Cognizant leads by example as companies navigate the SEC’s proposed climate disclosure mandates
Global IT services and consulting company, Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH), an $18.5B organization with more than 300,000 employees operating in 35 countries, has a proven track record for staying ahead of demand from stakeholders when it comes to disclosing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data.
While the investment community has a long history of supporting corporate social responsibility (CSR), they began asking organizations to report more detailed ESG performance metrics. Though ESG disclosures were not required by regulators, the leadership team at Cognizant foresaw the growing importance of disclosing data in an efficient manner through software and data controls. The then newly appointed Chief Sustainability Officer, Sophia Mendelsohn, partnered with the company’s Corporate Reporting Department to create a program that would streamline organization-wide ESG reporting to deliver transparent, accurate and auditable non-financial disclosures.
Cognizant recognized that building a successful program was a heavy lift with little room for error that would need to rely on sophisticated technology to get the job done. Turning to Workiva Inc. (NYSE:WK), its current solution provider for SEC filings, the company implemented an automated reporting process that required limited human oversight.
Cognizant is working to eliminate disparate data sources and manual information compilation by integrating existing systems with the Workiva platform to pull in financial and non-financial data, such as carbon and human capital figures.
M. Aya Kiy, Associate Director of ESG at Cognizant said: “Parts of ESG reporting that previously took months to complete are now a streamlined, automated process for our organization. With Workiva guiding our team, we’ve been able to kick off the process faster and stay ahead of schedule on the parts of our reporting that relied on the Workiva platform.”
In 2022, Verdantix, a leading ESG research and advisory firm, awarded Cognizant an Innovation Excellence Award for its ESG reporting work.
Cognizant has been able to more accurately disclose ESG data, as well as include more in-depth statistics. This has allowed the company to better understand its current metrics, where improvements can be made and track progress in line with the UN SDGs and the company’s net zero goal.
Kiy added, “Through this process, we’ve uncovered our strengths and areas for growth, upleveled our team’s awareness and skill sets related to ESG reporting, and used technology to create a control environment that supports accurate and trustworthy reporting.”
Mendelsohn observed, “Regulation is moving toward deep, mandatory disclosure on climate change. We are using software to increase our confidence that our reporting process is well poised to meet evolving requirements.”
Cognizant uses the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) framework and Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations. They also aligned with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), disclosed to, and signed on to, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).
To learn more about Cognizant ESG, visit: https://www.cognizant.com/us/en/about-cognizant/esg
To learn more about the Workiva ESG solution, visit workiva.com/solutions/esg-reporting.
For the latest news and information, visit The Workiva Newsroom.
Tweet me: .@Cognizant’s award-winning #ESG reporting program, powered by @Workiva, aims to eliminate disparate data sources by pulling in financial and non-financial data, such as carbon and human capital figures, into one #cloud platform. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/3rDErch
KEYWORDS: NYSE: WK, Workiva, Cognizant, esg, SEC’s proposed climate disclosure, csr, M. Aya Kiy, Verdantix, climate data, Financial disclosures