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Sedex identifies 10 vital data points to demystify ESG reporting


Latest report from Sedex identifies the essential business and supply chain data to support companies’ sustainability goals and effective ESG reporting

London 6 July 2022 - A new report from Sedex, the trusted partner for environment, social and governance (ESG) and sustainability data, identifies the key data to collect for businesses looking to conduct effective ESG reporting.

ESG has become a business priority, as companies respond to investors’ increased interest in social and environmental performance. But a lack of reporting standards, with varying requirements across different ratings providers and frameworks, makes it incredibly challenging for businesses to meet ESG demands efficiently.

Data and technology provide essential solutions to this challenge. Capturing the right information equips a company to achieve ESG goals and supports other sustainability activities, such as producing modern slavery statements and demonstrating tangible progress against targets.

Data to meet multiple sustainability goals
Sedex has identified the data businesses need most to meet ESG demands, and which feeds into many other sustainability-related activities. Gathering this data can save companies time, reducing duplication and effort, and helping build supply chain visibility to make more informed decisions.

The 10 data areas:

  • Air emissions
  • Water use
  • Physical waste
  • Worker demographics
  • Accident and injury occurrences
  • Worker access to freedom of association
  • Modern slavery risks and occurrences
  • Gender pay gap
  • Corruption risks and occurrences
  • Governance bodies

See Notes to Editors for full descriptions

Data-led technology and tools enable businesses to collect, store, share and report on this data at scale across global operations and supply chains. Sedex’s Radar risk tool, for example, provides over 340,000 risk scores across countries and industries for businesses to compare social and environmental risks around the world.

Jon Hancock, CEO at Sedex, says: “Data on a business’s operations, employees and supply chain is crucial for identifying and tackling social and environmental sustainability issues, and evidencing a company’s ESG impact in a credible way. This data, and the insight it brings, also supports many other business benefits - including more effective risk management, better response to supply chain disruption, and improved reputation with stakeholders including consumers.

“We empower companies to do this with our solutions, including bespoke support on a company’s particular ESG and sustainability needs, and the tools to execute activities at scale. Businesses can capture the data they need in the most efficient way.”

View the full insights report on the 10 core data points here:


About Sedex
Sedex is the trusted partner for ESG and sustainable impact, providing accessible, affordable and intelligent tools that enable businesses to tackle key sustainability issues. Over 66,000 businesses use Sedex’s technology and insights to manage business risk, build supply chain visibility, comply with legislation, operate sustainably and drive positive impacts for people and the environment.

Sedex is a membership organisation with offices in Australia, Chile, China, India, Japan and the USA. Members include many of the world’s biggest brands, such as Marks & Spencer, Proctor & Gamble, Reckitt, British Airways, The Body Shop and Bidfood. Visit our website for more information.

Sedex’s data platform and services provide a seamless solution for holistic ESG management and reporting. Our tools support companies to gather, store and analyse relevant data, feeding into reporting and enabling businesses to demonstrate tangible progress with credible evidence.

The 10 core areas for collecting data identified by Sedex

Air emissions
These are gas emissions connected to business activities that could have a negative impact on people or the environment. This includes greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants that affect air quality, such as nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, and chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs). Recording and reducing air emissions is an important part of environmental sustainability and essential for ESG reporting.

Water use
How water is used in business activities, including the wastewater produced. ESG ratings providers look for companies to use water in a way that makes sure it will be available for future operations, prevents environmental degradation, and ensures local areas have enough water for people and ecosystems.

Physical waste
The amount of physical waste generated through business activities. ESG standards expect a company to manage physical waste appropriately and reduce their waste’s contribution to any environmental damage or health issues.

Worker demographics
This is the people who make the products, materials and services that a company sells, and uses to produce what it sells. Investors and other stakeholders want to see that a company treats people well – as an essential aspect of responsible business conduct, and to maintain a healthy, resilient, skilled workforce.

Gender pay gap
This is the difference between the average earnings of men and women. ESG analysts want to know how a company is addressing gender pay gaps to drive gender equality.

Freedom of association and collective bargaining
These are work sites covered by an independent trade union or collective bargaining agreement. Freedom of association and collective bargaining are fundamental labour standards and key enablers of better working conditions. ESG analysts will want to see that companies uphold this standard and support workers to have a voice.

Accidents and injuries
The number of accidents and injuries occurring at work. Across laws, ESG requirements and industry regulations, businesses need to show that they’re protecting employees from harm at work. High accident and injury rates are also a recognised risk to efficient operations.

Modern slavery
Instances of modern slavery identified, including forced labour, debt bondage, human trafficking, and the worst forms of child labour. Forced labour is the most prevalent form of modern slavery and can occur anywhere in a supply chain. Modern slavery is illegal and a human rights abuse - ESG ratings providers, investors, consumers and governments expect companies to actively tackle it.

Governance bodies
These are the people ultimately responsible for how a business operates and is governed – usually a Board of Directors or Executive Team. ESG ratings providers and analysts want to know who governs a business and its strategic decisions.

Instances of dishonest or illegal behaviour, or abuses of power, by people in positions of power for personal or corporate advantage. In ESG reports, businesses will need to demonstrate that they work to prevent corruption and deal with it appropriately when it happens.