Ravensdown taps Deloitte to co-develop a ServiceNow sustainability tool

Ravensdown taps Deloitte to co-develop a ServiceNow sustainability tool

ServiceNow and its partners keep finding and developing new applications for its platform.

Allanah Kidd (Ravensdown)

Allanah Kidd (Ravensdown)

Credit: Supplied

Christchurch-based fertiliser and agrichemical coop Ravensdown is using Deloitte and ServiceNow to tackle the serious challenge of improving sustainability.

Introducing coop sustainability manager Allanah Kidd at ServiceNow's Knowledge conference in May, Deloitte's lead partner for climate and sustainability, Allan Mills, asked for a show of hands from the audience.

"Who has worked with a sustainability manager before?" he asked.

"There's a couple. For a lot of people working in the ServiceNow space, I'm sure they didn't realise sustainability managers existed."

That stood as a further example of how the company's platform was steadily winning adoption in areas well removed from its traditional role in IT service management.

Kidd told the audience she was employed to focus on the environmental and social impacts of the business and supporting Ravensdown's purpose of "smart farming for a better New Zealand".

"Through that we supply products, expertise and technologies to enable farmers to reduce their environmental impacts while optimising value from the land," Kidd explained.

Ravensdown reported annually using the integrated reporting framework, but was looking for a way to better integrate the UN sustainable development goals into the business.

In that cause, Ravensdown and Deloitte collaborated to co-design a tool based on ServiceNow that worked well for the business and showed a measurable contribution being made towards achieving the goals.

"The great thing about the ServiceNow tool is that it is so easily tailored and the great thing about the goals is there is no business they cannot apply to," Kidd said.

The purpose of the tool was to educate and raise awareness about the sustainable development goals and to demonstrate and measure meaningful contributions for business planning and reporting.

Each goal was supported by multiple indicators that had to be captured and measured.

"It's also important that the goals and targets transcend all areas of the business and are not an add on," Kidd said. "If your business is purpose driven you will have KPIs and targets than align with the goals."

For Ravensdown, that meant areas such as environmental management, staff development, industrial processes, procurement, product development and more.

"The main focus though is positive impact rather than just responsible business as usual," Kidd said.

Harald Heimensen, the partner responsible for innovation on the ServiceNow platform at Deloitte and the NZ ServiceNow alliance, said to build confidence at Ravensdown and ensure the team was building something that was fit for purpose, it was important to work closely with subject matter experts.

"We can build tools on the ServiceNow platform, we have a lot of technology people, but the opportunity for us to work with a sustainability leader, someone who is in industry ... that was really what gave us the opportunity," Heimensen said. 

"It was really co-design and I'm very thankful to Ravensdown that they made their sustainability team, not just Allanah but the whole team, available for us to work for three months on a ServiceNow application that is fit for purpose, designed and built together with sustainability leaders, not just technology folks."

Heimensen said the tool had to go beyond metrics as well, to create a culture around sustainability. While there were reporting dashboard and data delivered from integrations with other systems, the most important thing was that culture.

"We have this portal available for the whole organisation so people can submit their suggestions and their ideas and it can be big but it can also be small," he said.

While Deloitte had invested heavily in developing its sustainability practice and consultants were very good at building concepts, that had to be made real and whatever was built actually had to work in industry.

"There is no limit in what we can do with the platform and so therefore our people expect us to do this," Heimensen said. "They expect it."

The tool built at Ravensdown doesn't just integrate with reporting, it also takes the next step to allow people to action that data.

"So they can see what they need to do and see when they need to do it. They can also take a look and see what the organisation is doing and how this is contributing and maybe have a really good idea."

These good ideas can then be sent straight to the leadership team for approval and action.

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