Sustainable IT Predictions for 2023
Scrutiny, power and perception: Sogeti’s predictions for sustainability in technology in 2023.
As 2023 dawns, energy crises worldwide have put the climate question firmly in focus.
Having set out their ambitions and commitments towards carbon neutrality and net zero, businesses will step up their environmental efforts in 2023 – driving four key trends in sustainability, technology and business:
Prediction #1: Sustainability scrutiny will increase
Demands for corporates to be more transparent in their sustainability performance have increased over the last five years. ESG-focused regulations have multiplied and corporate climate risk disclosures are already a core requirement from governments and investors. Among these, the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) is currently the most widely accepted climate risk disclosure framework, and has witnessed a steady increase in disclosures over the last five years.
As production levels increase across the globe in 2023, governments will impose stricter requirements on businesses to declare how much energy they consume, and where they source it from. As a result, many ops teams will invest in building out their tracking and reporting systems, and reviewing their infrastructure to take advantage of public cloud computing and other efficiency-focused technologies.
Prediction #2: ‘Reuse à Repair à Recycle’ (3-R) will become a right, and businesses will be forced to respond
In 2022 alone, we disposed of an estimated 5 billion phones. Each year, the amount of tech we buy grows by 2.5 million more tonnes than the previous year. As a result, the amount of e-waste generated worldwide is expected to double between 2018 and 2030, making it the fastest-growing solid waste stream globally.
Governments are waking up and taking action. 2023 will see the ‘Right to Repair’ enshrined in legislation worldwide, increasing pressure on firms to make spare parts and repair services more easily available to customers. Manufacturing businesses will be required to design circularity into their products. IT and other organisations consuming a high volume of e-gadgets will develop an understanding of carbon footprint generated and hence begin opting for newer business models to achieve the 3 R.
Prediction #3: Consumer demand for sustainable products and services will grow and grow
Appetite for sustainable products and services is increasing as consumers – especially those from younger generations – grow more concerned about our environment. This is especially true in fields where consumer awareness is highest. 44% of consumers have increased their spending on food and drinks brands focused on reducing and recycling waste, and 40% in personal and household care (Capgemini Research Institute, 2021).
IT can create several opportunities to revolutionalise existing business models and even create newer ones. Leveraging the power of data analytics, firms will start building predictive models of carbon impact to solve current problems as well as those that might be come up in the future.
Prediction #4: Developed countries will accelerate their transition to clean energy
The road map to powering our growing economy with clean energy has become much clearer in recent years. Dozens of ‘deep decarbonisation’ studies point to a similar recipe: produce electricity with carbon-free sources and shift to low-carbon fuels.
2023 will see developed countries step up their efforts to wean themselves off fossil fuels, driven by two key factors: conflict in Europe and new US laws that could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 1 billion tons by 2030. Within IT, a massive shift to cloud enables companies to stay true to their focus, since most of the hyper scalars employ renewable energy to power their datacenters. For organisations then, the choice of ‘right IT partners and vendors’ will play a critical role in their successful sustainability journey and 2023 should be a year where organisations and IT partners should join hands to chart this journey.
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