Is human bias frustrating sustainability progress?
An Oracle study finds 93 percent of business leaders would trust a bot over a human to make decisions on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) programs as 96 percent agreed that human bias and emotion often distract from related end goals.
The business leaders surveyed believe bots are better at:
- Collecting different types of data without error (43 percent);
- Making rational, unbiased decisions (42 percent);
- Predicting future outcomes based on metrics/past performance (41 percent).
People were found to still be essential to the success of sustainability and social initiatives and better than bots at implementing changes based on feedback from stakeholders (48 percent); educating others on information needed to make decisions (46 percent); and making context-informed strategic decisions (42 percent).
The “No Planet B” study, done in partnership with CIO Advisor Pamela Rucker, reached more than 11,000 consumers and business leaders in 15 countries.
The study found 92 percent of business leaders believe sustainability and ESG programs are critical to the success of their organizations, including strengthening the brand, increasing productivity and attracting new customers. Almost all (91 percent) are facing major obstacles implementing sustainability and ESG initiatives with the top three being obtaining metrics from partners and third parties, a lack of data, and time-consuming manual reporting processes.
Several other surveys timed to Earth Day, April 22, highlighted sustainability challenges.
A survey by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) of 37 major retailers around the world, found more than half had still not set any sustainability key performance indicators (KPIs) across their businesses to measure progress, and less than 20 percent were on track to cut Scope 3 emissions, which include those of suppliers, by enough to meet targets for limiting the rise in global temperature under the Paris Agreement.
A survey of nearly 1,500 executives globally commissioned by Google Cloud found 87 percent agreeing that if business leaders can be more honest about the issues they face with becoming more environmentally sustainable, they can make meaningful progress, 82 percent wished they had more room to prioritize sustainability, and 58 percent agreed that green hypocrisy exists and their organization has overstated their sustainability efforts.
- 61 percent of People Believe Bots Will Succeed Where Humans Have Failed with Corporate Sustainability – Oracle
- Report: What it will take for CEOs to fund a sustainable transformation – Google Cloud
- Less Than 20% of Retailers Are on Track to Meet Their Sustainability Targets, but There Are Reasons for Optimism, says BCG Study in Partnership with World Retail Congress – Boston Consulting Group (BCG)/PRNewswire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are human biases and emotions holding back progress within organizations around sustainability and ESG initiatives? What aspects of such programs should be driven by AI (artificial intelligence) and bots and what role should people play?