April 16, 2024


Technology can't be beat

An enterprise architecture approach to ESG


Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) challenges are a hot matter in boardrooms these times. 

It is no surprise. Earth-altering stories on the point out of local weather modify are shipped with alarming regularity. Variety and social inclusion misalignment, alongside lax environmental values, are accelerating ‘the terrific resignation’. And receiving the company’s response improper to these issues can have harmful effects on a brand’s image and standing. 

In numerous respects, addressing ESG concerns is a no-brainer for organisations. There is a collective social want for a more eco-pleasant and socially sustainable approach to economic growth. Incorporating to that previously important purpose, there is a increasing physique of proof recognising the job played by ESG values in driving personnel value propositions, economical effectiveness, prosperity, sustainability and in attracting expense.1,2,3

Transforming an organisation to supply on ESG aims, instead than established-and-ignore or ‘greenwashing’ them,* on the other hand, calls for an successful and successful technique, not to mention strategic nous and the capacity to execute. A tried out and analyzed methodology that can support execute ESG targets and deliver their execution straight to the CIO’s door is organization architecture.

Organization architecture for ESG

The phrase ‘enterprise architecture’ or ‘EA’ refers to a established of frameworks, methodologies and tools that can assist an organisation map their company tactic to their procedures, knowledge assets, ICT methods and engineering.4 Its value lies in its skill to give crucial organisational insights, ensuring coherence among enterprise targets and the supporting business features and know-how solutions essential to obtain them. 

By being familiar with the fundamental components of a enterprise – their inter-relationships, price-chains, alignment and abilities –  company architecture discovers and identifies misalignment among targets, methods and technique, and is a wonderful starting point for employing enterprise method through digital transformation.5

This implies that business architecture frameworks are effectively placed to guide organisations in assessing their latest ESG posture, informing the prioritisation of digitally-enabled or evaluated ESG initiatives, and creating the tactical roadmap to reach an ESG vision.

Also, analyzed and confirmed EA methodologies and tactics will support mitigate associated pitfalls that end result from techniques that deficiency the maturity essential to make sure alignment to organisational imperatives.

How to get begun

Regardless of whether you want to meet up with Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions targets or make certain fair trade sourcing in offer chains,  there will possible be expected modifications to various factors of your enterprise procedures, supporting info devices, folks and/or technology. 

To be successful on this transformation journey, an company architecture approach delivers an array of tools. For illustration, heatmaps (charts that visualise which small business features, software units, or technology parts are related with a distinct performance evaluate) can assist in choosing priority locations to tackle whilst price chain mapping can supply perception into the ESG impression of selections pertaining to offer chains.  

To start off, get to seriously know your existing condition by viewing your ESG ambitions by means of the various EA layers, or lenses, and then use this insight to map out what you want to do to arrive at your desired upcoming state.


  • Enterprise – No matter if it’s organisational HR procedures, a marketing and advertising approach or your procurement network, several organisational procedures and features want to be assessed for their ability to satisfy ESG objectives. Consider procurement for illustration, how do your suppliers’ ESG profiles suit with your ESG objectives? Do you need to redesign your source chain?  Ought to you assess your group and social impact when adopting a new company design?


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  • Details devices – Will your facts methods aid the above small business system alterations? A crucial aspect of attaining any ESG intention will be the info that your enterprise is gathering and developing. Your procedures and objectives will dictate the facts you need to have to measure and handle, but at the very same time, the facts you already have (or do not have) can notify the objectives set in the to start with spot. For instance, do you have facts on your recycling tactics, the emissions staying produced by your supply partners or the share of truthful-trade sourcing in your source chains? Can you examine the environmental footprint of your transportation fleet?  And do you have the devices to capture and/or generate this info?


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  • Technological know-how – Your organisation’s computing energy, storage and telecommunications need to have to be ready to guidance the over facts units and company capabilities. Are the technologies presently in spot enough to operate the new units you will need? Mapping your technologies infrastructure will also support immediately detect unique ESG ICT goals this kind of as transitioning to reduced carbon footprint data centres, optimising the use of your infrastructure, or reimagining the doable facts and laptop or computer processing tradeoffs that get you to your lower-emissions objective.


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EA frameworks allow for organisations to go from eyesight to implementation across all organisational degrees and places, and then to circle back again for ongoing refinements and enhancements. A company with experienced organization architecture tactics will also be better positioned to react to the evolving ESG landscape.

From alignment to transformation

Normally, and in particular when appeared at via a holistic enterprise architecture technique, accomplishing or reporting on specified ESG targets (or seizing on innovative new alternatives that ESG brings about) will not be doable via isolated tech adjustments, but in point, have to have a far more holistic digital transformation. (You might have now long gone by this in your COVID-19 pandemic reaction, but did you factor ESG in when you did?)

An EA-supported ESG evaluation will give an accurate look at of the fees and rewards of an organisation’s general IT portfolio. Architecture lenses will then aid to make the decisions important for ESG-associated electronic expenditure and/or transformation.

For instance, the higher strength footprint of business enterprise IT devices is getting an increasing target of ESG concern.6,7 As a consequence, organisations are experience major pressure to go to ‘clean-IT,’ optimising the trade-off between vitality intake and computational performance, and incorporating algorithmic and computational efficiencies in IT alternatives and types. 

Meeting ESG future states will likely require digitalisation and rising systems this kind of as IoT, digital twins, huge information, and AI. A lot of apps are presently out there in the sector to support sustainability administration and ESG reporting, including PwC’s ESG Pulse. There’s also increasing recognition within just the organization planet of the importance of integrating ESG into business resource arranging (ERP) methods as compliance and reporting requirements acquire.8  

Avoiding code crimson

Organisations need to embrace ESG for their extended-expression prosperity. But to acquire edge of ESG prospects and really make a change (not to point out complying with upcoming reporting and regulation demands)9 organisations need to embed ESG ambitions into their organization, facts and engineering. 

EA presents very well-established and established tactics/frameworks to help strategic and aligned ESG transformations. The technique can be instrumental to cascading an ESG vision all through the organisation, ensuring it is strategically embedded.

With an evolving ESG landscape, organisations have to be in a position to answer and adapt to transforming demands with agility and confidence. A experienced organization architecture tactic can be the differentiating enabler to aggressive advantage – and to guaranteeing your organisation assists reach a far more sustainable society.


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