Leveraging Digital Towards Improving Sustainability Tomoko Yokoi, Contributor

Environmental technology concept. Sustainable development goals. SDGs.


The threat of climate change has pushed companies to embrace a more sustainable future, with an increasing number of companies announcing their commitment to ESG and sustainability. But such commitments need to be supported by concrete action, and there are growing calls to leverage digital technologies towards a better and greener future, highlighting the potential of data for sustainable development.

Bringing digital technologies and sustainability together makes logical sense. The green transition and the digital transition have been two of the most significant global business trends over the past several years, and are twin challenges: neither can succeed without the other. In practice, digitalization is being increasingly understood by companies as a way to improve environmental performance with firms such as Mercedes Benz and Analog Devices announcing their commitment to sustainability using digital.

And now, a recent study provides empirical evidence to support the relationship between the two trends. A recent article by Prof. David Bendig and colleagues highlights a strong positive relationship between companies that strategically prioritize digital technologies and their environmental performance

Digital Orientation and Environmental Performance

According to Bendig and colleagues, companies that have a strong strategic focus on digital technologies tend to have a greater ability to adapt to changing market conditions, as well as to identify and exploit opportunities for innovation. Such companies also tend to be more efficient in their resource use, leading to lower costs and reduced environmental impact.

Take the software company Teradata Corporation, one of the firms selected for their sample. In their 2021 ESG report, Teradata committed to developing technology products and services for a sustainable future. It also committed to leveraging digital tools for video conferencing and virtual workplaces for its employees to achieve environmental goals such as resource efficiency. Likewise, computer software manufacturing company Seagate and offshore oil drilling company Schlumberger, are committed to using …


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