3 Technologies Driving Business Sustainability

The pandemic highlighted many things, not least of which was the shift in consumer behavior toward further encouragement companies to change their operations and act with sustainability in mind. An overwhelming 96% of businesses said the pandemic shifted their focus to the social component of environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies. Technology has been a key player in helping corporations quantify and tackle ESG issues in their sectors.

A recent PwC and WEF report outlining the use of technology to drive large-scale sustainable change looked at 300 cases of emerging technology in relation to achieving global sustainable developmentoals. The study found 70% of their 169 targets could be enabled by technology applications.

With the link between sustainability and technology clear to seehere’s where technology and innovative thinking are boosting sustainability in three key industry areas.

Energy, Utilities & Resources Are on a Sustainable Transition Journey

With 30% of overall greenhouse gas emissions stemming from power plantsit is not surprising that utility companies are under intense scrutiny and pressure to transition to green energy. Many are actively investing in renewable energies such as wind farms, hydro stations and solar power. “Green steel” is at the center of America’s 2030 greenhouse gas pollution reduction target, and the US already generates around 11.4 million tons of hydrogen per year. All eyes are on these green steel initiatives that are showing that, with the right resources, there is plenty of potential to decarbonize the US energy, utilities and resources sector.

A Swedish partnership, which includes Europe’s largest iron ore producer and IFS customer LKAB, has delivered the first fossil-free steel in the world. The steel was made with 100% fossil-free hydrogen instead of coal and coke—paving the way for a completely fossil-free value chain for iron and steelmaking.

As experienced by LKAB, eenterprise software can strategically support the shift to a more sustainably focused energy, utilities and resources sector. To thrive, new business collaborations and joint ventures must be agile and able to develop at pace, unncumbered by restrictive enterprise solutions; to achieve both these goals, cloud deployment and full supply chain sustainability is key.

Manufacturing–Closing the Loop Requires Supply Chain Visibility

The manufacturing sector is another major industry facing complex challenges—and opportunities—on the path to sustainability. The time is now for manufacturers to drastically change their linear approach of material manufacture dispose and move toward a circular economy of reduce, reuse, recycle. This means adopting reverse logistics methodds enabling manufacturers to integrate more environmentally friendly practices into their manufacturing processes.

Aaccording to a recent Deloitte op-ed, “Through the use of digital technology, manufacturers may already have a head start on their sustainability journey. In recent years, the implementation of lean processes using digital capabilities has boosted productivity, created safe workplaces and reduced costs.” For example, eenterprise resource planning (ERP) software is helping manufacturers to develop and maintain the overall life of a product by using data and tracking of which areas need more sustainable practices. For instance, manufacturers embracing a circular model can rely on ERP software to help them maintain, recondition, recycle and support a product over an extended life cycle.

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