High-quality data needed to boost sustainability efforts

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel

A research study from SAP found that enterprises are connecting sustainability to revenue growth and long-term competitiveness. However, they are dissatisfied with their sustainability data due to a lack of scope, transparency and frequency.

To that end, reliable technologies will be instrumental to support them collect comprehensive and high-quality environmental sustainability data.

The SAP Environmental Sustainability Report, developed by the SAP Insight Research Center in 2022, surveyed over 6,600 business leaders across 40 countries/regions and 29 industries.

From Hong Kong, 140 respondents, including C-level executives and sustainability leaders, shared insights and helped build a better understanding of:

  • How environmental sustainability affects companies’ profits
  • The forces motivating investments in environmental sustainability
  • How businesses collect data to measure their progress and inform decision-making.

Key findings from Hong Kong:

  • Surveyed Hong Kong companies consider sustainability a direct path to future business success and improved revenue with over 55% indicating that sustainability has a strong or moderate effect on their long-term competitiveness and profitability.
  • Sustainability also plays a large role in Hong Kong companies’ financial results. Over 40% of the respondents believe that environmental issues are already impacting their business outcomes or will be so in less than five years.
  • About 40% of the surveyed Hong Kong companies take action on sustainability to drive revenue and profit growth as well as to develop new products or offerings.
  • As Hong Kong companies realize that sustainability can help drive business success, they require high-quality accurate sustainability data to gain visibility. However, only 11% of the Hong Kong respondents are completely satisfied with their environmental data. Their dissatisfaction stems from three top reasons 1) the data is not collected frequently; 2) the data is incomplete and 3) the lack of transparency in data calculation.

Esmond Tong, Managing Director, SAP Hong Kong said, “Enterprising business leaders in Hong Kong realize that sustainability is a contributing factor to drive business growth while supporting them to be more environmentally responsible. It is no longer just a cost implication,” said “Embedding comprehensive sustainability data collection into their operations not only facilitates data-driven decision-making but also supports companies to future-proof their long-term success.”

While challenges around sustainability data integrity and transparency still exist, this research leads to an understanding that companies expect better access to improved sustainability data to generate better business outcomes.