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In the current global marketplace, ESG considerations are becoming increasingly vital for companies across industries and verticals. 

With mounting reporting requirements stemming from regulations such as the CSDDD, the CSRD, and the Lieferkettengesetz, the pressure is on buyers to gather comprehensive ESG data from their suppliers. 

However, this often proves to be extremely time-consuming. Traditionally, and depending on their motivations and specific requirements (and on whether they are looking to collect such data on a discretionary basis, or due to specific national or international regulations), buyers rely on sending out ESG questionnaires to their suppliers, who then face the uphill task of filling them out.

Unfortunately, the status quo can be very inefficient, as suppliers may lack direct reporting requirements on ESG issues, or may struggle to gather the necessary information promptly. 

Moreover, the manual nature of the process, coupled with the necessity to establish continuous feedback loops (which often takes place asynchronously, via email), can further prolong the engagement.

Currently, buyers request ESG data from their suppliers by sending legthy ESG questionnaires, that then have to be filled out manually. However, this process is expensive and inefficient, as many suppliers don't face ESG reporting requirements.

A way out of the endless email chain: Pre-filled ESG supplier questionnaires

To address these challenges and expedite supplier engagement on ESG subjects, several solutions are emerging. One approach involves providing suppliers with pre-filled ESG information, such as pre-completed questionnaires, that the suppliers simply have to review and validate. 

There are two primary avenues for accessing pre-filled ESG information. The first involves tapping into ESG data providers, which compile and offer ESG metrics for various companies. 

Unfortunately, relying uniquely on ESG data providers presents its own set of challenges. First, ESG providers employ disparate methodologies for calculating ESG metrics. This variability not only undermines the control buyers have over the data but also necessitates significant time investment to understand the underlying methodologies, and check whether they fit with the reporting requirements faced by the company. 

The second issue is related to the quality of data issued by these providers, as some of the data is generated by looking at “proxies” or indirect sources, such as industry benchmarks, available data on comparable companies, geographical data, and so on. Relying on these data can significantly affect the accuracy and reliability of the ESG metrics so extracted. 

An alternative, more customizable approach is the utilization of AI-powered assistants and tools to pre-fill ESG questionnaires. 

Using pre-filled ESG questionnaires can save you and your suppliers hours of work and back and forth, and make it easier to create higher-quality ESG and sustainability reports.

For instance, Briink’s ESG questionnaire assistant can be used to quickly screen suppliers’ publicly available information, such as sustainability reports, websites, and annual reports, to populate the required data fields. Unlike ESG data providers, Briink offers buyers greater control and flexibility: via our user instruction feature, you can personalize the assistant's parameters, including methodology selection and output format preferences, to align with their specific requirements.

Crucially, AI assistants like Briink boast accuracy rates of up to 93%, obviating the need for industry benchmarks or proxies to assess ESG performance metrics. 

Furthermore, AI assistants can directly analyze supplier documents, including documents that are not available to the larger public (but that might have been acquired by the buyer during, for instance, the due diligence phase), streamlining the data extraction process and generating completely pre-filled questionnaires in a matter of minutes. 

You can try our questionnaire assistant in action by scheduling a personalized free trial, where we’ll show you how to expedite ESG supplier engagement with our ESG questionnaire assistant. 


By harnessing the power of AI to streamline ESG data collection, buyers can not only save valuable time and resources but also foster stronger supplier engagement.

 By providing suppliers with pre-filled ESG information, buyers can facilitate smoother communication and collaboration while ensuring the accuracy and integrity of the data collected. 

Ultimately, integrating AI solutions like Briink into supplier engagement strategies promises to drive sustainability efforts forward in supply chains worldwide.