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The top 2018 challenges companies are facing concerning sustainability and compliance.

Sustainability and Compliance – what keeps companies busy in 2018

In the beginning of the year iPoint started to conduct the Sustainability and Compliance Trends Survey 2018. As a result, over 350 participants already gave information on the top challenges they are facing in their companies concerning sustainability and compliance.

Challenges 2018

What is the greatest compliance/sustainability challenge your company faces in 2018?

The survey so far shows that getting information e.g. on material composition especially from suppliers is currently the greatest challenge for companies. In addition, the general management of data and information is challenging enterprises. The participants named another huge task: compliance, particularly RoHS and REACH. These regulations affect primarily manufacturers or importers of electronic devices.

Software as solution

What do you see as the most effective solution for acquiring the cleanest & most accurate compliance data?

iPoint asks the participants for the most effective solution to acquire accurate compliance data. The most common answer (43%) was a combination of software and services. Besides money matters: 31% said they would prefer the solution with the lowest cost.

These answers are notably interesting after reading the Empauer Global Sustainability Survey, which was conducted between November 2017 and February 2018. Over 1000 participants worldwide were questioned on various topics concerning sustainability in the business industry. Empauer asked companies to assess the environmental impact of their business and track progress towards sustainability goals. Over half of the companies surveyed (55%) have an ad-hoc, informal measurement of sustainability goals or no measurement at all. Only 45% have software tools to provide reliable and consistent measurement of performance. This is astonishing because iPoint found out that most corporations state that a combination of software and service as the most effective solution.

Measurement mismatch

The Empauer Sustainability Survey concludes that the lack of reliable and consistent reporting makes measurement of industry performance challenging. The measurement mismatch hinders comparative studies and true accountability. This additionally seems to agree with other findings of the survey. Another question posed was if the companies have the necessary internal staff and skills to determine the sustainability of their activities. Only 44% of the respondents employ full time in-house resources to focus on the issue. More than 20% surveyed had no sustainability resource in their business.

Empauer asked why companies did not use specialist tools to measure the environmental impacts of corporation activities. More than one-third of respondents claimed the lack of trained staff (35%) or knowledge of tools (37%) were the reason why their company did not use specialist tools to measure environmental impacts. 42% claimed the perceived cost to access tools was a barrier.

Conclusion

Combining the results of the iPoint Sustainability Trends Survey and the Empauer Global Sustainability Survey you could derive that companies struggle with compliance to legal regulations concerning conflict minerals or restricted hazardous substances. Compliance and general data management are some of the greatest challenges companies face in 2018. Indeed, most believe that a combination of software and services is the most effective solution to these tasks, but a lot of firms have an ad-hoc, informal or no measurement of sustainability goals. They seem to suffer from the lack of trained staff or knowledge of tools. But they also claimed the perceived cost to access tools was a problem.

The result may be another challenge for 2018: spreading awareness of how important it is to have access to proper measurement tools to accomplish compliance and sustainability goals, and in addition knowledge to use them correctly.

Do you agree with the results of the iPoint Sustainability Trend Survey or does your company have a totally different point of view? Fill out the survey and be a part of the trend 2018.

Pia Ostroske

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