Strategic Focus: The New Role Of Sustainability Risk Management In Operational Excellence Initiatives

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Executive Summary

2021 has seen an explosion in environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainability news, from the mainstreaming of ESG investment strategies to the US rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement under President Joe Biden. This creates a new environment for senior executives in operations and maintenance roles, with sustainability becoming a key mandate for driving operational excellence (see Verdantix Market Overview: Investor Focus On ESG Will Transform Sustainability Strategies). A number of market forces, such as investor focus and government policies, are raising sustainability on the corporate agenda, while facility-level considerations such as climate change resilience and mitigating environmental pollution at industrial facilities make it relevant for executives at industrial sites. A host of technologies exist for these executives to meet sustainability challenges. The focus for senior executives within operations, maintenance and engineering is moving from considering isolated parts of sustainability – such as safe operations, environmental risk mitigation and leadership accountability – towards a more encompassing approach. Meanwhile, their responsibilities are also increasing, to meet new corporate sustainability goals.

Table of contents

Operations Managers Should Leverage Digital Technologies For Sustainability Risk Management  
Market Forces Compel Executives To Adopt An Active Approach To Sustainability
Firms Must Manage And Mitigate A Variety Of Sustainability Risks To Their Operations 

Digital Technologies Help To Facilitate A New Sustainability Narrative Within Operational Excellence  
Executives Can Leverage A Plethora Of Technologies To Mitigate Sustainability Risks
Operational Excellence Frameworks At Industrial Firms Increasingly Encompass Sustainability Initiatives
Operations Executives Will Play A Bigger Role In Achieving Their Firms’ Sustainability Agendas

Table of figures

Figure 1. Sustainability Use Cases And Digital Solutions For Operational Excellence

About the authors

Malavika Tohani

Research Director

Malavika leads the Verdantix Operational Excellence practice. Her current research agenda focuses on digital technologies for Operational Excellence including digital twins and software solutions for industrial risk and asset management. Malavika has over 15 years’ experience in research and strategy consulting. Malavika previously worked at Frost & Sullivan, managing and delivering advisory projects for clients involving expansion, acquisition, benchmarking and product development strategies. Malavika holds a MSc in Economics from Madras School of Economics.

Sebastian Winter

Industry Analyst
Sebastian is an Industry Analyst in the Verdantix Operational Excellence practice. His research agenda covers digital twins for industrial facilities, asset management software, and connected worker platforms. Sebastian also delivers market strategy, voice of the customer, thought leadership, CDD, and digital strategy advisory pieces. Prior to joining Verdantix, Sebastian worked for Trucost, a division of S&P Global, and held positions in China, Brunei and Kenya. Sebastian holds an MSc Environmental Technology from Imperial College London.

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