During the conference and afterwards, I received a lot of queries on:
Do I as a Technologist have a role to play in ‘Sustainability’?
What is Technology’s role in Sustainability?
How is Technology getting influenced by ‘Sustainability’?
In this blog, I am answering these frequently asked questions.
We often relate to Sustainability as an initiative or agenda through which carbon footprint of any product is shared and some organizations share their commitment to reduce the same.
Here is the high-level summary of the journey any enterprise or business function needs to take to become sustainable. It starts with measuring the current environmental impact of the business, which enables monitoring and leads to corrective action and thereby creating a difference by minimizing environmental impact.
What is ‘Environmental Impact’? Carbon emissions, Waste generation, water consumption and land use are key impacts to ‘Environment’ that any industrialization process brings along, digital technology included.
To make this relatable, and understand how sustainability can be factored into every business process, let’s wear a hat of Garments industry Customer.
Just imagine, you come across a great deal (in terms of price):
Your deciding factors primarily will be:
Value of Product
Price, you pay for it (in terms of money)
Now what if some additional information is provided:
With this additional information, the decision of purchase will add an entirely new dimension, to consider the ‘Environmental Impact’ of this purchase decision. It will add additional factors:
Is the ‘Environmental Impact’ of this product worth the value?
What are the alternative options?
How can I maximize the usage of this product to minimize the ‘Environmental Impact’?
This transparency will lead the Garment manufacturers to explore the best available options across their whole business process from sourcing through manufacturing, distribution, and operations to ensure minimal environmental impact, there by staying competitive. This leads to prioritization for Sustainability at each stage of business enabled by technology.
To summarize, if we start measuring and sharing the environmental impact of every business, this will lead to consciousness and drive towards minimizing the impact.
These insights will lead to efficiencies across the product lifecycle leveraging the overall ecosystem. Each participant in this ecosystem has a role here in terms of sustainability, be it producer, operator, or consumer.
On the same lines, as a technologist we need to know:
What is the environmental impact of the business application we are supporting / leveraging?
How is this impact compared to other products available in the market?
How can you optimize the usage of these products, thereby minimizing the ‘Environmental Impact’?
So, whether we are a technology consumer or producer, we all have a role to play to ensure environmental impact is taken into account at every decision point.
We all have a role to play and responsibility here.
Any technology customer needs to beconscious about the environmental impact their business is generating, thereby making a conscious decision during every stage of their business, be it procurement, operations, customer support or even disposition.
As of now this is heavily prioritized by the regional and industry-based compliance and competitive landscape, but it is not far that every business decision will be made with awareness and consideration of impact and responsibility towards the environment.
There are multiple products and offerings enabling Sustainability awareness and transparency. The depth and breadth of these products are developing on rapid pace owing to the growing awareness and demand of having this environmental impact transparency in addition to the Dollar price.