and incorporate new and emerging issues into core strategy.
Bill Cooper, Director of Emerging Issues and Reputation Management at Nutrien, a global agricultural company, explains how his team is building both competence and confidence at the Executive and Board level using Datamaran. Nutrien’s cross-functional team depends on Datamaran and the data-driven process it enables to identify, understand, and monitor ESG risks and opportunities. This covers a wide range of subject matter experts on Strategic Issue Teams from Investor Relations, Tax, Treasury and Risk, Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations, Government and Industry Affairs, Safety, Health and Environment, Brand and Culture Communications, as well as the Chief Integrity Officer and the ESG Working Group, which oversees the functional strategy.
With continuous, evidence-based insight into regulatory developments, industry practices, and media trends, Datamaran helps Nutrien’s cross-functional leadership develop a cohesive strategy and focus on what really matters. They gain clarity and confidence, as well as the efficiency needed to stay one step ahead of market developments.
Bill Cooper: “Having the Datamaran platform, where all of our topics are housed and displayed, and where we can drill down into what's driving those risks has increased engagement internally and strengthened knowledge of ESG across our executive and our senior management teams.”
As more companies aim to address in a coordinated way their material risks, communicating and ensuring accurate information flow of emerging issues is required. Datamaran provides a consistent, replicable, and tech-enabled process for Nutrien to integrate ESG-related risks and opportunities into their risk management and reporting processes.
Making materiality data-driven, dynamic, and strategic
Today’s fast-changing regulatory environment and with new industry standards means that the thresholds of what classifies an issue as “material” is evolving quickly in North America and abroad. As such, Executives and Board members need up-to-date and reliable information about their own company’s risk and opportunity universe to make decisions with confidence.
Using Datamaran to continuously monitor and communicate on external developments enables leadership to keep a pulse on emerging issues that could have the potential to impact the financial health of their company.
Bill Cooper: “We use Datamaran's platform to inform executives [about key regulations, industry and media trends] to guide decisions on materiality.“
With access to these evidence-based insights and the underlying data, including peer benchmarks, Nutrien gains a more complete view of current and emerging issues at any given point in time. Coupled with Datamaran’s automated monitoring capabilities, this enables them to track changes over time, determine which ones are most relevant to address, and how best to address them.
Bill Cooper: “Datamaran helps Nutrien to determine what are our material topics, where to invest our energy and organizational efforts to address them. As such, we’ve found that the Datamaran platform has increased [Executive] engagement on ESG.”
Purpose and accountability: a governance norm
Amidst growing awareness that companies play a critical role in creating and safeguarding value for a multitude of stakeholders, corporate governance teams are evolving to provide direct oversight of ESG issues - from Climate Change to Employee Wellbeing and Cybersecurity. Enhanced scrutiny of a company’s impact (and measurement) of these new risks requires credible assurance and collaboration across teams to maintain trust and ensure accuracy.
Whilst companies implement and communicate new strategies that reflect a more purpose-driven approach, policymakers such as the International Standard Organization (ISO) are also providing new guidance on how companies can be better corporate citizens.
That’s where having a consistent birds eye view of what’s changing becomes essential.
Bill Cooper: “Datamaran helps us identify ESG risks and opportunities, track our material topics, and assess the trends about which way they're going more proactively.”
Learn more about Nutrien’s ESG strategy here.
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