Many business leaders struggle with the balancing act of delivering on financial performance while making their business more sustainable long term. To solve this problem, businesses should be looking to employ technology to help deliver business performance and at the same time achieve more sustainable business practices.
Sustainability is a topic that has quickly come in from the margins of corporate priorities into a key driver for business. Away from the obvious benefit of an enhanced brand, businesses are coming to realise that there is a strong business case for placing sustainability at the core of their operations – with numerous opportunities to become more efficient with their operations, deliver better customer experiences and have improved oversight of business practices.
Digital Transformation is about using digital technology to improve customer experiences, drive processes improvement and to have information to make intelligent decisions.
In our view the two goals are very similar. By implementing technology solutions that improve business operations and drive up profit, businesses naturally have the opportunity to deliver a more sustainable business at the same time.
So what does sustainability and digital transformation look like, in practice? Here are just a few examples:
Data based decision making
There is a growing number of ways in which data analytics is being applied to solve complex real-world challenges. Outside of traditional financial based reporting, technology is giving businesses insight into all areas of business operations, examples including how customers view products and services, how well staff are performing, how well business processes are running.
Data analytics is critical in understanding a businesses sustainability posture. Understanding environmental impact to adjust and optimise resource usage can be critical in delivering the businesses sustainability requirements.
Internet of Things is playing a key role in delivering significantly improved energy efficiency across homes, businesses and factories. For example smart heating and ventilation systems can improve energy performance and drive down costs across a building’s physical environmental by automatically reacting to environmental conditions in real time.
Managing the ever more complicated supply chain is a difficult task for business. It has become an almost impossible challenge for business to keep track of each and every component in a supply chain. This lack of transparency is a huge risk for organisation from a public relations perspective if a part of the supply chain is compromised by malpractice such as poor working conditions or environmental damage.
Blockchain-based supply chain management allows for a transparent, incorruptible record keeping log throughout the supply chain journey. A history of a component of product from origination can be tracked through blockchain.
Paradoxically, as the industrial revolutions of the past few hundred years has led the planet into a climate change crisis, the current, ongoing digital revolution could play a large part in solving our current predicament.
Innovative businesses look to technology to transform how they operate and gain competitive advantage – and they can do the same on their journey to becoming sustainable, too.