Path to implement green digital tools unclear, finds report

A report from Causeway Technologies has found barriers preventing the use of digital tools to drive company sustainability.

The report found a third of respondents thought meeting sustainability and ESG goals were one of their organisation’s greatest challenges.

Some 94% thought technical innovation was key to driving decarbonisation, with 96% thinking their organisation would benefit from using digital tools to drive decarbonisation and energy efficiency.

Yet the report found barriers to implementation. Supply Chain Sustainability School consultant David Emery said: “People really struggle to calculate a return on investment for digital tools, particularly in terms of sustainability. And it’s really hard to make the business case sometimes.

“But what we often hear from our members is that, when they do invest in digital tools, they usually exceed the return on investment because things happen that you didn’t anticipate.”

Causeway Technologies said it is working on a collaborative project to develop automated Scope 3 emissions reporting.

Lack of software integration

The report also found a lack of software integration – across all areas – with firms using an average of seven different specialised solutions, of which 57% are not compatible.

In response firms are spending time and resources customising software.

Despite this work, employees reported spending almost half their time (48%) moving data between industry-specific software.

It also highlighted while 71% of C-suite bosses believed their organisations were digitally mature, more than 94% of the organisations surveyed were still using manual spreadsheets.

More than a third of respondents said paperwork was one of their organisation’s biggest challenges.

Rob Christie head of finance at EKFB who helped review the Causeway research said: “The perception is that ‘it’s all digital’. But I’d argue that it’s only truly digital if all the inputs and processes behind the raw data and the collection of data are also digital. 

“If your teams are manually inputting data from paper into an Excel file and uploading this file to create a power BI dashboard – in my opinion, this isn’t ‘digital’.”

Causeway product director Rob Ramsay added: “The over-customisation of software and the lack of integration present big challenges to construction companies, including increased costs to maintain and update software, reduced data visibility and continuity, and security concerns. 

“Customisation culture is holding us back. The UK construction industry urgently needs a more integrated, standardised approach that covers all aspects of an organisation’s processes.”

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