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Role of Technology In The Shift To A Low-Carbon Future

Sustainability has become an increasingly important measure of how an organisation performs, operates, and grows in a dynamic business environment. The focus on the 3Ps – People, Planet, and Profits is the most viable strategy for any business. While many companies have pledged sustainability as an important part of their business in the last couple of years, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals will become even more of a strategic imperative for organisations as we move ahead. The mantra of “doing well by doing good” will indeed be the guiding light for corporates globally, writes Sandeep Chandna, Chief Sustainability Officer, Tech Mahindra

Marshall McLuhan, the renowned Canadian philosopher, was once quoted as saying, “There are no passengers on spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” This phrase remarkably captures the essence of the fact that there can’t be a planet B. A climate emergency has emerged as the top priority for political, economic, and business leaders today. The ensuing changes have made it imperative for organisations to think through their climate change action plans as strategists, not just as philanthropists, to reduce environmental risks and scale businesses simultaneously.

Sustainability demands accountability—far more than merely being ecologically conscious. It is about anticipating the risks to the very being of earth and life and meeting the demands of the present and future generations responsibly through new and innovative strategies and solutions.

The good news is that businesses around the world are gradually but steadily embracing more sustainable practices. A global survey backed up this result by revealing that 83% of C-suite executives and investment experts believe sustainability programs will boost shareholder value in the coming years. The significance of incorporating sustainability strategies into business models is further emphasised in this research.

Tech-way is the only way

In recent years, there have been monumental technological advancements that have helped fight climate change. Automotive innovations have allowed electric vehicles to become commonplace on our roads. Today, every major car manufacturer has a line-up of electric vehicles for consumers to choose from. Other solutions are tied to 6G technology and the powerful exchange of data enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), which is not only transforming the world but also contributing to creating sustainable forms of technology.

Adopting low-carbon technology practices and developing and co-creating innovative and sustainable solutions for all stakeholders along the value chain could help us get closer to net-zero emissions. Moreover, transitioning towards new technologies and implementing eco-design principles across operations not only accelerates net-zero plans but also reduces operational costs and efforts.

“Green Tech” can be the biggest economic opportunity of the 21st century and beyond, and IT organisations definitely have an edge in terms of software technologies that can play a major role in enabling and supporting industries across sectors in their sustainability journeys. Green Tech offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social and environmental justice, and strengthen governance. Best practices that are backed by new-age technologies will help combat climate change in a simple yet effective manner.

It’s TIME to ACT…

Sustainability is an attitude that demands a long-term view of the organization and the ecosystem in which it operates. To respond to the evolving needs of the diverse spectrum of stakeholders, we are required to re-imagine our business. It is no longer about limiting sustainability to just a business function but adopting it as a way of life.

While IT is responsible for 3% of worldwide CO2 emissions, it is the primary engine of increased productivity, enhanced customer service, and innovative business models. Green IT is gaining popularity as executives, employees, investors, and customers recognise the consequences of climate change. Leading global enterprises are making significant pledges, and sustainability is now expanding beyond the uni-dimensional concept of protecting the environment. To become a truly sustainable organisation, we must focus on redesigning operating models and business processes as well as a broad mobilisation of organizations’ ecosystems. If we can achieve this, we can create a significant IMPACT.

Globally leading companies have already taken the first mover advantage and are leading the industries to follow suit. If reports are to be believed, IDC has predicted that by 2024, 30% of organisations will advance their ESG metrics and data management beyond reporting capabilities to generate sustainably driven cost and competitive advantages. By 2024, 75% of large enterprises will implement ESG data management and reporting software as a response to emerging legislation and increased stakeholder expectations.

The transformation is underway at an exemplary rate, and soon, a future-ready, resilient economy will be the fruit of our labour. Now is the time for us to pick up the gauntlet, leverage the power of technology, and tread tirelessly on the path of sustainability towards a future where the next generations will be proud of the legacy we build. With a dedicated plan and the implementation of robust eco-friendly strategies, we can accelerate the global transition from the “take-make-waste” model to circular economy models for a sustainable future.