Digital Sustainability in the Modern World Webinar
With climate and environmental issues being pushed increasingly into our social conciseness and personal lives, it’s only a matter of time to bleed into our work lives. More and more businesses are trying to be at the forefront of change regarding sustainability. See how Robert Taylor (Business Development Director, Concept resourcing) and Tanaz Gould (Commercial Director, Claranet) discussed the best ways to become more sustainable when using your digital technology.
Is Digital Technology and Transformation sustainable?
Yes, but only with a clear plan and a set of guidelines. Businesses will have to have a strategy set in place for the long term. One of the best methods to achieve this is hiring a Sustainability Officer at the board level. This will allow change and growth at the top level, trickling down the business and integrating the plans and ideas throughout the industry. Also, having timescales and deadlines will allow for accountability and make the ideas and goals more sustainable. If you are accountable for your accounts and use strict deadlines, you will be more likely to follow them.
What are the benefits and challenges?
One of the main benefits of being more sustainable with your business’s digital technology and transformation is the positive PR that it brings. Even if the aim of being more digitally sustainable is all about appearing like you are doing more CSR that is beneficial to the broader environment, an increase in company-wide traffic will follow.
A study by Deloitte found that businesses that actively engage in purpose-driven pursuits see better returns than those driven by profit alone. The more socially and environmentally aware customers/clients will prefer to use you as their preferred supplier because you are more aware of the issues that arise from not being more sustainable.
On the flip side, one of the main challenges is the resistance to change from employees across the business. Many methods will cause some ire from all levels of the business hierarchy. Some senior employees will see the changes as a significant disruption to their own team’s plans. In contrast, employees at the lower end of the scale might know the aim to become more digitally sustainable as a pointless endeavour for themselves.
Do the environmental impacts outweigh the benefits?
Being more digitally sustainable is far more beneficial to the environment than people realise. If we look at a 2019 study by the Shift Project, the world’s collective digital carbon footprint accounted for nearly 3.7% of all greenhouse emissions, which is comparable to aviation industry emission levels. And digital technology’s energy consumption increased by almost 70% between 2013 and 2020. These facts are damming; they paint a bleak picture of how the lack of regulation of our digital technology usage can (and will) affect our environment.
A study by the UK’s OVO Energy found that the UK could reduce its carbon output by over 16,433 tons simply by each adult sending one less email per day. Minor changes will have significant positive impacts.
How can companies find better solutions to ensure digital transformation?
Businesses need to adapt and change their plans and guideline to help push and strive for digital sustainability. There are simple and easy solutions that the individual can do to help alongside the organisation:
- Limit audio & video streaming
- Write emails only when necessary
- Limit the sending of attachments
- Choose more energy-efficient digital products & services
These little steps will help start the process of building and growing digital sustainability.
We’ve got plenty more fantastic industry experts lined up for 2022 to take part in our webinar series. If you’d like to find out more or get involved as a speaker yourself, please get in touch with Robert Taylor.