4 Steps in the ESG Reporting Journey: What Needs Solving?

An overly simplified view of the ESG Reporting Journey illustrating the flow between the reporter and the various consumers of the report

1. Plan

Every process starts with understanding what matters to stakeholders in order to shape the ESG strategy and define the scope of the report. Remember, this is a voluntary report until the SEC says otherwise. Voluntary means defining what to report and how to report it. While the creative license may appear to be liberating and energizing at first glance, ESG leaders will tell you it is anything but liberating.

How does a company decide what topics matter to its stakeholders with this level of value dispersion?

2. Execute

Once the ESG strategy is created and commitments and goals set, the next step is operationalizing it — drafting the policies and driving initiatives to improve ESG performance.

HolonIQ Global Climate Tech Landscape
  1. Who do we need to collaborate with to improve performance and how is this ESG initiative integrated with our broader corporate strategy?
  2. How do we manage the overall portfolio of ESG performance improvement initiatives and how do we know if we are successful?

3. Gather

Alright, so you now have an ESG strategy and a series of initiatives to improve your ESG performance. Now you have to measure how you’re doing, gather the data and analyze the results. Where and how do you do this?

Um, make sure to delimit by comma

4. Report

Once all the ESG data is gathered, analyzed and validated, the next step is reporting. Reporting is not a one-click extract of a table from an ESG system, instead it is a marriage of numbers and narrative, a careful telling of the ESG story to stakeholders through various outputs that must be consistent, cohesive and trustworthy.

Yay, you’re done! Fiscal Year 2022 reporting cycle starts tomorrow 🙄

The ESG Talent Market: A Pervasive Problem

Clint Eastwood’s ESG chair

Cheat Sheet

Here’s a TL;DR version of the 4 steps in ESG reporting, the goals at each step and the pain points worth solving for



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