It may be the age of the machine but that doesn’t make us any less accountable.
There is a growing focus at board level on Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG). And intelligent automation can pave the way for firms to achieve these targets.
These three ‘pillars’, as they are known in ESG frameworks, represent the main areas companies are expected to report on.
As explained by Deloitte: ‘Investors, regulators, consumers and employees are increasingly demanding that companies should not only be good stewards of capital but also of natural and social capital. And have the necessary governance framework in place to support this.’
Automation and environmental goals
Great leadership requires great planning, and increasingly a willingness to embrace technology.
When looking at ESG goals for the coming five to ten years businesses need to consider how they can improve processes to achieve better outcomes.
And quite often implementing process automation will make sizeable improvements across all three ESG pillars.
For example, at Agile Automations our biggest financial client had ambitious environmental targets to cut down on paper waste.
They saw an opportunity to digitise paper valuations benefitting the physical environment and making huge waste savings.
Using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to send valuations by email had dual benefits. It also improved the process for their staff as ‘bots’ took over the manual, repetitive, task of keying in information.
This improved employee morale and increased productivity, contributing towards the second pillar of ESG.
Helping staff go hybrid
Similarly, intelligent automation supports new ways of working. It gives staff more flexibility to log on from home and improve their work/life balance.
It’s the way the workforce is going now, and businesses need to think ahead to make sure processes support this changing behaviour.
Once office-bound employees who were needed on site to access internal servers – to match credit card details for example – can work remotely as the RPA ‘bots’ will automatically compare the data.
Instead, employees can work through a reduced exceptions list, giving them more flexibility and increasing productivity.
Governance and automation
There are many ways that intelligent automation can help businesses hit ESG goals.
To illustrate Rose Park, Area Vice President of UiPath said: “The digitisation of processes not only protects ESG but also reveals and empowers us to improve all of the processes that we must protect.”
From a Corporate Governance stand-point, she is spot on, as automation streamlines the system of rules, practices and processes by which a company is directed and controlled.
Optimistically she adds: “I hope that the power of digital technology will help bring us one step closer to a better world.”
What ESG results have we seen?
CEO of Agile Automations Martin Keelagher said: “It is incredibly exciting to have such a positive impact on our client’s ESG and CSR strategic goals.
“Accordingly intelligent automation, like ours, enhances governance and risk functions. It also improves an organisation’s ability to report data accurately and improves employee wellbeing, a previously unrealised benefit.
“We have also enabled a client to deliver a digital valuation service instead of using printed hard copies, with huge benefits to the environment.”
How can Agile Automations help with ESG?
Agile Automations specialise in robotic process automation allowing businesses to identify and streamline manual processes.
This offers several opportunities to achieve your ESG goals; often hitting key targets quicker and by a higher degree, through automation.
For more information about implementing RPA in your business please contact Agile Automations today.