Insights 13 Nov 2023

The Many Benefits of a Virtual Sustainability Officer


The Many Benefits of a Virtual Sustainability Officer

In today's evolving business landscape, sustainability is crucial for companies of all sizes and sectors, offering both moral responsibility and strategic advantages. To meet sustainability goals, some organisations opt for a Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), but for those with limited resources, the Virtual Sustainability Officer® provides a flexible and cost-effective solution.
Nov 13, 2023

In today's rapidly changing world, sustainability has become a paramount concern for businesses of all sizes and industries. The need to adopt sustainable practices, reduce environmental impact, and promote social responsibility is not just a moral imperative but also a strategic advantage.

To address these challenges, many organisations have hired a Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) to their C-Suite. However, not all organizations have the resources to hire a full-time CSO. This is where the Virtual Sustainability Officer® comes in.

Back in 2019, we started wondering - what would happen to organisations who needed to report and reduce their GHG Emission profile, but didn’t have the resources to hire for a full-time role? Key, but transferrable, business functions like HR, Finance, and Admin roles have been a consistent component of business for years, but Sustainability hasn’t.
It’s new to large companies, let alone the small and medium-sized ones. That’s why we built the Virtual Sustainability Officer®.

Tackling the Challenge

Currently, 83% of global emissions originate from sources outside the Fortune 500. This sector faces increasing scrutiny due to rising pressure from employees, consumers, corporate clients, and regulators at various levels.
Digging deeper, over 60% of Fortune 500 companies are committed to addressing the climate crisis, with 40% setting Net Zero targets. These industry leaders now rely on their service providers and supply chain partners to report emissions, particularly for Scope 3 accountability.
In the future, to engage with large corporations or aspire to their scale, tracking and reporting emissions and sustainability practices will be essential.

What can companies do?

In general, you have two main choices:
  1. Handle it internally: This approach diverts resources from other tasks and often involves using numerous spreadsheets, learning as you go, and uncertainty in result processing.
  1. Employ a specialist: This eliminates the problems mentioned earlier but can be costly and sometimes excessive, while also not retaining any internal knowledge on th subject.
However, there is a third alternative:
  1. Alectro's Virtual Sustainability Officer®: This digital solution tracks data efficiently, generates straightforward reports, and is user-friendly. Plus, it's a fraction of the cost compared to hiring a full-time expert.

What are the benefits of the Virtual Sustainability Officer?

Cost Savings
Using the Virtual Sustainability Officer® platform offers a cost-effective alternative to hiring a full-time CSO. Organizations can access sustainability expertise, without the financial commitment of a full-time salary.
The platform® offers a wealth of expertise in an easily digestible format. It stays up-to-date with the latest sustainability trends and best practices, empowering organizations to make well-informed decisions and implement effective sustainability strategies.
The platform® offers user-friendly interfaces for various compliance requirements, ensuring organizations can adapt to evolving reporting needs effortlessly.
The platform® introduces a fresh perspective to an organization's sustainability endeavours. It offers an objective assessment of the organization's sustainability performance and identifies areas for improvement.
Access to Networks
The Virtual Sustainability Officer® boasts an extensive network within the sustainability community. This proves invaluable for organizations seeking partnerships or collaboration on sustainability initiatives. These platforms also grant access to valuable resources and tools that organizations may not have previously discovered.
Improved Reputation
In an era where sustainability greatly influences stakeholder perception, engaging with the Virtual Sustainability Officer® can enhance an organisation's sustainability performance. This, in turn, leads to an improved reputation and heightened stakeholder trust.

Should we hire a CSO or use the Virtual Sustainability Officer?

In summary, the Virtual Sustainability Officer® emerges as an ideal solution for organizations seeking to enhance their sustainability performance. This innovative platform offers a cost-effective and flexible approach, complemented by its wealth of expertise, objectivity, and a fresh perspective.
As sustainability gains prominence in shaping stakeholder perceptions, it's imperative that any solution is seamlessly integrated into the company's strategy and adopted at the highest level.
However, considering that most organisations lack the necessary data and expertise, the Virtual Sustainability Officer®serves as a valuable tool for swiftly implementing a robust ESG strategy without imposing a significant financial or employee resource burden.

Alectro's Virtual Sustainability Officer® provides the tools you need to measure and track your impact in days, not months, giving you total transparency on your impact, ready to use in any reporting required. The platform will help you to create and track your journey as you move from carbon-neutral to net-zero over the coming decade.
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