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ESG Reporting Made Easy: Compliance & Growth with Nova & OneStream

March, 2024

A conceptual image displaying a holographic projection of a green, leafy forest superimposed over an architectural model of a cityscape, symbolizing a blend of urban development and environmental sustainability. The projection sits atop a desk scattered with coins, suggesting the financial aspect of green investments, with a blurred figure working in the background, indicating active business operations.

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting has become a critical focus for companies in recent years. Most will agree that the purposes behind ESG initiatives are beneficial to us all, but the challenges of collecting and reporting on ESG activities in an ever changing regulatory environment can make it seem impossible to stay ahead. 

As ESG criteria evolve and the volume of ESG data collected by companies grows, a critical challenge emerges for CFOs: how to best choose, analyze, and report on this vast information. Fortunately companies using OneStream Software already know it is a powerful platform specifically designed to streamline the process of gathering and consolidating data from various sources, analyzing using multiple hierarchies, and facilitating reliable reporting. Moreover, OneStream's capabilities inherently allow analysis and reporting on any aspect of ESG reporting. 

This article guides the Office of Finance on leveraging ESG reporting for strategic advantage, ensuring ESG objectives are met with the same rigor as financial goals, and positioning companies for leadership in the new business environment.

Unlocking ESG Reporting for Sustainable Success

ESG reporting is no longer just about compliance – it's about unlocking a treasure trove of data and opportunities for your company. Here's your chance to transform this challenge into a competitive advantage. Let's break down the initial hurdles and unveil the path to sustainable success on your ESG reporting journey.

Silos No More: Harmonizing Your Financial and ESG Data

Say goodbye to information silos and inconsistencies, like the ones you may have today across disparate business units and geographies. OneStream's unified platform streamlines your financial and ESG data processes, ensuring a single source of truth for all your metrics.  This holistic view empowers you to make informed decisions that drive both profitability and sustainability.

Staying Ahead of the Curve: Navigating the Evolving ESG Landscape with Confidence

The ESG compliance landscape is constantly changing. OneStream's platform empowers you with the flexibility to adapt to these changes with ease. Think of it as your ESG reporting compass, guiding you through the evolving regulations with agility and confidence. Partnering with Nova adds another layer of expertise, ensuring you're always a step ahead of the curve.

Data Challenges? Turning "Garbage In" into "Strategic Insights"

Inaccurate data can make ESG reporting a murky mess. Nova together with OneStream, equips you with the tools and strategies to establish standardized data collection across your entire organization. Clear protocols, automated systems, and rigorous quality checks – these are the ingredients for reliable ESG reports that inspire trust with investors and stakeholders alike.

By conquering these initial hurdles and embracing a strategic approach to ESG reporting, you'll not only ensure compliance but also unlock a world of possibilities.

A Holistic Approach to ESG Reporting 

As Paula Crisp, a Nova OneStream Architect, puts it, "One of the main reasons CFOs should consider implementing OneStream for ESG and sustainability reporting is the ability to combine financial data and processes with ESG data and processes – everything is in one place." 

This unified approach streamlines reporting and empowers you to make data-driven decisions for a sustainable future. With OneStream, companies can leverage a single platform to collect both their financial and ESG data, enabling a seamless integration of information.

OneStream isn't just about convenience – it's about delivering concrete value for CFOs. Studies show OneStream reduces reporting cycle times by up to 40% and improves data accuracy by 20%. That translates to significant cost savings and rock-solid confidence in your reported ESG metrics.

Here's how OneStream empowers you to excel in ESG reporting:

  • Overcoming Data Challenges: ESG reporting often involves collecting data from numerous sources across an organization. This can pose significant challenges, including ensuring data accuracy, transparency, and maintaining proper audit trails. OneStream addresses these challenges by offering robust data integration capabilities. The platform can load and validate large volumes of non-financial data from various sources, including HR systems and supplemental data from ERP systems. By providing full transparency and drill back functionality, OneStream allows companies to confidently trace their data to its source whenever needed.

  • Efficient Data Collection and Validation: OneStream simplifies the data collection process by offering multiple avenues for data entry. Teams can leverage flat files, spreadsheets, and data entry forms to input ESG metrics directly into the platform. This flexibility ensures ease of use and allows for efficient data validation and integrity checks. Additionally, OneStream's workflows enable CFOs to apply controls, validations, and governance to ensure data accuracy and compliance. These workflows can be tailored to specific user groups, streamlining the certification process and enhancing data quality.

  • Consolidation and Streamlined Reporting: Just like financial data, ESG data is consolidated within OneStream's platform. This ensures consistency, efficiency, and control in the reporting process. CFOs can leverage OneStream's customizable dashboards to analyze ESG data, metrics, and performance. The platform integrates with Excel and PDF, enabling the generation of fast and reliable reports.

  • Empowering Strategic Planning: OneStream goes beyond just reporting and analysis. The platform offers planning capabilities that allow CFOs to model scenarios and track actuals versus targets. This functionality proves crucial when setting ESG goals and objectives, empowering organizations to make informed decisions and drive meaningful change.

  • Adaptable and Extensible: OneStream's key differentiator lies in its adaptability and extensibility. As companies evolve and develop new business units or participate in M&A activities, OneStream's extensibility allows different roll-ups and categorization of disparate base data to get CFO's meaningful insights at the levels that matter most, without having to manually aggregate, pivot, and filter. OneStream allows one-click changes to reporting data sets in a central executive level dashboard that can be pulled in real-time. No more waiting for others to pull reports and manually piece together separate sources.

ESG reporting isn't just a box to tick – it's a strategic opportunity. OneStream empowers you to go beyond compliance. With features like data validation, customizable workflows, and robust consolidation tools, you gain deep insights into your company's sustainability performance.  These insights fuel strategic decision-making, allowing you to align your ESG goals with your overall business objectives.

Actionable Steps: Transforming ESG Reporting with OneStream

The transition to comprehensive ESG reporting can appear overwhelming. OneStream's platform and ESG blueprint empower you to navigate this journey with confidence. Here's a step-by-step approach to leverage OneStream for effective ESG reporting, ensuring compliance and unlocking strategic advantages:

Step 1: Streamline Data Collection & Gain Visibility (Save Time & Resources)

To kickstart your ESG reporting journey, the first step is to partner with a skilled implementor, such as Nova Advisory. This collaboration ensures the effective deployment of OneStream’s ESG blueprint, a pre-configured solution designed to accelerate your ESG reporting. OneStream’s ESG blueprint supports Scope 1 and Scope 2 for ESG requirements. It aligns with the current Greenhouse Gas Protocol and serves as a good starting point for ESG reporting within OneStream. Additionally, OneStream connects to any internal or external data source to automate and validate during the data collection process.

Step 2: Achieve Compliance with Confidence (Minimize Risk)

Leverage OneStream's customizable ESG blueprint, which is pre-aligned with regulatory frameworks. Tailor it to your industry and sustainability goals to ensure compliance. This approach minimizes compliance risks and provides peace of mind.

Step 3: Ensure Data Integrity for Strategic Decisions (Boost Confidence)

Once data is collected, the next critical action is to implement robust data consolidation practices. Utilize OneStream’s capabilities to merge data from diverse sources accurately, ensuring its integrity. This process eliminates data silos and inconsistencies, establishing a reliable basis for your ESG reporting. This ensures the accuracy and consistency of your ESG data, fostering trust with investors and stakeholders. Clean data also fuels better decision-making for long-term sustainability efforts.

Step 4: Adapt and Thrive in a Dynamic Landscape (Future-proof Investment)

OneStream's platform offers more than just the ESG blueprint. Explore the marketplace, which houses over 50 solutions, including People Planning and Lease Accounting, that can be leveraged to enhance ESG reporting and meet evolving requirements. This adaptability ensures your platform remains relevant as regulations change, making it a future-proof investment for your ESG reporting journey.

Step 5: Gain Deep Insights and Drive Sustainability (Strategic Advantage)

Generate comprehensive ESG reports with OneStream, utilizing data-driven insights for strategic planning and aligning with long-term sustainability goals. By understanding your ESG performance, you can identify opportunities to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance your company's reputation as a sustainability leader.

By leveraging these actionable steps, OneStream's platform can help businesses meet ESG reporting requirements effectively, ensure compliance, and unlock strategic advantages. OneStream's adaptability, marketplace solutions, and flexible approach to data collection and analysis provide a comprehensive solution for organizations looking to prioritize ESG and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.

Nova Advisory: Your Trusted Partner for Streamlined ESG Reporting

"At Nova, we bridge the gap between financial and ESG data using OneStream. This holistic view empowers you to make informed decisions that drive both profitability and sustainability." - Paula Crisp

As a CFO, you understand the importance of financial transparency and control. Now, ESG reporting demands the same level of rigor. But integrating ESG data with your existing financial processes can feel daunting.

That's where Nova Advisory comes in. Nova is your trusted co-pilot, here to guide you on your journey towards comprehensive and strategic ESG reporting. We'll equip you with the tools, expertise, and unwavering support you need to transform ESG reporting from a burden into a powerful engine for growth.

By staying ahead of ESG regulations, we can enable our customers to stay ahead in their specific industries. Establishing transparent and trustworthy data, reports, and analysis allows Nova to further show its dedication to being a financial ally.

Nova has expertise in guiding companies on a strategic path. We are excited to help customers create a more well-rounded strategy that includes ESG reporting. Nova's experience crosses all industries and varying size companies, and this diverse experience allows us to adapt our approaches to each client's ESG needs. Nova is committed to OneStream as our sole CPM software. This commitment allows us to be dedicated to delivering world-class projects. Another key differentiator is our SMART program. We offer managed services that can be used as clients may need help evolving their ESG reporting over the course of a few months or years.

Let us help you leverage ESG as a strategic pillar, enhancing your business resilience and compliance in a dynamic landscape.


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