T&E Tools Can Help as ESG Regulations Ramp Up

Christopher Juneau |

An SAP Concur-commissioned survey with Forrester found that sustainability is one of the top five company-wide initiatives, and 60% of decision-makers identified it as a critical or high priority. However, an organization is only as sustainable as its technologies enable. Without access to data or the ability to quickly analyze and interpret it, a company’s footprint is a loosely informed estimate at best.

And the regulations are coming. A bevy of new rules—for instance, those brought on by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)—are set to take shape beginning in 2024, raising big (and potentially expensive) compliance questions for companies. Missing, misleading, or late disclosures about greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors could result in stiff fines. 

Yet, less than half the professionals surveyed in a recent Deloitte poll (45.7%) said they were confident in their company’s ability to meet new requirements. Even fewer (16.4%) could identify a manager in their organization dedicated to ESG. While there are bright spots—including a 26% increase in sustainability accounting compared to last year—at least one thing remains clear: Many organizations are not ready. 

A Solution

Next-generation travel and expense (T&E) technology is critical to changing employee behaviors, reducing impact, and accomplishing this high-ranking initiative.

SAP Concur solutions can help organizations prepare for the shifting paradigm and the reams of new data to be collected and interpreted. Our tools offer an end-to-end approach with the incorporation of eco-conscious partners and suppliers to guide sustainable travel practices, track results, and better evaluate trends and the behaviors behind them.

With our expanding partner ecosystem that connects to SAP Concur solutions, our partners help our customers account for emissions based on their T&E data and devise broader carbon reduction and offset strategies as new regulations take hold.

A Case Study

One company that has made a substantial commitment to sustainability is PwC. Among its goals are reducing its CO2 emissions by 50% in the near term and fully offsetting remaining emissions by 2030. To do its part in helping achieve this goal, PwC Italia decided to standardize its entire T&E process and improve its end-user experience with a change to its business travel management system.

Before making this change, the lack of software integration made it difficult to empower employees’ sustainable decision-making. It was also challenging to report the environmental impact of business travel. By allowing its 8,000 employees to use SAP Concur solutions for the entire T&E process—from booking a trip to filing an expense report—with enhanced filtering capabilities and messaging alerts to nudge employees to more sustainable choices, PwC Italia is able to give employees the information they need to plan sustainable business travel and easily report on CO2 emissions.

Ultimately, PwC Italia reduced its CO2 emissions by 53% from 2019 to 2022, and 25% of its employees now prefer sustainable travel choices.

An Answer

Regulators from across the U.S., UK, and Hong Kong—among other geographies—are rewriting their rules on environmental reporting and the social governance systems that surround them. And yet, globally, a full three-quarters of companies surveyed for a recent KPMG report were not ready to have their ESG data audited. Another 31% of companies said they struggle to implement the right programs and policies, despite the desire to become more sustainable.

With new regulations soon set to kick in, this could prove to be an expensive reality for many. SAP Concur solutions can help, by generating, tracking, and evaluating the data needed to build sustainable strategies and by building greater organizational transparency to contribute to a more sustainable world.

Learn how you can build more sustainability into your travel program with SAP Concur solutions here.

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