July 18, 2024


Step Into The Technology

An enterprise architecture approach to ESG

5 min read


Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) difficulties are a incredibly hot subject in boardrooms these times. 

It is no shock. Environment-altering reviews on the condition of weather improve are delivered with alarming regularity. Diversity and social inclusion misalignment, alongside lax environmental values, are accelerating ‘the great resignation’. And having the firm’s response improper to these challenges can have detrimental outcomes on a brand’s graphic and track record. 

In numerous respects, addressing ESG troubles is a no-brainer for organisations. There is a collective social have to have for a much more eco-pleasant and socially sustainable technique to financial advancement. Introducing to that currently essential target, there is a developing entire body of evidence recognising the position played by ESG values in driving personnel price propositions, financial performance, prosperity, sustainability and in attracting financial commitment.1,2,3

Transforming an organisation to provide on ESG objectives, fairly than established-and-overlook or ‘greenwashing’ them,* nevertheless, requires an powerful and economical technique, not to mention strategic nous and the skill to execute. A tried out and examined methodology that can aid execute ESG goals and convey their execution straight to the CIO’s door is enterprise architecture.

Business architecture for ESG

The term ‘enterprise architecture’ or ‘EA’ refers to a set of frameworks, methodologies and resources that can help an organisation map their business enterprise technique to their processes, data property, ICT devices and technology.4 Its price lies in its potential to give essential organisational insights, making certain coherence in between organization goals and the supporting enterprise capabilities and engineering expert services desired to reach them. 

By knowledge the underlying parts of a business – their inter-relationships, value-chains, alignment and capabilities –  company architecture discovers and identifies misalignment concerning goals, techniques and approach, and is a wonderful starting point for implementing small business system by digital transformation.5

This suggests that company architecture frameworks are very well placed to aid organisations in evaluating their present-day ESG posture, informing the prioritisation of digitally-enabled or evaluated ESG initiatives, and developing the tactical roadmap to achieve an ESG vision.

Also, tested and verified EA methodologies and practices will enable mitigate linked dangers that result from approaches that deficiency the maturity desired to guarantee alignment to organisational imperatives.

How to get begun

Whether you want to meet up with Greenhouse Fuel (GHG) emissions targets or be certain honest trade sourcing in supply chains,  there will possible be demanded changes to several components of your organization processes, supporting info units, persons and/or know-how. 

To triumph on this transformation journey, an company architecture technique offers an array of instruments. For instance, heatmaps (charts that visualise which company functions, application methods, or technological innovation parts are connected with a individual overall performance measure) can help in choosing precedence areas to deal with whilst price chain mapping can give perception into the ESG affect of choices pertaining to offer chains.  

To get started, get to seriously know your present point out by viewing your ESG goals via the several EA layers, or lenses, and then use this perception to map out what you want to do to achieve your sought after long term condition.


  • Small business – Whether it’s organisational HR insurance policies, a advertising and marketing method or your procurement network, a lot of organisational procedures and functions require to be assessed for their skill to satisfy ESG objectives. Get procurement for example, how do your suppliers’ ESG profiles healthy with your ESG ambitions? Do you will need to redesign your offer chain?  Need to you assess your local community and social effect when adopting a new organization design?


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  • Information and facts devices – Will your information programs guidance the previously mentioned company procedure alterations? A critical element of attaining any ESG goal will be the information that your organization is collecting and developing. Your tactics and targets will dictate the knowledge you want to evaluate and control, but at the very same time, the information you presently have (or do not have) can tell the plans set in the to start with location. For example, do you have information on your recycling methods, the emissions remaining made by your supply partners or the proportion of good-trade sourcing in your offer chains? Can you examine the environmental footprint of your transport fleet?  And do you have the techniques to capture and/or create this knowledge?


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  • Engineering – Your organisation’s computing power, storage and telecommunications need to have to be in a position to assist the over information and facts systems and enterprise abilities. Are the systems at the moment in area suitable to run the new units you will will need? Mapping your technological know-how infrastructure will also support directly discover certain ESG ICT goals such as transitioning to small carbon footprint information centres, optimising the use of your infrastructure, or reimagining the probable info and computer system processing tradeoffs that get you to your lessen-emissions purpose.


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EA frameworks allow for organisations to go from vision to implementation throughout all organisational degrees and spots, and then to circle back for continuous refinements and advancements. A company with experienced company architecture procedures will also be improved positioned to reply to the evolving ESG landscape.

From alignment to transformation

Usually, and particularly when appeared at through a holistic company architecture approach, acquiring or reporting on sure ESG objectives (or seizing on revolutionary new opportunities that ESG delivers about) will not be possible by isolated tech adjustments, but in simple fact, need a more holistic digital transformation. (You may well have currently long gone by means of this in your COVID-19 pandemic response, but did you variable ESG in when you did?)

An EA-supported ESG assessment will give an precise view of the prices and benefits of an organisation’s overall IT portfolio. Architecture lenses will then aid to make the decisions important for ESG-similar electronic financial investment and/or transformation.

For instance, the high strength footprint of business enterprise IT methods is getting an raising aim of ESG issue.6,7 As a consequence, organisations are feeling sizeable force to go to ‘clean-IT,’ optimising the trade-off amongst energy use and computational performance, and incorporating algorithmic and computational efficiencies in IT methods and patterns. 

Conference ESG foreseeable future states will possible call for digitalisation and emerging systems such as IoT, electronic twins, massive info, and AI. Many purposes are by now accessible in the current market to guidance sustainability management and ESG reporting, together with PwC’s ESG Pulse. There’s also escalating recognition in just the company world of the great importance of integrating ESG into organization useful resource scheduling (ERP) methods as compliance and reporting demands develop.8  

Staying away from code pink

Organisations want to embrace ESG for their extensive-expression prosperity. But to consider benefit of ESG possibilities and certainly make a distinction (not to mention complying with future reporting and regulation requirements)9 organisations will need to embed ESG objectives into their enterprise, data and know-how. 

EA provides well-proven and established practices/frameworks to help strategic and aligned ESG transformations. The strategy can be instrumental to cascading an ESG vision through the organisation, making certain it is strategically embedded.

With an evolving ESG landscape, organisations ought to be equipped to react and adapt to modifying requirements with agility and self confidence. A experienced business architecture technique can be the differentiating enabler to aggressive benefit – and to making certain your organisation allows reach a extra sustainable society.


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