The concept of sustainable technology has emerged as a critical trend, garnering attention and recognition. Gartner, a leading research and advisory company, has identified sustainable technology as one of the Top Strategic Technology Trends 2024. In this article, we focus on the essence of sustainable technology, why it is gaining prominence, and its critical role in shaping a future where environmental, social, and governance (ESG) outcomes are paramount.
What is Sustainable Technology?
Sustainable technology is essentially a set of digital solutions designed to drive positive outcomes for the environment, society, and governance within businesses. Rather than focusing solely on the internal IT operations of a company, sustainable technology seeks to extend its impact to the broader spectrum of a business’s operations and its interaction with customers.
In simpler terms, it’s about using digital tools and practices in a way that not only optimizes the efficiency of a business but also contributes to a healthier planet and society.
86% of business leaders see sustainability as an investment that protects their organization from disruption. (Gartner)
Why is sustainable technology important?
Organizations should prioritize sustainability by incorporating ethical considerations and responsible decision-making into every aspect of their operations, from ecological impact to global business practices. Additionally, it’s crucial to account for the financial aspect, as the expenditure on energy to operate IT infrastructure constitutes a substantial percentage of overall business expenses. Sustainable technology covers different aspects, all working together to create a more responsible and ethical business environment. Some of its main topics are:
It strives to minimize the ecological footprint of businesses by promoting energy efficiency, reducing waste, and adopting eco-friendly practices. This includes leveraging renewable energy sources and implementing responsible waste management strategies, playing a crucial role in mitigating climate change and preserving natural resources.
Companies embracing sustainable technology prioritize social responsibility, integrating fair labor practices, diversity and inclusion, and community engagement into their operations. By doing so, businesses contribute positively to societal well-being, fostering a reputation for ethical practices.
Sustainable technology extends its influence to governance, ensuring transparency, accountability, and ethical decision-making within organizations. This involves leveraging technologies like blockchain for secure and transparent record-keeping, thereby enhancing corporate governance practices.
With an increasing focus on environmental regulations and ethical standards, it aids businesses in staying compliant and proactively adopting eco-friendly practices, positions organizations to navigate evolving regulatory landscapes, reducing the risk of legal issues, and enhancing their corporate image.
“Sustainable technology is increasingly important operationally — for optimizing costs, energy performance, and asset utilization, for instance — but it also drives ESG outcomes like improving wellness and providing the traceability needed to ensure responsible business practices. Sustainable technology also facilitates new business models and tech-enabled products to serve customers better.” (Gartner)
The Future of Sustainable Technology
Sustainability is becoming a top priority for most modern organizations. Sustainable technologies can aid in meeting environmental, social, and governmental (ESG) improvement goals that support long-term ecological balance and human rights. The momentum behind sustainable technology is set to grow, driven by a combination of environmental urgency, societal expectations, and business imperatives.
As organizations increasingly grasp the interconnected nature of their operations with the broader world, incorporating sustainable technology is evolving from a trend into a necessity for long-term success. Embracing these principles today is an investment in a resilient and responsible future wherein technology catalyzes positive change.
Stay tuned for upcoming articles and related interviews on our blog if you are interested in sustainable technology and want to learn more about it.