While half of firms have defined an enterprise-wide sustainability approach, less than one in five (18%) have a comprehensive sustainable IT strategy
Paris, 25 May 2021 – According to a new report from the Capgemini Research Institute titled “Sustainable IT: Why it’s time for a Green revolution for your organization’s IT,” firms who have developed a thorough roadmap to accelerate sustainable IT adoption have achieved higher ESG ratings (61%) and customer satisfaction (56%) as well as tax savings (44 percent) as a direct effect of long-term IT strategies Despite this, organizations are still largely uninformed of how to implement sustainable IT practices and proactively address the environmental impact of enterprise-IT, with just 6% of businesses having reached a high degree of sustainable IT maturity.
While technological solutions can aid in the resolution of environmental challenges, IT as a whole has its own carbon footprint. The new analysis identifies the fastest-growing areas of enterprise IT emissions and lays out a three-stage roadmap for businesses to develop and implement sustainable IT policies.
Organizations, on the other hand, do not yet see sustainable IT as a priority or a tool in their overall sustainability agenda or journey to decrease their carbon footprint: according to the survey, just 22% aim to eliminate more than a quarter of their carbon footprint with sustainable IT in the next three years.
The environmental effect of IT is often unknown by businesses. With 57 percent of respondents uninformed of their own organization’s IT carbon footprint, there is a glaring knowledge gap concerning the environmental effect of IT. The banking and consumer products industries have the greatest awareness levels (52 percent and 51 percent, respectively), while the industrial manufacturing industry has the lowest (28 percent). Only 34% are aware that the manufacture of mobile phones and computers has a bigger carbon impact than their use during their lives.
This knowledge gap is exacerbated by the fact that sustainable plan now receives less attention and funding than other green efforts. When it comes to strategy, half of the companies have created an enterprise-wide sustainability plan, but just one-fifth (18%) have a complete sustainable plan with well-defined targets and timetables.
The majority of businesses lack the necessary tools and standards to assess IT’s environmental effect. Only 29% employ carbon assessment tools, and only 34% believe sustainable plan is on their board of directors’ agenda. Only 23% of firms track and monitor greenhouse gas emissions, indicating that KPIs are not widely used to track and assess progress for corporate IT sustainability. In all, just 1% of people have met their goals. Only 27% of firms have standardized the process of assigning a carbon cost to IT activities, which may enable businesses across departments to understand the effect of their IT footprint.
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High maturity organizations derive more benefits
The technology industry is ideally positioned to influence and advocate for policy change. Technology companies are taking aggressive initiatives to decarbonize their IT operations, services, and products, with many participants announcing carbon-neutral ambitions. As a result, many businesses are seeking the IT industry to assist them in establishing long-term IT strategies. According to the Capgemini Research Institute, 52 percent of companies believe technology businesses should include a sustainable plan factor into their goods and services, 61 percent want tech businesses to assist them in measuring their IT’s environmental effect, and 45 percent are prepared to pay up to 5% for sustainable IT products and services.
“Sustainability must be at the core of our global effort for post-pandemic recovery, and IT cannot be neglected. Organizations need to recognize and act on the carbon cost of our digital world by accelerating the move to business models which are supported by sustainable IT capabilities,” says Cyril Garcia, CEO of Capgemini Invent and Group Executive Board Member, Executive sponsor of the Group CSR program.
“Organizations must have the diagnostic tools, strategies, and a roadmap in place to accelerate their journey towards decarbonization. Endorsement from all stakeholders in the organization will be critical for success along with sustainable software architecture and change in employee behavior. Beyond the environmental imperative, the business benefits are compelling in terms of bottom line, social status and customer satisfaction.”
The report concludes with a three-stage roadmap to accelerating sustainable, which includes:
- Setting the foundations with a sustainable strategy that aligns with the organizational sustainability strategy
- Creating a governance process with a dedicated sustainable IT team and support from leadership
- Operationalizing sustainable initiatives with sustainability a key pillar of software architecture
You can download the report here:
Report Methodology: Capgemini Research Institute
The Capgemini Research Institute polled 1,000 businesses with yearly revenues of $1 billion or more to learn about their long-term IT plans. Insurance, retail, consumer products, banking, energy and utilities, life sciences and healthcare, automotive, telecommunications, industrial manufacturing, technological services, and the public sector were among the companies involved. Human resources, finance and marketing are examples of such functions.