How Contract Technology Supports Environmental, Social and Governance Commitments
Confronted with the complexities of today’s global challenges, many organizations face an increasing need to focus on sustainable business practices. As an investor, an employee, and a technologist, I am excited to see a greater focus on Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (“ESG”) policies in the corporate world.
A growing number of investors today not only want a return on their investment, they want to know that their capital is being put to its highest and best use. As investors push for corporate leadership to demonstrate their commitment to a better future, organizations must now strategize, document and even contract accordingly to bring ESG policies to life.
From an investment perspective, individuals, funds, and other sources of capital want to see a clear articulation of a company’s ESG policies. The proper articulation and demonstration of ESG commitment can be the difference in securing the capital a business needs to scale and succeed. More than that, it can simply be the right thing to do. Accordingly, companies need to have a point of view, vision and process to execute their ESG policies.
What’s your organization’s environmental and social vision?
Most organizations will need to establish ESG policies and communicate their commitments to customers and stakeholders. This includes their employees, shareholders, partners and suppliers.
As a DocuSign employee, I love that we are committed to fostering inclusion and belonging. I feel it every day in our focus on the health, wellbeing and growth of our team members. We strive to support employees where they are and as they are. DocuSign offers inclusive programs, benefits and training for all employees. More importantly, the company’s leadership drives and models our values and commitments.
This includes DocuSign’s commitment to help the planet through our products, our people and our philanthropy initiatives. Since 2003, DocuSign customers have saved more than 6 million trees, 55 billion sheets of paper, nearly 6 billion gallons of water and eliminated more than 326 million pounds of waste by signing documents electronically.
Through the DocuSign for Forests initiative we support non-profit and non-government organizations that are focused on protecting the world's forests. We also volunteer our time to connect our passionate people to organizations in their communities working for either environmental or social change. DocuSign has also committed to reducing our own impact on the environment and signed onto the Science Based Targets Initative’s (SBTi) Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign. As part of the pledge, DocuSign is committing to halving its emissions by 2030 and reaching science-based net-zero no later than 2050. We have a lot more work to do, but we've committed to growing these practices and our impact over time.
As a technologist at DocuSign, I develop contracting solutions that offer our customers a modern, automated and intelligent contract management platform; one that supports them in achieving their productivity, security and environmental goals. Gone are the boxes of documents I dealt with as an attorney. Instead, everything is electronic, secure, stored and searchable. DocuSign’s products fundamentally changed the way that businesses prepare, sign, act on and manage their contracts. Doing that while making the world a better place, makes me proud of what we have accomplished.
Technology supports and demonstrates ESG commitments
Digital transformation in its own right is clearly a step in the right direction. But contract management technology also plays a critical role in successfully implementing ESG policies. How else can a business hold its vendors, partners, and contractors accountable for any ESG commitments the business has made? Likewise, how can a business hold its own resources accountable for commitments they’ve made to its customers?
Contract management technology leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) can identify the presence or absence of relevant contract terms. For example, businesses can use this technology to identify facility and inspection rights to enforce counterparty compliance with environmental practices. Further, AI and automation can help the business hold non-compliant counterparties accountable through remediation, termination or other bargained-for rights. Notably, contract management technology can also be used to drive ESG compliant terms into new agreements through automated clause libraries and standardized contract templates. Simply applying this contract management technology demonstrates a business’s commitment to the establishment and enforcement of its ESG policies to its board members, its shareholders and the market.
Take the first steps with us
DocuSign is here to support your ESG efforts, and help you demonstrate the impact. The first step is to document a point of view, vision and process. If you are just starting down this path, we encourage you to learn more about DocuSign ESG policies. Then, let us be your trusted partner and help establish a contract management platform to realize that change.