DFGE publishes the new whitepaper “Automatic Analysis of Textual CSR Data” on the connection of CSR and Artificial Intelligence (AI). It introduces methodologies and use cases for an automated analysis of CSR-related textual data.
The shift towards data-driven CSR management is promoted and accelerated by Artificial Intelligence (AI) (1) and Machine Learning (ML) (2) Techniques. Methods to analyze and compare sustainability-related textual data with ML will not only increase efficiency but also scalability. This is relevant, as it is time-consuming, error-prone and rather subjective to process large amounts of text manually, especially since these documents often contain rich and ambiguous natural language. A content analysis of texts about sustainability and CSR-related topics provides valuable insights, for instance regarding upcoming CSR trends. It also enables sectoral benchmarking or quality checks for sustainability reporting.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) for CSR
The Whitepaper presents how an automated analysis of unstructured (textual) CSR data can be achieved and how companies can benefit from employing these methods. Specifically, Natural Language Processing (NLP) (3) methods can successfully be applied to CSR-related textual data. For CSR, being mostly based on quantitative data such as energy and emissions data, an inclusion and automatic evaluation of textual data is an important advancement. Large parts of relevant and important CSR-related information are only available as text, e.g. sustainability reports, companies’ website content, or social media and new agencies statements related to corporate sustainability performance.
Three use cases, taking various data sources into account, are presented in the DFGE Whitepaper:
- Competition analysis
- Trend analysis
- Supplier evaluation
First results indicate significant information gains companies can draw from applying NLP methods. Thus, the automatic analysis of sustainability-related texts by means of Artificial Intelligence delivers an important contribution to the goal of making CSR more transparent, measurable and comparable. Also, it assesses the degree a company is adopting and reporting sustainable practices, as demanded e.g. by the SDGs.
The DFGE whitepaper is available free of charge – you can download your copy under the following link:
DFGE can support you in collecting, analyzing and thus leveraging your sustainability-related data to gain valuable insights for your CSR Management. Contact us via or via phone: +49 8192 99733 20 to learn more!
(1), (2), (3) * Explanation of terms: AI is a broad, overarching term describing the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. ML is a subset of AI, consisting of more advanced techniques and models that enable computers to learn from the data without being explicitily programmed. NLP is the ability of computers to analyze, understand and generate human language, including speech. Thus, NLP provides contextual information whereas ML enables the autmatic processing of those information so that machines can learn to classify texts for example. Please find more information on the explanation and differentiation of used terms here.