Digital solutions driving sustainability goals

Thursday, 28 September, 2023

Digital solutions driving sustainability goals

The latest Sustainability Index from Schneider Electric shows that business leaders believe digital solutions are the key to achieving sustainability goals.

The Sustainability Index, 2023 report suggests climate change urgency is leading Australian businesses to the virtual world, with the rise of digital and electrified technologies seen as a driving force in meeting targets.

Despite some positive developments, Australia’s progress in emissions reduction falls far short of the targets set to combat climate change. The Australian Office of Financial Management’s November report revealed that emissions have only dropped by 21% since 2005, less than half of the required 43% reduction by 2030.

“Rapid and impactful solutions are needed to support businesses’ energy transition,” said Carlos Urbano, Vice President, Industry for Pacific Zone at Schneider Electric.

“Technologies ranging from digital twins to monitoring, visualisation and automation provide the quickest wins to significantly understand and reduce emissions to help meet 2030 targets.”

The report offers a range of findings based on a quantitative survey of more than 500 decision-makers across corporate Australia and reveals that 82% of businesses believe the benefits of adopting sustainable technology outweigh the costs. Schneider says this increase from 75% in 2022 highlights growing recognition that sustainability initiatives not only protect the planet but also contribute to long-term business success.

To propel sustainability efforts, 55% of businesses reported that they are ramping up investments in digital transformation compared to three years ago. Furthermore, 41% are prioritising automation and 22% are embracing EVs. These investments demonstrate the commitment of Australian businesses to leverage digital and electrified technologies for a sustainable future.

“Businesses are actively investing in digital, starting with tools that help them understand their energy usage,” Urbano said.

“It is essential to move beyond outdated methods, such as relying on bills and spreadsheets, to sophisticated tools and technologies. With less than seven years remaining to make significant progress, it is crucial for businesses to embrace modern approaches to gain accurate insights into energy usage and carbon emissions.”

Professional services stand out as frontrunners in embracing digital transformation, with 89% reporting that digital is playing a key role in achieving sustainability goals, followed by manufacturing (87%) and financial services (85%). Even at the other end of the spectrum, over half (55%) of respondents in food and beverage saw the benefits of digital technologies.

“Across industries, businesses have a pivotal role to play in addressing the climate crisis. We must act urgently and work together, adopting digital solutions, embracing electrified technologies and transforming our operations to ensure a sustainable future,” Urbano said.

Image credit: Filakhtova

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