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Marc Noviello

Marc Noviello

Sr. Digital Transformation Specialist at Docufree | 20+ years experience enabling businesses with process improvement solutions | CPM, CLP, ECMc certified

The Benefits of Digital Transformation: Improved ESG Strategies

If you’re familiar with environmental, social and governance — or ESG — strategies, you know there are a wide range of approaches to this stakeholder-centric way of doing business. ESG initiatives are essential for companies that want to remain competitive and attractive to investors. The search is on for ways to incorporate ESG into longer-term, sustainable business strategies that improve organizational performance.

However, authentic integration of ESG into organizational strategy requires more than just rhetoric; it requires genuine commitment and action. ESG initiatives are likely to fail without open commitment from senior leaders. This is where digital transformation — something almost anyone at any level of an organization understands the impact of — can play a critical role.

Here’s a look at 3 ways digital transformation can support ESG strategies.

Environmental Impact

Digital solutions can help reduce reliance on paper, real estate, travel and more for positive environmental impact. For example, online collaboration tools reduce the need for travel. And cloud-based solutions can help reduce the need for on-premises data centers, which use significant amounts of energy.

Sustainability is another pillar of an ESG strategy. Luckily, digital transformation can go a long way in supporting sustainability initiatives. For example, digitizing invoices or paperwork for items needed to maintain your supply chain can help you track where your products come from and identify opportunities for improvements. Additionally, data and analytics can help you make informed decisions about sustainability initiatives — ensuring that you’re putting your resources into programs with the most significant impact.

A key part of ESG strategy is reducing waste. One of our clients is currently digitizing paper backfiles at their branch locations in alignment with upcoming lease renewals. Their staff is no longer reporting to traditional office spaces to work. Now that daily travel is no longer a requirement, this client’s employees are working remote and reducing their their carbon emissions.

Click to read more about how we use digital initiatives to reduce a client’s building footprint.

This is all good news for the environment — and it can also be good news for your company’s bottom line.

Improved Processes, Workflow Efficiencies and Employee Engagement

In addition, digital solutions can help businesses become more efficient and agile, eliminating manual processes that are time-consuming and error-prone. Streamlined processes and automation can mitigate risk for businesses, especially organizations governed by strict compliance standards. And real-time data and analytics can help business leaders make better decisions when they have insight into analytics, patterns, and trends.

Technology can be integrated into all sorts of places within operations. As a quick example to illustrate the power of reporting, workflows, and automation, we’ve helped dozens of organizations streamline their accounts payable processes using our digital mailroom solution. These accounting teams can now take advantage of early payment discounts, better strategize on procurement decisions and even re-assign staff members to more impactful jobs within their organizations.

Click to read more about how we use digital initiatives to streamline accounts payable processes.

Employee engagement is another consideration for companies implementing ESG strategies, and digital transformation can help in this focus area as well. When employees have access to the technologies and tools to help them stay connected to their data and customers, they can work more efficiently and effectively. Additionally, engaged, challenged, and supported employees are less likely to leave your company — saving you time and money in the long run.

Transparency and Accountability

Reporting and analytics can track an organization’s progress against specific sustainability targets and help forecast future needs. Automation and workflows can also free up people and resources to be redirected toward more impactful projects. And when organizations track the resources being used, they can glean insight into how to use said resources more thoughtfully and meaningfully.

As mentioned previously, shifting manual, people-centric work to automated processes just makes sense within industries where even honest mistakes can be extremely costly. Digitization lowers risks of financial penalties resulting from regulatory compliance breaches. And examples like having digital files of insurance claims in the cloud rather than locked on paper are basic yet impactful ways to mitigate risk and support ESG strategies.

However, technology is not a silver bullet solution; it must be coupled with a genuine commitment from the top down. Technologies such as those mentioned above can only help organizations achieve their ESG goals if they are part of a larger digital transformation strategy fully supported by leadership at all levels.


ESG strategies are essential for businesses that want to remain competitive and attractive to investors. And digital initiatives can play a role in supporting these strategies if leaders understand how to build a digital transformation strategy that’s realistic for their specific business.

To dig deeper into the point that digital transformation can become a significant part of an ESG strategy but is currently very underleveraged, consider the findings from a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study exploring “The Link Between Digital Transformation and Sustainability by Industry Segment.”

Published in March 2022, participants in the retail insurance industry were asked to describe the link between their company’s digital transformation and ESG priorities.

  • Only 20% say ESG is a primary focus area of digital initiatives
  • 20% say ESG impact is measured, but it is not key to selecting, prioritizing, and assessing digital initiatives
  • 3% say ESG is not an essential component when considering digital initiatives

Digital transformation holds immense potential for helping organizations achieve their ESG goals, and clearly, there is still room for improvement when it comes to the adoption of digital transformation initiatives. But as the case for positively contributing to people and society grows, the light will shine brighter on ESG strategies and their long-term impacts.

Digital transformation initiatives are the low-hanging fruit to support important ESG goals.

Impactful ESG-related digital initiatives range from scanning paper files into cloud-based documents to widespread automation and workflow integrations. The right vendor partner can help you explore the strategies to help your business hit your ESG strategy milestones while blending digital initiatives to thrive in today’s competitive markets.

Curious about how digital transformation might work in your organization? Request a call from one of our digital transformation experts who can help you explore solutions that might make sense for your business.

Contact us today and explore the possibilities.

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