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Only 16% of Indian Organisations Prioritised Sustainability Goals The Global Sustainability Barometer study was conducted among 1,523 technology and sustainability business leaders across 16 countries in Asia, EMEA, and the Americas.

By Priyanka Tanwer

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At a time when climate related risks are posing a challenge to businesses, 86 per cent of organisations in India recognise the significance of sustainability in shaping business strategies, but only 16 per cent have prioritised sustainability goals and built them on real facts and data, IT infrastructure services provider Kyndryl and Microsoft stated in a joint study.

Amid a surge in climate-related events and challenges globally, there is a heightened focus on environmental sustainability and leveraging technology as a key enabler of sustainable solutions in India.

While 68 per cent of the survey respondents see great significance in technology's role in achieving their goals, only 34 per cent believe they make full use of it in their organization. Additionally, customers emerge as the most influential stakeholders advocating for sustainability (60 per cent), followed by employees (52 per cent) and supply chain partners (40 per cent).

"Organizations are at diverse levels of sustainability maturity. Visionary companies are harnessing technology to meet regulatory standards and to pursue sustainability objectives effectively. They are leveraging technology to fulfill customer expectations, reduce expenses and innovate, thereby unlocking the full potential of sustainability," said Faith Taylor, Chief Sustainability and ESG Officer, Kyndryl.

The Global Sustainability Barometer study was conducted among 1,523 technology and sustainability business leaders across 16 countries in Asia, EMEA, and the Americas. The survey took place between September and October 2023. The survey was conducted across nine industries and included small to medium and global companies.

Drivers To Building A More Sustainable Organization

Make sustainability a CEO and Boardroom priority aligned with finance and technology: With over 55 per cent of sustainability officers reporting to the CEO and the CEO defining the vision of sustainability programmes in 93 per cent of organizations, it's clearly a top-down governance approach across Indian companies. However, only 17 per cent of organizations report achieving full alignment between their sustainability and finance teams, highlighting an urgent need for enhanced integration. While a higher percentage (39 per cent) align sustainability teams with technology, there is a need for stronger alignment as technology-driven measures are easier to quantify and drive innovation.

Align sustainability with technology modernization: Technology plays a pivotal role in automating, modernizing, and prioritizing sustainability processes and infrastructures. The study reveals that 56 per cent of organizations in India leverage digital tools for hybrid work strategies and 55 per cent use AI and automation to enhance efficiency, reduce environmental footprint and build sustainable operations.

Build an integrated data foundation: Streamlining data management to facilitate informed decision-making holds the key to the successful execution of strategies. However, the study highlights that only 11 per cent of organizations in India offer their employees real-time dashboards for monitoring their ongoing sustainability goals and accomplishments.

Unleash AI for predictive sustainability: Considering the vast data resources available to organizations, the strategic imperative lies in harnessing predictive analytics for comprehensive scope 3 risk assessment, anticipatory energy consumption forecasting, and proactive measures against natural disasters. About 28 per cent of organizations utilize AI to identify scope 3 risks using public sources, indicating a need for growing awareness of the broader environmental impact beyond direct operations.

Empower employees: While many organizations have made efforts to raise employee awareness and clarify their roles, the lack of measurement hinders the ability to link these efforts to overall progress. Only 14 per cent of organizations set sustainability KPIs relevant to employee roles, indicating a need for clearer metrics and better alignment with employee responsibilities.

"India aims to reduce carbon intensity of economy by 45 per cent by 2030 – this will require collective action from governments, industries, enterprises, and individuals," said Ullrich Loeffler, Co-Founder & CEO, Ecosystm. "Together with Kyndryl and Microsoft, we are pleased to offer this study, providing forward-thinking organizations with actionable steps to drive measurable sustainability impact," Ullrich added.

Priyanka Tanwer

Feature Writer

With eight years of experience covering various beats for the digital and print media, now covering electric vehicles and sustainability for Entrepreneur India, keeping a nose for innovation and new technology in this futuristic sector.     

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