How Diligent supports SAGE with centralised sustainability reporting.

Sage is a global software company with over 6 million customers, over 13,300 employees, and more than 30 years of experience. Sage provides business software, services, and support to small and medium-sized businesses. While Sage’s heritage is in the small business market, they also have the experience and expertise to meet the needs of specific industries and larger organisations.
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Sage was one of the early leaders to venture into sustainability reporting in 2006. This leadership involved an ambitious plan to measure, report and reduce the Sage corporate carbon footprint. Given the size and complexity of Sage’s operations, Sage adopted an online carbon and sustainability reporting software solution to accomplish this goal. In 2013, Sage decided that a more sophisticated solution which allowed for a wider scope of coverage and capabilities was required for Sage’s future reporting requirements.

Following a competitive procurement process of the leading carbon, energy and sustainability software solutions on the market, Sage ultimately selected Diligent ESG. Diligent ESG helped Sage create a robust reporting process to meet complex and evolving sustainability-related regulations. The process involved migrating over 1,200,000 data points and setting up targets for site specific, divisional and group level entities.

Centralised sustainability and energy reporting enabled Sage to realise increased efficiencies across operations and Diligent ESG’s powerful analytics provided the organisation with never-before insights to accelerate progress towards their sustainability goals.



On October 1st, 2013, the UK implemented a new mandatory carbon reporting legislation directly impacting Sage’s operations.  To fulfil the new UK CRC reporting requirements and to, moreover, achieve its own ambitious carbon reductions, Sage found it necessary to acquire a software solution to support these initiatives. Sage’s project goals were to meet the reporting needs and generate analytics to aid costs and emissions reductions:

  • Voluntary Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sustainability Reporting
  • Powerful Energy Analytics for all Energy Meters
  • Complete Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 coverage
  • Global capability yet country specific capability simultaneously
  • Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)
  • Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC)
  • Mandatory Carbon Reporting
  • Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme




A Centralised Sustainability Reporting Platform

Sage selected Diligent ESG from the pool of solutions the team evaluated because it would not only allow them to centralise all carbon, energy, and sustainability data onto one platform but also had an efficient process for migrating over five years of historical data. They provided the Diligent ESG data team with historical data in multiple excel spreadsheet formats, from standalone spreadsheets, exports from the previous sustainability system, exports from other energy and travel systems.

Over 1,200,000 data points in all were cleaned and loaded within three days, including a complete accuracy audit. The automated process ensured no room for human error, guaranteeing the highest quality results. Although the data quality Sage had collected over the years was high, some inconsistencies were identified during the audit and migration process, which were quickly corrected providing a higher degree of accuracy; another benefit to using a purpose-built solution for environmental data.

“ The implementation of a previous system took over 12 months, so it was refreshing to trial the Diligent ESG system with some of my own data and see it all working in a few hours before signing up.” Tony Dodds,Health Safety and Sustainability Manager


Absolute and Intensity targets were set for both site specific, divisional and group level entities. These were set for specific activities such as electricity and natural gas and business travel with a view to cross reference video conferencing utilisation across the group relative to the changes in  business travel.

Benchmarking & League Table

The software immediately produced a league table of all Sage buildings ranked in order of performance and normalised against key performance metrics such as kwh per square meter and per employee initially but also per CO2e.



By centralising all sustainability and energy reporting through one system, the amount of time spent by the EH&S, Sustainability team and colleagues in other departments collating and fixing data, re-formatting spreadsheets and diagnosing data issues was dramatically reduced.

Key benefits included:

  • Electricity bill and meter data automatically retrieved by the system lessen manual effort and improved consistency, accuracy, and allowedfor more regular reporting.
  • The costs associated with Sage’s regulatory reporting were reduced.
  • Because the system was easy to use:
    • There was no need to re-train users each year.
    • Engagement from all departments and stakeholders has improved.
  • The automatic scheduled reports ensured stakeholders were kept up to date on certain reporting metrics on a monthly or quarterly basis.
  • Comparison and benchmarking of supplier statements, invoices and meter data enabled quick and easy utility bill sanity checking.

“ This software is much more than a reporting solution. Its powerful analytics gives us never before available insights into project performance, and our progress towards targets. With the interactive dashboards, we can monitor individual buildings and meters performance with a click. Simply Superb.” Tony Dodds, Health Safety and Sustainability Manager