World Environment Day 2022: Technology companies on prioritizing sustainability and driving transformative environmental change

World Environment Day 2022
CXOToday | June 04, 2022 | World Environment Day 2022

A recent study by NASSCOM and BCG highlights that increased efforts towards ESG initiatives will drive growth for technology organisations in India. The emphasis on sustainability not only has a positive impact on the planet but also presents a huge economic opportunity. That’s why recent years have seen sustainability emerge at the top of the corporate agenda, with both clients and employees choosing to partner with companies that have prioritized it.

Today, as the world celebrates Environment Day, we hear from some of the experts from the technology industry on why sustainability should be made a priority for technology companies.

Environment protection isn’t a job of a single individual, company, or organization, it’s a collective responsibility of all of us. Paying attention to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns is becoming increasingly critical for all organizations across all industries. And the technology sector is no different. Undoubtedly by going green, tech companies can play a significant role in correcting the effects of climate change using their resources and platform. This will help businesses contribute to two things: making the world greener and sustainable and secondly, it helps companies create an innovative culture, improve efficiency, competitive agility, employee engagement, and thus drive growth.

Besides, it’s not just the tech companies that aggressively implement sustainable and environmentally friendly business practices; it’s also consumers who demand it. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, there has been a 71% rise in global online searches for sustainable goods over the past 5 years. Also, research by New York University’s Stern Center for Sustainable Business has found that sustainable brands have increased their share of the U.S. market during the pandemic, demonstrating this trend. This trend isn’t just in first-world countries or the FMCG industry; it’s everywhere! Customers are engaging with sustainable businesses in ways that they previously ignored. While many consumers actively seek out brands and companies that align with their values, they’re also willing to switch products/companies when something violates their ethics. These proof points are testament to the fact that sustainability is more important than ever today. Technology companies have a strong global reach and impact on people, hence they have a great opportunity to lead the way by incorporating sustainability into their core philosophy.

Over the past 10 years, environmental issues have encroached on businesses’ capacity to create value for customers, partners, and stakeholders. Managing climate-related risks and creating opportunities for business growth are intertwined, and tech companies understand that. Managing the green line is an imperative business approach in creating long-term value. As the expectations on corporate responsibility increase, and as transparency becomes more prevalent, having sustainable strategies in place is a ‘must-have,’ not a ‘nice to have.’ For the IT sector, the two major concerns are managing e-waste and reducing carbon footprint. At CSS Corp, we have implemented an effective carbon management strategy and sustainable business practices that help enrich our environment and not suffocate it.

As part of the digital initiative, CSS Corp has started to expand its capabilities to include website carbon neutral strategies and cater to the growing demand for sustainable services for existing and new clients. We have conducted extensive research work on assessing carbon scores of over 500 websites and analyzed the factors that impact the scores, and devised optimization approaches for greener websites. Besides, our efficient and sustainable practices helped us reduce GHG emissions by about 91%, prevented the axing of approximately 72 fully grown trees, reduced electricity consumption by 50,08,880 KWhr, and disposed of 442kgs E-waste through authorized recyclers.

Our work culture promotes global environmental sustainability — the consistent emphasis on reducing energy levels, including monitoring energy consumption trends, identifying reduction opportunities, and technology up-gradation, continues to be on our priority list. Since 2014, we have been committed to UNGC principles and support its efforts by ensuring our business practices are built on equality, sustainability, and human rights.

The core value of ESG is being a responsible and trustworthy business. At CSS Corp, there has been a strong encouragement to adopt agile working practices such as minimizing commute, which in a way influences reduction of carbon footprint. The awareness of mental health importance across different global centers have helped employees in fostering good work-life balance. ESG is a complex topic that has evolved rapidly in the last decade, and many concepts and themes have matured into standard practices. In the coming years, there are likely to be more mandatory demands from both consumers and end-users, and many organizations are actively working on adopting, acting more responsible and leverage technology to create sustainable outcomes. – Kiran Marri, Chief Scientist, CSS Corp