How to Harness Artifical Intelligence for ESG

ESG is gaining momentum in the business world as regulators, investors, and consumers alike become more discerning about how companies are handling ESG initiatives, disclosures, and reporting requirements. As the calls for transparency and emissions reductions grow, it can be overwhelming to manage the complexities of accurately measuring and reducing emissions alongside running a business. In this context, artificial intelligence (AI) can be a game changer. AI can deliver deep insights based on large quantities of data analysis and accelerate sustainable transformation while keeping costs low.

A BCG study shows that applying AI to corporate sustainability could generate $1.3T to $2.6T in value through additional revenues and cost savings by 2030. Using AI can reduce GHG emissions by between 2.6 and 5.3 gigatons of CO2e.

So how is AI applicable in carbon accounting?

The strength of AI is its ability to continually learn, collect massive amounts of data, make connections that humans may miss, and recommend a course of action based on its findings. Companies who are looking to reduce their carbon footprint should apply AI to:

  • Analyze Data and Monitor Emissions: Utilize AI-powered data engineering to collect data from operations all along the value chain and spot anomalies or fill in missing data.
  • Predict Emission Trends: Predictive AI can forecast future emissions in the context of current reduction plans, new carbon reduction methods, and future energy demands. This enables AI to set, adjust, and meet reduction targets more accurately.
  • Optimizing Resources and Reducing Emissions: Prescriptive AI can provide detailed analysis of value-chain activity and suggest a course of action to reduce emissions. AI algorithms can enhance resource usage by suggesting energy-efficient practices, identifying high-waste areas, and optimizing supply chain routes.
  • Calculate Carbon Footprint: Many carbon accounting platforms feature AI that converts energy data into emissions data. Certain software, such as Net Zero Cloud, can also automate data collection and reporting, which helps minimize human error and reduces manual labor.
  • Engage Stakeholders: AI-powered tools can be utilized to engage customers and stakeholders by providing insight into sustainability efforts. For example, Chatbots can answer questions, provide information, and point out helpful documentation or resources.

How does Salesforce Net Zero Cloud utilize AI?

Net Zero Cloud leverages AI to enhance many features of the platform, including:

  • Environmental Metric Tracking: Besides using AI to automatically convert energy data into emissions data, Net Zero Cloud’s AI guides users as they consider potential paths toward their ESG goals. Net Zero Cloud utilizes AI to identify emission trends and provide emission reduction suggestions, predict future trends based on past data, and allow users to gauge the outcomes of certain actions through the What-If Analysis feature.
  • Materiality Assessment: This feature helps organizations determine what is material to their business and broader environmental and social impacts. Now organizations can use customizable surveys to gather stakeholder input, rank topic importance, and automatically calculate scores. AI then visualizes these scores in a matrix to aid in decision-making. These results make it easier to identify important topics and shape ESG programs accordingly.
  • Einstein for Net Zero Cloud: Most Salesforce users are familiar with Einstein, Salesforce’s AI helper. Now in Net Zero Cloud, Einstein makes reporting easy by suggesting responses based on prompts that align with specific reporting standards. Einstein can utilize ESG data from previous disclosures, uploaded documents, and other Net Zero Cloud data to automatically populate responses for each written question in the report.
  • CSRD Report Builder: This tool helps organizations automate reporting to align with the specific requirements of the European Union’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), such as double materiality. This new feature expands the collection of existing NZC report builders in the Disclosure and Compliance Hub, which includes GRI, CDP, and SASB.

As environmental, social, and governance performance tracking becomes standard in the business world, artificial intelligence is a powerful tool to enhance data accuracy, efficiency, and reporting capabilities. If your organization is ready to learn more about how technology can galvanize your ESG initiatives, schedule a free discovery call with Green Impact. We meet our clients at the intersection of technology and sustainability to empower ESG initiatives and enhance ESG data management. Visit to get started.

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