« We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. »
From a business perspective, innovation is good. It makes new things possible, pushes the limits of our abilities, and fuels our imaginations so that we can do more, faster, cheaper, and better than ever before. And technology is, of course, a major driver of innovation.
But from a climate perspective, innovation, and the technology behind it, can be seen as useful and harmful. There is a complete set of climate technologiessuch as drought-resistant crops, early warning systems and levees, to help us adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. But our quest for innovation has also led us to embrace other technologies, practices, and priorities that may be doing the environment more harm than good.
In 2019, digital technologies shaped 3.5% of global emissions, and projections place that growth at more than 6 percent per year. As our pursuit of innovation grows, so does the amount of damage we are causing.
How can we better align innovation with sustainability?
So far, in our modern information management blog series, we’ve discussedinformation overload and how to overcome it; using AI to discover information and drive automation; and the benefits of simplifying cybersecuritywhile improving our ability to detect and protect against threats and recover from incidents. In this blog, we’ll examine how the technology choices we make can foster innovation and reduce negative environmental impacts.
If we make the right technology choices, sustainability can become an integral part of our innovation goals. In other words, we can be innovative and sustainable at the same time.
From connecting with our vendors and partners to managing our cloud and IT infrastructures to the way we code applications, advanced information management technologies can help us reduce our carbon footprint and take us from commitment to program to results. These are just some examples:
- Create sustainable supply chains: Get an end-to-end view of the supply chain network to identify areas of friction, monitor transportation costs, and analyze trading partner performance. Digitize and automate processes to make supply chains more efficient and competitive while significantly reducing reliance on paper.
- Evolve FinOps to GreenOps: Optimize the efficiency of cloud deployments and minimize environmental impact. FinOps solutions track spending and usage of cloud, software, and assets, and are also well positioned to track and manage environmental impacts. This means being able to measure the carbon footprint of your operations, identify areas where sustainability can be improved, and make informed trade-offs between cost and carbon.
- Develop code responsibly: All code development creates a carbon footprint, but creating efficient code that uses less energy, optimizes data usage, and reduces e-waste helps minimize the impact.
- Transition from paper to digital processes: Reduce paper business requirements by making electronic documents easily available to people from anywhere and on any device; create a paperless environment through active management of enterprise content assets; and accessing and collaborating on digital documents or online media help improve operations while minimizing their environmental impact.
When it comes to sustainability, it’s not just what we’re doing that’s changing, it’s also why we’re doing it. Corporate sustainability has gone from being a feel-good initiative to a must-have mandate for organizations to stay ahead of the curve in business: when the recent statement from IDC Sustainability Technology SurveyWhen asked what business results respondents have achieved by implementing sustainability into existing business operations, 60% cited increased operational efficiency, 58% cited increased customer loyalty, and 57% cited increased employee engagement.
According to IDC survey data, sustainability factors have become critical selection criteria for IT buyers’ vendor selection process, in the context of purchasing technology that is more sustainable (eg, for more energy-efficient IT infrastructure) or enables its sustainability indirectly (eg, through ESG-related functionality that software can provide).
Sustainability is a competitive differentiator that can improve operational and financial performance, helping to give it greater weight amid corporate priorities.
Modern information management
Sustainability is a key outcome of modern information management, which combines advanced technologies and innovative cloud strategies to connect data, secure insights, and apply intelligence for any user, any type of data, anywhere, at any speed, for any rule. Organizations that take advantage of modern information management do not have to sacrifice sustainability to innovate, solve their business challenges, and achieve digital success.
OpenText solutions protect information at the scale today’s businesses need, helping them work smarter and gain the information advantage.Learn moreabout how your organization can benefit.