As the holiday season approaches and 2022 comes to a close, it gives us the opportunity to reflect on the past year, as well as look forward to new beginnings. This year brought many challenges and changes to the ESG landscape, and 2023 is sure to bring more. But with great challenges come great opportunities for innovation.
In 2022, ESG continued to be a topic of growing conversation in both boardrooms and living rooms alike. For companies, regulations such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed climate-related disclosures for publicly listed companies, the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and the EU’s new sustainability reporting standards under the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) show that the importance of having a strong ESG strategy is greater now than ever before.
In 2023, companies must be prepared to handle regulations, future-proof their operations against climate change and respond to trends such as consumer pessimism about corporate sustainability efforts. This will include addressing consumer distrust in corporate sustainability promises and a reported inability to access corporate sustainability data—issues that are identified in our recently released research on the state of consumerism.
Only 10% of the consumers surveyed for our report said they completely trust businesses’ sustainability promises. According to our research, trust in sustainability promises is clearly tied to data transparency and accessibility, with only 10% of consumers saying that it’s very easy to find reliable sustainability information.
Businesses can increase consumer trust by implementing sustainable practices and embracing greater transparency in climate commitments across their value chains and operations. Companies will need to adopt solutions to measure and manage environmental performance and risk, especially as climate-related risk to companies’ supply chains continues to grow as the effects of climate change intensify across the globe.
In 2022, Sphera forged new partnerships and launched new software solutions to help our customers address these challenges and more. In May, we announced a partnership with BASF with the mutual goal of providing a standardized and integrated product carbon footprint (PCF) calculations to the market.
In October, Sphera completed its acquisition of riskmethods, a Munich, Germany-based provider of supply chain risk management (SCRM) software. Our partnership with riskmethods supports our continued expansion into the ESG solutions space and bolsters our ability to offer a Scope 3 emissions monitoring and reporting solution.
We also recently collaborated with Eastman, a global specialty materials company and long-time Sphera customer, on a forthcoming iteration of Sphera’s Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Automation software. Earlier this year, Sphera brought our next-generation LCA Automation solution to the market. It allows companies to get near real-time insights into the environmental impacts of their product portfolios.
An upcoming phase of our LCA Automation software will help meet the needs of the chemical industry. Our partnership with Eastman will help ensure that LCA automation for the chemical industry has the necessary functionality to produce reliable environmental impact reports at scale.
In addition to the new software solutions we’ve released and the partnerships we’ve formed, Sphera grew its leadership team and board in 2022. In January, we added Dane Parker, former chief sustainability officer at General Motors Co., and Mark Schlageter, Thomson Reuters’ first chief customer officer and Blackstone senior advisor focusing on GRC strategy development and execution, to our board of directors.
And in June, David Batchelor, former vice chairman at Marsh, joined Sphera’s board of directors as chairman. Lastly, in September, we welcomed Lisa Farrar as our new chief marketing officer. I’m proud of how we’ve grown and what we have accomplished in 2022. I’m looking forward to seeing what we achieve next.
With the right data, software and expertise, companies can make their operations safer, more sustainable and productive in 2023 and beyond. The best gift we can give is a better world for ourselves and future generations.
From all of us at Sphera, we wish you and your families peace and joy this holiday season, as well as a safe and prosperous new year. We thank you for your support and collaboration this year and in the years to come.