Consulting firm Accenture has conducted research on how companies can align their environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals with their technology strategy. Only 7 percent of the 560 companies surveyed do so fully, the study found.
In the report, Uniting Technology and Sustainability: How to Get Full Value From Your Sustainable Technology Strategy, the companies say they do see the value of an integrated strategy. However, they see themselves limited by the lack of solutions and standards (40%), complexity (33%) and a lack of awareness of the unintended consequences of technology (20%). This gap between intentions and actions causes companies to seek compromises between business and sustainability goals, which Accenture believes can be avoided with a holistic sustainability and technology strategy.
Chief Information Officers (CIOs) can play an important role in supporting transformational efforts if they have a say in sustainability decisions, but in practice this happens too little, according to Accenture. Only 49% of CIOs have a say in sustainability goals and only 45% are judged on their contribution in meeting these goals.
“Every business must be a sustainable business and technology is a critical and fundamental enabler –from improving transparency and traceability in global supply chains, to helping measure and reduce carbon emissions,” said Sanjay Podder, Technology Sustainability Innovation lead at Accenture. “A sustainable technology strategy — one that embeds sustainability in technology, drives sustainability by technology, and scales sustainability by engaging the ecosystem — will help companies deliver 360° value and contribute to the achievement of their broader sustainability goals.”