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IT News - ESG

What Is Data Governance?
eWeek, March 2nd, 2023
Data governance controls all elements of company data, including how it's managed, mined, analyzed, protected, gathered, and stored.

Data governance refers to the people, processes, and policies that are in place to effectively create, use, store, and secure company data. Data governance is critical for any organization harnessing the power of big data.

Data governance is essential for business because simple, semi-organized data management is no longer enough in today's marketplace. Instead, organizations must put strict processes into place to ensure complete control over their data, including how it's used, stored, accessed, and maintained.

In the last few years there has been an explosion in software to track and report on ESG data in financial services. What are the main features to look out for?

There are multiple drivers for the growth in environmental, social and governance (ESG) tracking. Demand has been created by regulatory changes such as the introduction of TCFD (Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure) and SFDR (Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation) in the EU, with the potential for further carbon reporting standards going forwards.

In addition, there are a growing number of investors and asset managers that see ESG as a key performance indicator and who want greater clarity on ESG scoring. Availability of green financing is one incentive to get this right, whether that is funds with an explicit sustainability mandate or debt ratchets dependent on ESG metrics.

Our everyday tasks are increasingly digital, supported by tools and services that are based on some remote server farm. How do we assess the carbon footprint left by data centers?

It's hard to function in modern life without the 'cloud'. Our everyday tasks are increasingly digital, supported by tools and services that are based on some remote server farm. The cloud, after all, is just someone else's computer (or server).

Now it's certainly the case that the cloud helps enable a fairly low-carbon footprint, allowing people to accomplish a lot without burning fuel to get anywhere, like working from home or navigating more efficiently to avoid traffic jams. At the same time, it's easy to forget that the cloud has its own carbon footprint, left by data centers buzzing with digital activity.

A focus on ESG - environmental, social, and governance principles - will continue to expand in 2023 and beyond, according to Seyfarth's Human Capital Disclosure Report released Feb. 21.

During the past year, the number of disclosures with references to board-level oversight of human capital issues increased across all industries, with an average of 35% reporting board oversight in 2021 and an average of 42% reporting it in 2022.

'ESG is safely part of the business lexicon and continues its march from a 'nice to have' to a way of doing business,' the report authors said in a statement.

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