Sustainability goals: Why green tech has become a business imperative today

Investors & consumers are preferring firms that prioritise sustainability

Technology is no longer the limiting factor for organisations to become sustainable businesses, rather it can be the enabling agent in going green. And as companies worldwide look to don the green cape, behavioural change and transformation in business processes will be critical in making green technology mainstream.

“It is important to rethink both – how we design and produce – because the writing is on the wall: The future of business is digital and sustainable,” Sindhu Gangadharan, SVP & MD, SAP Labs India and head, SAP User Enablement, told FE. “It is no surprise that in addition to managing top-line and bottom-line, organisations are now focusing on sustainability as the third dimension to drive business growth.”

Building a green business

Managing the ‘Green Line’ not just within their own operations, but across their entire value chain will be crucial as customers, employees, and even investors increasingly turn towards companies that pro-actively deploy sustainable business practices. Moreover, the growing shift towards sustainability also presents a unique economic opportunity.

SAP is now enabling half-a-million customers worldwide to go sustainable. SAP Labs India plays a crucial role in developing some of these key sustainability solutions. For instance, Salzgitter AG is using sustainability solutions from SAP to reduce its carbon footprint and enable sustainable change in the steel industry. Together, SAP and the ice hockey league in North America (NHL) have developed a new sustainability platform to help the League collect, process, and report on key environmental metrics, to reduce its carbon footprint. Also with SAP, Coldplay (the music band) has created the Coldplay Music of The Spheres World Tour app to provide fans with insight into the environmental impact of their travel to and from the show, guiding them to make more sustainable choices.

The India opportunity

According to Gangadharan, industries in India too are well-positioned to embrace sustainability as an opportunity to take a huge leap of leadership rather than a compliance challenge. The SEBI circular on mandatory Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting (BRSR) for the top-1,000 listed companies has further helped create a shift in India Inc’s stance towards sustainability. In fact, recent findings of a study by Oxford Economics and SAP found that Indian businesses recognised the potential of sustainability to unlock business growth, with 62% of companies noting that it’s not difficult to be sustainable and profitable at the same time.

In Gangadharan’s opinion, organisations can introduce sustainability-specific roles to ensure the senior leadership is engaging with key stakeholders including employees, partners in the supply chain, and legislators to chart the roadmap to become sustainable enterprises. The current global economy is built on a linear, take-make-waste paradigm, where resources are extracted, produced into commodities, used, and discarded. This necessitates the shift to a circular economy. Leveraging technology, firms can measure their carbon footprint, evaluate carbon emissions, engage in sustainable business practices. Advanced data analytics can enable firms to access and embed sustainability business data into networks and procedures, and employ these insights for sustainable guidance.

Driving Value

Managing the ‘Green Line’ across the entire value chain will be crucial to enterprise success.
As per SAP-Oxford Economics study, 62% of Indian firms say it’s possible to be sustainable and profitable at the same time.
The lack of data-based insights is among the major challenges in going green.

 

 

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