Whether you’re talking about the sustainability of your people, your profits, or the planet (the 3 P’s), technology is playing an ever-growing role in how successful we are at carrying out our sustainability initiatives.
Digital technology has the potential to cut global emissions by 15% by 2030. There’s an increasing array of disruptive technologies challenging the status quo of business models and paving the way for new, more sustainable solutions to be created.
“Generally speaking, the concept is defined as a set of ecologically safe and stable factors and principles that refer to the long-term perspective for social and economic development. These initiatives are realised through a wide range of digital technology implementation.” - byteant
There are multiple ways organisations are leveraging technology to improve sustainability in different areas, so I thought I’d share some of them with you:
Investing in your people’s education and professional development is critical to creating a more sustainable organisation from an employee perspective.
Whether you’re interested in educating your people on sustainability itself or want to be providing a more sustainable workplace from a wellbeing and/or developmental perspective, digital platforms provide the opportunity to do this in a more engaging and exciting way.
AI can use predictive analytics and intelligent grids to manage the supply and demand of renewable energy sources or help with water usage by better predicting weather patterns.
Machine learning algorithms are already being used to optimise navigation and increase driver safety in apps like Google Maps by analysing patterns around traffic flow and congestion.
EI can also play a role in an organisation’s profit sustainability by improving processes, eliminating bottlenecks to reduce the risk of costly expenditures/overheads, and predicting possible disruptions that could create a loss of profit so that they can be mitigated in due time.
Connecting multiple isolated business units can also help decision-makers make more intelligent business decisions by empowering them with better, more actionable insights.
With consumers and employees becoming more aware of the environmental and social impacts supply chains can have, there’s increased pressure for organisations to ensure their supply chains are designed sustainably and ethically.
Technologies like blockchain will play a significant role in ensuring that supply chains are transparent and that organisations are held accountable for their environmental and social impacts.
If you haven’t heard of blockchain before, here’s a quick explainer. It’s essentially a specific type of database, where information is stored in a series of linked ‘blocks’ - and due to the nature of its setup, you cannot edit or erase the information stored in blockchains - it’s an irrefutable timeline of information. The most well-known use-case at the moment would be for Bitcoin.
Rather than being technology designed to help improve/monitor sustainability, there’s also a massive opportunity for technologies themselves to become more sustainable.
Whether that better usage of technical assets throughout their lifetimes, or making sure that sustainable materials are being used in the production process, or even creating circular economies for devices, there’s a lot that can be done.