Southeast Asian organizations may have stepped up their sustainability efforts, but the results have yet to materialize. This is one of the key points of the research conducted by the software publisher SAP and Oxford Economics.

Research found that 66% of companies believe sustainability and profitability can go hand in hand, however, only 8% derive significant value from their sustainability strategies today. The SAP study pointed out that the reason could be the disconnect between plans and actions.

SAP believes that better use of data can benefit organizations in achieving sustainability results from their efforts. But the report found that investment in data analytics to measure sustainability in companies remains in the minority with 47% in Singapore, 35% in Malaysia and 31% in Indonesia. Only 36% of Singaporean companies currently do so, compared to 40% in Indonesia and 50% in Malaysia.

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According to the study, on average, 60% of companies have a clearly communicated sustainability plan, with Japan leading at 68% while Indonesia has the lowest score at 46%. Only 20% of the region incentivized leaders based on their success and less than half (44%) say their employees actively participate in their sustainability efforts, with the highest rate in India at 52%, followed of Singapore at 51% and the lowest rate. in Malaysia at 33%.

Data and data analysis

To bridge this gap, data and data analytics can provide leaders with insights to make informed decisions. It was noted in the survey that accurate data was ranked among the most important activities to achieve carbon reduction targets among businesses in the region.

However, the survey also revealed that ineffective data for decision-making is considered a moderate challenge in the region.

The research also found that less than one in six companies (13%) in Singapore, and less than a quarter (23%) in Malaysia and Indonesia, calculated their total organizational carbon output. A majority (60% in Singapore, and 77% in Malaysia) have started the process in some areas compared to only 31% in Indonesia. Of the companies that have started measuring their carbon, 62% of the region have changed their processes based on the calculations.

The SAP report further noted that companies that derive value from sustainability are defined by characteristics such as setting clear expectations at the strategic level, applying the transformative power of technology and data management , and engagement with important audiences such as employees, supply chain partners and policy makers.