How technology is changing environmental sustainability

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Global, Nov 23, 2023

At the Logicalis CIO Summit our keynote was IDC researcher, Bjoern Stengel, who shared the following IDC survey results, nearly 40% of enterprises say that IT plays an active role in integrating ESG to steer organisational performance and foster sustainability transformation, while 37% say that IT also plays an active role in analysing the relationship between ESG performance and operational efficiency.  

However, as a CEO of a leading MSP, my favourite stat is this one: 

“By 2025, 40% of ESG services engagements will require a managed services component to better address the long-term nature and intense data needs of sustainable transformation and 
ESG reporting.”

Given these business initiatives, the pressure to achieve net-zero commitments, and the sustainability impact of enterprise IT, IDC believes there will be a set of sustainable infrastructure KPIs that IT will be tied to. 

The enablement of sustainability strategies through technology and IT, in this instance is what can truly enable business growth and ESG performance, and there are several ways that they tie together.  

Firstly, there is sustainability by technology. This is using technology to enable and accelerate sustainability efforts in an organisation and often involves using advanced technologies to measure, reduce and where possible remove, an organisation’s carbon footprint. As IT leaders we all understand the benefits of using technology for robust data collection and management. It’s where the technology can really excel and allows us as leaders to proactively manage and understand our carbon emissions.  

The next element is sustainability in technology. This is the sustainability credentials of the technology itself. By making technology progressively more sustainable, we can all help to protect people and the planet. As the use of technology grows across the globe, so do the carbon emissions associated with IT.  

Together we need to embrace green technologies that are carbon efficient and carbon aware to build systems and technologies that institute and prioritise sustainable governance. Energy efficiency and the product lifecycle are both big factors here and there are some brilliant solutions and services out there that can really help organisations to benefit from state-of-the-art technology while also taking a conscientious approach to sustainability.  

Finally, there is creating a sustainable orbit. This is all about creating an ecosystem of partners who will be able to help you develop and build more sustainable ways of doing business. No organisation works in a silo or can address global sustainability challenges on their own. We all need to reach beyond the boundaries of our own organisations to draw together and help each other to become more responsible, sustainable, and ethical.  

These three areas of sustainable technology are what can unleash the full potential of an ESG or responsible business programme. By making deliberate decisions to buy tech that helps drive business value, transformation and ESG performance, we will see further advancements in sustainable tech across the board. Technology and IT are what is elevating ESG out of a philanthropic endeavour and into true, authentic business transformation with the benefit of competitive advantage thrown in. 

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