4 ways Integrated Technology is Driving Sustainability Progress (Sustainable X)

January 23, 2023

This is a thought leadership article from PrimeGlobal guest contributer Rondi Allan, Sustainability Consultant and Director of Sustainable X, offering valuable insight into how integrated technology is driving sustainability progress in the business world.

If you would like to submit an article that highlights insightful thought leadership from your firm, and you are industry experts in your field, you can do so here.

In today's competitive business world, sustainability is no longer an option but a necessity. Businesses that want to stay competitive must find ways to reduce their environmental impact and create a positive social impact. One way to achieve this is by using integrated technology.

Integrated technology refers to the integration of different technology systems in a single platform to make the process more efficient, accurate and reliable. In this article, we will discuss the 4 ways that integrated technology supports business sustainability.

1. Comprehensive understanding and modelling of the environmental and social impact

By integrating data from various sources such as energy consumption, waste management, and transportation, businesses can gain a more accurate picture of their overall environmental impact, including carbon footprint. This information is critical for identifying areas where the business can reduce its environmental impact and make more sustainable choices. Theis is reliant on suppliers providing details and standardised reporting in some cases.

We see the use of Digital Twins, in many advanced sectors, being employed to model change to supply chain and components and the associated impact on Scope 3 carbon emissions. The results are then integrated into supply chain and procurement decisions.

Understanding and capturing the data of your supply chain on the key social and environmental aspects is also increasingly critical. It enables you to pre-empt and satisfy important regulations changes and data requirements around the world that could impact your business.

2. Optimisation of operations and resource efficiency

Integrated technology can help businesses optimise their operations and improve their resource efficiency. By integrating data from various systems such as building management systems, transportation systems, and logistics systems, businesses can gain a more complete understanding of how they use energy and other resources. This information can be used to identify opportunities to reduce waste, improve efficiency, and lower costs.

At a very basic level, an integrated ERP System with material requirements planning, reduces inventory requirements, therefore warehouse and resource requirements.

We believe that productivity and optimisation is the “secret sauce” to improving business sustainability.

3. Monitoring and tracking progress in sustainability goals

To make the significant and rapid change that is require on sustainability, specifically in the reduction of carbon emissions, accurate, timely and comprehensive measurement is required.

Integrated technology enables businesses to monitor and track their progress in achieving their sustainability goals. By integrating data from various systems and tools, businesses can establish key performance indicators (KPIs) that measure their performance on various sustainability metrics such as carbon emissions, energy consumption, and waste generation across their value chains. This information can be used to identify areas where the business is performing well and areas where improvements are needed.

Our clients, typically embed sustainability measures and ambitions into their current business dashboards, ensuring it integrates into business as usual.

4. Engaging stakeholders and communicating sustainability efforts

The requirement for robust communications, not only is driven by regulation but by consumer demand. This communication needs to be authentic and able to withstand, sometimes fierce, scrutiny.

By integrating data from various systems and tools, businesses can create interactive dashboards and reports that provide stakeholders with a clear and concise view of the business's sustainability performance. This information can be used to communicate the business's commitment to sustainability and demonstrate the progress it is making in achieving its sustainability goals.

We encourage our clients to be robust yet authentic with their communications with their stakeholders. “Believable” communications always have measures, stories and evidence. The Competition and Markets Authority in the UK has issued its Green Claims Code, which guides businesses on their communications protocols.

In conclusion, considering integrated technology is an important tool for businesses that are looking to improve their sustainability performance. By providing businesses with the necessary data, tools, and insights to identify and address their sustainability challenges, integrated technology can help businesses gain a more comprehensive understanding of their environmental and social impact, optimise their operations, and monitor and track their progress in achieving their sustainability goals.

Additionally, it enables businesses to engage with stakeholders and communicate their sustainability efforts more effectively and identify opportunities for circular economy. Investing in integrated technology can be a cost-effective and efficient way to support your business sustainability goals and stay competitive in today's fast-paced business world.

Sustainable X are committed to helping businesses benefit from being more sustainable, and Rondi has won numerous awards for her work in sustainability.

Furthermore, Sustainable X appreciate that firms are all at different stages of the sustainability journey, from tentatively starting out, to being on your way to be a purpose-led socially, environmentally and sustainable business.

Their sustainabilty framework can support you, your business, and your team, to:

Build your sustainable business case
Celebrate the actions you are already doing
Prioritise the next steps, which make the most business sense
Share the impact you are making via our certification program

You can contact Rondi and the team at Sustainable X here.