Sustainable technology and practices can help businesses become more resilient in the fast-changing world we are living in
The value of investing in sustainable technology and practices materialises across several dimensions. First off, I’m sure everyone has witnessed that organisations are facing increasing regulations and investor and customer pressure for transparency in their actions towards sustainability.
That said, it’s a mistake to view this as merely a constraint while trying to achieve business goals. It is better to see it as an opportunity to create value.
Sustainable technology and practices can help businesses become more resilient in the fast-changing world we are living in, where crises are happening more frequently and in more diverse ways. Both tech and culture change can help embed strong values into daily practices and allow companies to gradually transform towards more sustainable business models.
When it comes to business value – people, processes and finance are all affected. Technology helps us to measure progress, benchmark results and implement growth, while practices allow us to pass a positive mindset and educational value through our employees and communities in the long term.
In the end, adopting early and often is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Examples of sustainable technology available today
Sustainable technology has already penetrated virtually every market. I couldn’t rightly sum up all the innovation we’ve seen, even just in 2023.
But I’d like to point out that beyond the spotlight on the fundamentals of sustainability and ESG, such as carbon accounting, ESG reporting, and sustainability training, we also see new business models emerge and companies disrupting their industries.
Everyone has Patagonia in mind as a global champion in the clothing industry. We also see companies like Humanitix disrupting the US$3.7 billion annual global booking fees in the ticketing industry. Or Decathlon targeting 25 per cent of revenue from second-hand by 2025.
Big data has been a challenge and, again, an opportunity for businesses for a long time. A particular culmination of that opportunity, I believe, is in sustainability. It touches every arm of your organisation, and the first place everyone needs to start is measuring and understanding.
Everyone, and every business, wants to reduce their carbon footprint – that’s nothing new. In the past, this was quite a complexity, and there were often misgivings around how accurate or manageable this data was, but this has changed.
The transformation of people is also part of this new era of sustainable tech. Generating awareness and ensuring training is key in this sustainability journey, but how can we implement and track this transformation?
Technology answers these questions, and solutions on the market today address these issues in the most streamlined way possible. Our open-source PALO IT Impact Tracker is one such tool – we can see, in an all-in-one dashboard, where there are already successes, progress to be made, and how to take action.
Challenges in transitioning to sustainable methods
We’re in a period where everyone is talking about sustainability, but early adopters are implementing it to their advantage.
As we look towards the future, it’s crucial to consider resilience in the face of ever-evolving social norms and environmental changes. For businesses, this entails financial, operational, and regulatory resilience. If you can assess where you stand today, develop a blueprint for change, and take action – it’s a real boon for your organisation.
When we talk about carbon footprint and our impact on the planet, those advantages are fairly obvious. A business that cares about the world and community it operates in will fair better down the road. But what’s not as obvious is the advantage a sustainable business model can have on our bottom line. Investing where it counts, making existing operations more efficient, enabling rapid redesign of systems, improving decision-making and quantifying results.
Some businesses, right now, are being “forced” into this arena due to increasing government regulations, but dare I say they’re lucky. The implications for businesses operating in yet-to-be-regulated spaces are in an even more advantageous position. Grab the opportunity and run with it, and you’ll see the results, and the resilience, down the line.
Leading sustainability transformation from within
This goes back to what I mentioned about sustainability awareness and training, which is picking up steam day by day. Employees today, especially the younger generation, have made it an absolute prerequisite that the business they work for cares about something more than profit.
I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I’ll say it once more, it’s an opportunity, not a challenge! Investing in training and promoting responsible practices is a big win for any future-focused organisation.
Previously this aspect was a bit humdrum among businesses – do it and get it over with. The culture today has changed for the better. Systemic awareness will ensure your team knows that their work matters, will educate and empower them on how to take action, and will build abilities into their skill sets that they can integrate into products and services that are already on the market and those that are yet to come.
Consequences of not reaching ESG targets
The consequences are what they’ve always been when facing large-scale change. Being left behind. In every iteration of the industrial revolution, we’ve seen businesses that keep wanting to do things the old way go the way of the dinosaurs, and those that are willing to adapt to change reap the benefits.
We’ve chosen the latter, clients we work with have chosen the latter, and the results speak for themselves. Today, we are living in a new type of revolution where embracing sustainability can generate strong value in terms of business, the market valuation of the business, better access to capital, public subsidies obtention, cost savings, a new stream of revenues, as well as in terms of reputation, brand image, employee attractiveness and retention.