Perspectives, Trends & News

How tech is embracing sustainability

on Mon Apr 04 2022
  • Trends

There is evidence to suggest that tech companies are increasingly thinking green - but why? Sustainable initiatives might have been treated with a lot more caution a few years ago compared to 2022. Everywhere in the tech sector, there is evidence of companies going green; from recruitment drives to marketing and supply chain choices.

In this article, we look at how tech is embracing sustainability, tracking the tactics and trends that prove the industry is becoming greener.

Societal changes

One side of the equation is that society has become greener in general. In many countries, the population habitually recycles and does their bit for the planet. But that isn't just down to government pressure. Research by Southern Cross University found that a significant share of Australians and Americans are taking active steps to get greener. The study showed that 77% want to learn more about their impact on the environment and how they can become more sustainable.

Naturally, the wider changes in society have had a knock-on effect. Tech businesses becoming greener reflects the movement towards sustainability in society at large.

Watching carbon emissions

Recent developments at a governmental level have also contributed to the sustainability drive in tech. A net-zero emission goal by the year 2050 was agreed upon by the United Nations’ Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) at the 2021 Asia-Pacific Climate Week (APCW). This has acted as a stimulus for countries to bolster their green tech infrastructure. Tech companies will play their part in the initiatives that aim to reduce global pollution; at an atmospheric and surface level. 

Leading the way

But more than just playing a part, tech is also providing ways for us all to get greener with the innovations it has brought to the fore. Take the Internet of Things (IoT). These networks of connected devices can monitor the activity of devices, helping to optimise energy use and cut down on waste. This works anywhere from large scale factories to the home. Heating, air conditioning, and lighting can be turned off automatically at a certain time, or switched off remotely. IoT is a major contributor to smart technology that can make domestic and commercial activities more sustainable daily. 

Digital transformation for sustainability

Tech has also enabled a digital transformation that has gone hand in hand with the world's sustainability switch. A study conducted in conjunction with the World Economic Forum found that 40% of 400 executives quizzed said that digital technology is having a positive influence on their sustainability aims. A new generation of solutions for climate change has been enabled by artificial intelligence (AI). Product packaging can be optimised through digital design, inventory surplus can be reduced through predictive analytics, supply chains can be traced more accurately using blockchain, and recycling can be made smarter.

Candidates value green credentials

We've seen that tech is central to the global push for sustainability, so perhaps it's no surprise that tech organisations are 'keen to be green' at an internal level. It's been noted that tech companies realise that green credentials are one way to appeal to younger candidates when recruiting talent. In the modern-day, paying the biggest salary or offering the most benefits may not be enough to attract the best candidates - company culture, and in particular, the determination to be sustainable can certainly be viewed as a positive by job candidates.

Environmentally conscious workers want their employers to implement sustainable policies and practices. This includes joining the fight against climate change by reducing carbon emissions, as well as operating in a principled way concerning sustainability issues. A survey that questioned over 2,000 workers found that some 38% would try to find a new job if they believed their company was not active enough in environmental, social and governance issues. This includes serious action to reduce carbon emissions and operate conscientiously and ethically. 

Significantly, the same study found that workers between the ages of 18 and 34 were the most likely to hold their employers to account on environmental, social and governance issues, with over 47 per cent declaring that they would search for a new position if they didn't think their company was committed enough to these causes. It is clear that many younger people, especially those in the millennial bracket, see green credentials as a non-negotiable quality of a company that they wish to work for. Tech companies are responding to the more environmentally conscious generation of workers.

Is there a downside?

Considering tech's hand in the sustainability drive, could there be any negative impacts of this digital transformation on sustainability? One aspect is the human side of sustainability - with so much screen-based work in the digital era, there are potential mental health risks. The sheer volume of data that is not held digitally also poses a threat to our privacy. And then there are skill-sets - does the switch to digital mean that trades involving predominantly manual jobs could become under-skilled? These are all aspects that need to be taken into account.

Data analytics to improve marketing

One tech trend which we have touched on is Big Data - if you want your brand to resonate with environmentally conscious clients, why not inform your marketing campaign with data analytics from iGo? It's not just sustainability that you can gain insights into. Imagine if you could profile hard-to-retain clients and your highest value customers, to ensure that they don't slip through your hands. By segmenting your clients' pain points, iGo can help to take your business to the next level. 

For more information and inquiries, visit iGo today.