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People or Platform? When to Adopt Manifest Climate

January 8, 2024

With companies worldwide gearing up for a new era of corporate climate disclosure requirements, many are unsure whether to leverage the expertise of external consultants or seek out tools that help their internal teams get the job done.

So: people, or platform? It will never be one or the other, but rather, a purposeful combination of the two. The balance of people versus platform may look different depending on your organization’s climate maturity, and which area of climate disclosure you need help with.

While traditional consulting arrangements may offer some advantages, Manifest Climate was developed for teams that need access to advanced insights and are looking to improve disclosure alignment and drive efficiencies.

Here, we explain which companies should consider bringing Manifest Climate into the mix, and which companies should concentrate solely on leveraging in-house or outsourced experts for the time being.

Why we built Manifest Climate: a brief history

Manifest Climate began as a climate consulting firm — but we very quickly realized that it wasn’t efficient for us or our clients to be performing many of the tasks we were doing manually. Other industries were already automating tasks such as research, data-gathering, and comparative analysis — why couldn’t we?

That’s why we built Manifest Climate: an AI-powered climate risk management platform that helps companies create action plans for improving their climate-related financial disclosures. In real time, our AI provides gap assessments and peer benchmarking against leading standards and frameworks.

Our technology works in tandem with in-house teams and external consultants to make the disclosure research and assessment process more efficient and comprehensive, allowing you to accelerate your climate risk management and fast-track the journey to climate action. Consultants also leverage Manifest Climate directly to deliver assessments and action plans to their clients.

Manifest Climate is ideal for companies that have already started their climate journey

If your company is entirely new to climate risk disclosure, you probably need people, and not a platform, on the job. We recommend either establishing an in-house team or working with experienced consultants who can help you determine which frameworks and standards will be applicable to your company, and where to start with collecting data and preparing your first disclosures.

If your company has been reporting on climate risk for at least a year and is looking to improve its disclosure alignment and processes, Manifest Climate is an ideal tool. Our platform saves up to 75% of time spent on manual research, lets you manage multiple frameworks within a single platform, and lets you keep your climate knowledge in-house and stored in a central location. In driving these efficiencies, Manifest Climate can drastically reduce the cost of disclosure alignments and improve internal agility. And thanks to the wealth of data that exists behind the scenes of our platform, it provides more pointed insights than consultants could typically provide, backed by larger and more up-to-date data sets.

Image: Manifest Climate makes it easy to spot where you’re succeeding and where you’re falling short on climate action and disclosure, according to your selected standards and frameworks.

Image: Manifest Climate’s disclosure analysis reveals where your company is meeting disclosure requirements, where it’s falling behind, where it is failing to take climate action, where it’s taking climate action without disclosing it, and where it is disclosing action that it is, in fact, not taking.

➡️ Manifest Climate for consultants: managing clients

Our consulting customers have the ability to manage multiple clients through their Manifest Climate account. They can fill out climate profiles on behalf of their clients, upload the relevant documentation, and then leverage Manifest Climate’s reviews and downloads to accelerate the research and communication process.

Image: Consultants are managing data for multiple clients within Manifest Climate.

✅ Manifest Climate is ideal for keeping a close eye on internal and external changes

Manifest Climate helps both companies and consultants produce up-to-the-minute climate disclosure reviews. Typically, consultants or in-house teams conduct manual research that typically results in a static deck or document.

However, given that it takes consultants an average of six months to produce these assessments, they are unlikely to be repeated or updated as often as is required in the rapidly changing corporate climate landscape.

Our AI-driven platform automatically generates gap analysis and peer benchmarking assessments, allowing you to quickly repeat these exercises to stay up to date with changes occurring both internally and externally. The scale of data that our AI can parse in a short period of time far outperforms human capacity, which gives our clients confidence that the assessments they’re working from are the most comprehensive available.

When your own internal practices are changing, and new regulatory updates are appearing constantly, it’s critical that climate teams have up-to-date assessments and analyses to work from. Manifest Climate’s assessments are produced in days and then updated automatically when organizational or regulatory changes occur.

In this respect, our platform overlaps with the services consultants provide and offers a technology-driven advantage — but Manifest Climate is ideally suited to those organizations that are further along in their climate journeys and are looking to drive efficiencies and stay up to date with regulatory changes and what their peers are doing on climate.

Additionally, as your climate processes grow and mature, Manifest Climate continues to serve your team and scale as you do. As you enter new markets or as regulations become more prescriptive, we help you stay ahead of the curve and make cross-jurisdictional disclosure approachable.

➡️ Manifest Climate for consultants: reports

Many consultants use the Manifest Climate platform to produce up-to-date reports for their clients in a fraction of the time. Check out our Partner Page for more information on how consultants leverage our platform to deliver more for their clients.

Image: Consultants can leverage Manifest Climate’s downloads to speed up internal research processes.

✅ Manifest Climate creates customized and data-driven action plans

Just as a consultant may do, Manifest Climate creates customized action plans for improving your climate disclosures and climate risk management. These plans detail the most important next steps to take and allow you to prioritize based on what’s most urgent and important.

Our climate action plans are automatically generated based on the data you provide about your organization, the data our platform sources from your existing climate disclosures, and best practice examples and data from organizations similar to yours.

These action plans are best for companies that aren’t brand new to climate disclosure and have past data and disclosures to work from.

Image: Manifest Climate turns your disclosure assessment into a clear action plan that you can order by priority.

❌ Manifest Climate does not directly help with implementation

Although our action plans offer clear guidance on which steps to take and which areas to focus on, our software can’t do the hard work of making changes for you. That’s where your internal teams can really help to accelerate your company’s climate maturity. To support your teams, consultants can be great partners for the boots-on-the-ground work of implementing climate strategy, restructuring and making operational changes, and so on. If improving your climate risk management requires making significant changes at your company, enlist the help of a consultant.

✅ Manifest Climate builds internal competence and institutional continuity

Even at large organizations, climate knowledge is often confined only to a few key team members, and with the rapid turnover and demand for ESG professionals, it’s all too easy for your company’s climate knowledge and processes to simply walk out the door alongside your key team members. A similar phenomenon can occur when hiring external consultants: although consultants may share a report or a slide deck, much of the important working documentation, research, and knowledge is not retained by your organization.

This business continuity risk is often overlooked but can be significant, particularly when considering how much it costs the average company to mature on climate risk management. Manifest Climate reduces business continuity risk by retaining all climate knowledge within a single platform — one that is likely to stay on longer than any individual employee or consultant.

➡️ Are you an organization looking to improve your climate disclosures?

Request a demo to learn more about how Manifest Climate improves efficiencies and disclosure alignment and speak to one of our experts.

➡️ Are you a climate consultant looking to deliver more to your clients?

Learn more about how Manifest Climate helps consultants supercharge their clients’ climate strategies.