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Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) plans are all the rage as companies work to address consumer and investor concerns. But many ESG planning tools, says Actual co-founder Derek Lyons, are too focused on gathering lots of precise data to, say, quantify carbon footprints. “That’s only a good way to measure the starting line of the race,” he says. Wary of data collection and analysis paralysis slowing change efforts down, Actual’s ESG platform avoids scary spreadsheets—Lyons and other co-founders were inspired by SimCity. Companies can set ESG goals and build gamified plans for change, even without exhaustive data sets. One example of what change looks like: The New Zealand Merino Company used Actual’s platform to give fashion brands a way to model the environmental impact of wool supply chains, and then track progress toward greenhouse gas reduction goals.


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