Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are assuming a significant role in shaping the corporate response to concerns of shareholders, employees, customers and other stakeholders over sustainability of the global economy. The travel, tour and logistical sectors and the aviation sector, at large, are not immune to these concerns. There isn’t any discussion with senior executives in these sectors where ESG doesn’t figure, said VK Mathews, Founder and Executive Chairman of IBS Software, a leading provider of SaaS solutions to these sectors globally.

Measure of modernity

“This is because ESG is a measure of the modernity of the business model, which companies pursue and therefore value,” Mathews told BusinessLine. “For us, it boils down to a question of what we do, what we can do or how we support them. So a typical query from a CEO of a client airline company would go like this: we will buy your flight operation system, but, how will it help me achieve my ESG goals?”

“The answer to that is very simple for us,” said Mathews. Players play better when they know the score. IBS will be able to actually tell clients how they are doing. “Because we know what engines they use, we know how long the engine has been in use. We will also be able to tell how much is their carbon contribution based on relevant data from their engine performance monitoring systems and flight operation systems. Of course, we have to get them on a dashboard.”

Net zero goal

The ESG net zero is a goal. And the airline industry is adopting different techniques, technologies, new versions of engines, new fuels, new designs, and all kinds of stuff to realise this goal. “We produce data for all airlines that we support. And we will be able to process that data and create the dashboards so they continuously know whether they are making progress.” But Mathews hastened to add that ESG is still a conversation at best. For every airline, this is now the time for formulation of a related strategy.

“What I can say positively for now is, IBS will be able to help customers know how they are progressing with respect to their ESG goals, because we have access to their data and we will be able to produce the dashboard very easily. We have cargo and logistics lines of business and we have platforms. And these should be able to have an ESG capability, having been created by people who know what ESG means and how it should work. Together, that becomes our capability. And that is the one which we will take to market. This is a really good window of opportunity and an exciting journey.”