Promoting digital sustainability: the next priority for CIOs

04 May, 2022
By Edward Dooks

The public health pandemic disrupted many business operations, but also reminded us that we are all part of a global community. This event underlined our collective responsibility to one another and the 2016 Paris Agreement, to ensure that today’s actions don’t result in permanent damage that impact future generations’ access to resources. As CIOs and internal technology leaders face a new series of evolutions in customer online behaviours, how do they increase the efficiency of the tech systems and processes currently used while supporting company-wide green initiatives? Since the pandemic, 45% of consumers are more interested in finding brands that are sustainable or environmentally responsible. This means more than just recycling any paper used in the office! Indeed, with many workforces working entirely or partially remotely, the onus is now on internal technology leaders to ensure their digital technology systems and practices are environmentally sustainable as much as possible.

Digital sustainability refers to finding ways to utilise digital practices to reduce the impact of excessive consumption (power, goods, resources, etc.) on the world by reducing carbon emissions, waste and pollution. It means finding ways to deliver goods and services in a way that doesn’t detract from future generations’ quality of life or resources.

While there are many sustainability measures that employers and employees alike can adopt to reduce their impact on the world’s resources like recycling, cycling to work, switching to digital communications, there are also initiatives technology leaders can implement that will have a significant impact:

  • Migrating to the Cloud

    The Cloud has many benefits, one being increased sustainability for data management and storage. Interestingly within this space, Microsoft’s Cloud computing has already empowered energy efficiency and material waste reduction. The increased accessibility of serverless and open-source software minimises cooling processes, ventilation, and air conditioning in fewer data centres. This means organisations can cut down on waste by eliminating expensive, power-intensive hardware.
     
  • Embedding sustainability into your ERP

    ERP can form a vast and complex environment of software and applications for the management of various business functions. The inherent complexity of these software environments can mean that inefficiencies occur and create waste in supply chain issues, inaccurate reporting, outdated compliance measures, and much more. There are lots of ways you can address sustainability within your ERP, for example SAP S/4HANA Cloud applications offer sustainable supply chain management, carbon emissions reporting, improved data collection capabilities that can all increase your organisational sustainability. 
     
  • Incorporating AI and automation to eliminate waste

    Time-consuming, repetitive processes, dormant or underutilised technology, inefficient uses of systems and ways of working all create waste. Automating particular workflows can help you create a more streamlined, power-efficient workplace.
     
  • Educating teams and departments on the impact of digital consumption

    As important as the technical actions technology leaders can take is the importance of establishing an educated culture of sustainability within the wider company. This means offering education on how to work sustainably in the office or remotely, encouraging people to limit their power consumption through easy practices like digital transfers rather than sending large documents or files as attachments, etc. 
     

How can Energize help you incorporate sustainability into your workplace?

A business strategy with sustainability at its core requires a team of committed digital and technology professionals. With a talent network of over 100,000 Digital, Cloud, SAP and Tech professionals, Energize is a preferred supplier to many of the world’s leading media agencies and brands. Whether building out entire departments or providing a strategic sole hire, a partnership with Energize assures you of a high-quality, customer-centric approach, and access to an unrivalled professional network.
 

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