Harnessing 'Digital Powers' to Control Emissions

Harnessing 'Digital Powers' to Control Emissions

By Venkatasubramanian Hariharan, Managing Director Canon Middle East and Turkey

There is no doubt that sustainability has become a strategic imperative for businesses. A recent report by PwC reveals that 24% of European CEOs believe their companies will be highly or extremely exposed to the impact of climate change in the next five years.

Furthermore, a recent Sustainability Brand Perception Report by Quocirca's shows that 85% of business leaders foresee sustainability as pivotal to business performance by 2025.

Driven by both conscience and compliance, organizations are navigating a landscape where sustainability commitments are increasingly non-negotiable.

Take, for instance, the European Commission's Green Claims Law, enacted in March, designed to curb misleading environmental claims by businesses. Faced with stringent regulations and heightened consumer scrutiny, businesses find themselves at a crossroads, compelled to take sustainability seriously.

As a result, many companies are now embarking on their sustainability journeys from the point of auditing their own communications, ensuring tangible alignment with environmental objectives.

Yet, achieving true sustainability demands more than superficial changes—it necessitates a holistic transformation. As businesses pivot towards greener practices, leveraging technology emerges as a pivotal factor for achieving success.

And as leaders look to transition to a more sustainable future, harnessing technology to track and measure emissions against environmental commitments will be key. The first step is adopting digital tools, which can grant better access to connected data and enable businesses to track and measure their commitments.

Decision-makers must have visibility throughout the entire business to identify any existing processes, practices or resources that are harmful to the environment. This ensures any changes they make are moving them in the right direction and assisting their businesses to reduce their environmental impact.

From aspiration to implementation

Amid the drive for sustainability, many leaders encounter a daunting reality: the elusive starting point. While the imperative to act is undeniable, the path forward often remains shrouded in uncertainty.

Yet, procrastination is a luxury that businesses cannot afford. Legislations such as the European Commission’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) will force companies to disclose their sustainability measures and any associated metrics that they are using.

Despite the regulatory impetus, a notable gap persists between aspiration and implementation. Research from the World Benchmarking Alliance found that only 22% of European businesses are meeting some of the requirements of the report.

Even amongst these organisations, not all of the CSRD’s reporting metrics are being addressed. Evidently, the challenge lies not in intent but in execution.

Transforming data into strategies

In the era of data-driven sustainability, analytics emerge as the catalyst for change. By pinpointing energy inefficiencies and emission hotspots, digital tools pave the way for carbon reduction.

According to ESG Software provider Workiva’s 2023 Global ESG Practitioner Survey, 97% of businesses surveyed agree that access to technology and data will play an essential role in making decisions to advance progress towards their Environment Social and Governance (ESG) goals in the future

Leveraging asset tracking and analytics

A range of asset tracking and analytics solutions now offer real-time insights into carbon emissions and resource usage. Some vendors offer assessment services which help customers understand and review the sustainability credentials of their current technology stack, including print and scan infrastructure.

These tools translate brand, age, print volumes, security and print and scan behaviour to indicate the environmental impact of the hardware fleet.

Equipping the workforce for sustainability

Once companies have gathered the right information, the next step is turning this insight into action. Assessment services usually produce a detailed report with findings and recommendations to help improve sustainability.

For instance, assessing a business’s current print and scan infrastructure, as well as document workflows, can lead to significant improvements in sustainability outcomes.

However, achieving success in sustainability extends beyond hardware and workflows—it demands a cultural shift. Training and awareness programs play a pivotal role in cultivating an environmentally conscious workforce, equipping employees with the knowledge and skills to champion sustainable practices.

Sustainability ranks among the foremost concerns for businesses today, with leaders facing mounting pressure to achieve environmental objectives. However, a significant number of businesses still lack the necessary understanding to drive meaningful change.

To enhance transparency, make well-informed choices, and showcase strides toward adopting a sustainable model, businesses should combine effective digital infrastructure with strategic collaborations with vendors and suppliers.

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