LONDON-(BUSINESS WIRE)–Most business leaders (76%) across major industries question their peers’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) reports, according to a new survey by Inmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications.
The findings come from a new global independent research report Accelerating sustainable action through IoT by order of the company. Surveys the perspectives of over 1,000 senior technology and ESG executives in agriculture, mining, transportation, utilities and oil and gas firms. The survey asked professionals about their perceptions of ESG and whether they believe that data provided by Internet of Things (IoT) solutions can help improve reporting transparency.
Respondents also reported concern about their peers’ environmental and social management priorities, with 80% saying their competitors were more focused on perception than delivering tangible sustainability results.
However, despite skepticism about the motivation of their colleagues, most business leaders have faith in their own initiatives: 81% are convinced that their company is more sustainable than their competitors.
LACK OF DATA DRIVING LACK OF TRUST
The results show that the lack of verifiable hard data – and the willingness to share it – undermines trust and slows progress in business sustainability.
On a positive note, however, many believe that data collected through IoT solutions is critical to building trust (81%) and improving ESG outcomes overall (82%).
Four out of five respondents plan to increase their use of IoT solutions in the next 12 months to more accurately measure and understand the impact of their sustainability initiatives. A similar share reported already seeing a return on investment from IoT tools used to improve sustainability (78%).
Although the majority (83%) agree that more could be done to effectively use IoT solutions to produce ESG data, entrenched resistance to data sharing creates an additional barrier to progress.
Only 47% said they would feel comfortable sharing all their ESG data with third parties to improve industry reporting and benchmarking in the next 1-3 years, confirming that improving trust will be key to achieving better results.
SATELLITE LINK KEY FOR IOT
With big data at the heart of IoT performance, nine in ten (91%) agree that satellite connectivity is the key to unlocking the full potential of IoT solutions focused on improving sustainability.
Currently, just over a third of respondents (36%) rely on satellite networks for IoT connectivity. However, satellite is expected to become the most popular method of connection in the next decade, with half of them expecting to use it in that time frame.
IoT-enabled data isn’t the only way satellite technology can help improve environmental outcomes. Inmarsat’s recent Can Space Help Save the Planet? report reveals that the world could reach Net Zero by 2040 – ten years ahead of schedule – by accelerating the adoption of space and satellite technologies.
Networks such as Inmarsat ELERA are central to this, providing ultra-reliable global connectivity that enables data sharing across industries such as agriculture, power, mining, oil and gas and transport.
Jat Brainch, Chief Commercial and Product Officer, Inmarsat said: “You can’t manage what you can’t measure, so it’s encouraging to see so many organizations looking to IoT to assess and improve ESG reporting.
“However, to demonstrate progress, businesses must overcome their reluctance to share useful data and have the confidence to publish meaningful insights. Otherwise, they risk undermining genuine cooperation on sustainability and overshadowing the real progress that has been 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 credible ESG reporting.
“IoT is nothing without connectivity. Yet ground coverage often can’t reach the remote locations where our most valuable data points often originate. By using satellites to bridge this connectivity gap, organizations can access data to make the right decisions immediately. We must make the most of this opportunity if we are to achieve Net Zero quickly.”
David Hill, CEO, IoT Community, said: “Connected IoT solutions are the key to extracting, analyzing and sharing aggregated ESG data in a compliant and secure way. In the same way that we use wearable devices to measure our personal health, businesses must rely more on IoT solutions to monitor progress, reduce costs, improve safety and maximize sustainability. Reliable data will support their ESG claims and can be used for reporting in all areas of their operations, especially in remote locations with challenging conditions.
“To be truly successful, we need to change the way we think about data sharing and connectivity. Once businesses feel comfortable sharing their ESG insights to improve wider industry reporting and benchmarking, and prioritizing satellite connectivity as a key enabler, will we start to see real progress on sustainability.”
Notes to the editors
The report ‘Accelerating sustainable action through IoT’ focuses on the challenges, opportunities and priorities that businesses are juggling as they work to improve their sustainability credentials, and the role that satellite-enabled IoT solutions will play in driving this change.
This report is based on independent research conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Inmarsat, surveying 1,000+ senior technology and ESG professionals with sustainability decision-making authority across a range of business sizes (sole trader, 1-9, 10 -49, 50-99, 100-249, 250-500 and 500+ employees). Survey respondents spanned the agriculture, mining, oil and gas, utilities and transportation sectors in Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Asia. As such, the results represent a wide range of businesses at different stages of their IoT sustainability and industrial adoption journeys. Data collected in August/September 2022.
Inmarsat provides world-leading, innovative, advanced and highly reliable global mobile communications worldwide – in the air, at sea and on land – enabling a new generation of commercial, government and mission-critical services.
In November 2021, Inmarsat and Viasat announced the planned merger of the two companies to create a new leader in global communications.