Sustainability claims are not trusted by business rivals

Sustainability

Sustainability claims made by companies are not believed by the majority of commercial rivals, according to a new study by Inmarsat.

Sustainability claims suffer from a lack of industry trust and verifiable data that is driving scepticism, according to the study by Inmarsat that found most business leaders (76 per cent) in major industries doubt their peers’ ESG reporting.

The findings come from a new global, independent research report commissioned by the company that explores the views of over 1,000 senior technology and ESG decision-makers across agriculture, mining, transport, utilities and oil & gas firms.

The survey asked professionals about their perceptions on ESG and whether they believed data provided by ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) solutions could help improve reporting transparency.

Respondents also report concerns about their peers’ ESG priorities, with 80 per cent saying their competitors are more focused on perception rather than achieving tangible sustainability outcomes.

However, despite scepticism about the motivations of their peers, most business leaders have faith in their own initiatives with 81 per cent convinced their company is more sustainable than their competitors.

The results suggest that a lack of verifiable hard data, and the willingness to share it, is undermining trust and slowing progress on business sustainability. Positively, however, many believe data collected via IoT solutions is critical to building trust (81 per cent) and improving ESG outcomes overall (82 per cent.

Four in five respondents plan to increase their use of IoT solutions over the next 12 months to measure and understand the impact of their sustainability initiatives more accurately. A similar proportion reported they are already seeing return on investment from IoT tools used to improve sustainability (78 per cent).

While the majority (83 per cent) agree they could be doing more to effectively leverage IoT solutions to produce ESG data, engrained resistance to data sharing creates an additional barrier to progress.

Only 47 per cent said they would be comfortable sharing all their ESG data with third parties to improve industry reporting and benchmarking over the next 1-3 years, reinforcing that improving trust will be key to achieving better outcomes.

“To demonstrate progress businesses must overcome their reluctance to share useful data and have the confidence to publish meaningful insights,” said Jat Brainch, chief commercial and product officer, Inmarsat. “Otherwise, they risk undermining genuine collaboration on sustainability and overshadowing the real progress being made. There is no quick fix, but creating methodical benchmarks based on actionable data, and sharing the results, will play a critical role in re-establishing trustworthy ESG reporting.”

Inmarsat’s recent ‘Can Space Help Save the Planet?’ report revealed that the world could reach Net Zero by 2040, ten years ahead of schedule, by accelerating the adoption of space and satellite technologies.

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