Prosenjit works with Treeni’s global clients, partners, and industry bodies to bring in best practices and technology solutions aimed at building a sustainable future. Prosenjit has close to 24 years of experience working in the utilities domain in various capacities. In the past, he has held various leadership roles working with Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services.
ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) has become the talk of the town, now more than ever, after the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 26) of 2021. All eyes are on corporations for their plans to limit climate change at inception points. A stitch in time saves nine. There is no time like now for tech leaders and CTOs to realign ESG factors and ambitions to ensure relevance in the corporate world. ESG frameworks help in retarding the rate of environmental loss, mitigating climate change and generating good governance, and having positive commercial repercussions in the short and long term.
There has been a mark-worthy rise in corporate activity to align long-term sustainability goals in the last few decades. Technology and operations have a significant role in chalking out ESG blueprints and implementing them. CTOs in charge of organizational transformation are crucial members of achieving targets.
Here are a few lenses through which CTOs can view ESG through, as a critical cog of business –
Transforming the Social Fabric – While the leadership is instrumental in taking path-changing decisions, it is as important to focus on the implementation of change and the involvement of the employee pool and society at large in executing ESG initiatives. Distributed responsibility and regular updates of the progress of strategy execution help keep people’s morale high. Employee strength can be harnessed by using digital tools to identify areas of environmental impact throughout the organization. Measured goals tend more to be achieved, and technology can be CTOs’ best friend in quantifying metrics, for example, tracking employee carbon footprints and measuring the ecological impact of business travel.
Implementing Change – Change is gradual and not easy. Bringing about organization-wide ESG changes, more so. CTOs can rope technology to harness and contextualize ESG data and monitor the change closely to catch and fix deviations in time. If one thinks of waste management as a proposed change in an organization, the logistics throughout the procurement and supply chain need complex databases and tracking mechanisms to optimize. This process requires multiple levels of testing and debugging, and CTO intervention with the right technology would prove to be a game-changer. It is essential to keep in mind that the end-users are not affected.
Creating ESG awareness – People are the most significant stakeholders in spearheading a transformation in ESG. Awareness, knowledge and technical know-how are essential arms of change management. Lack of awareness is a considerable deterrent to the quick implementation of ESG measures that need sustained and strategic efforts to resolve. It is pertinent to conduct regular learning and development programs to help keep the employees abreast of the latest technology, its usage, and its implementation rationales.
Securing the virtual playground – In the modern age world, cyber security is a critical factor of ESG. Most, if not all, commercial transactions are online, and organizations have a bottomless pool of high-value data, including patents, personally identifiable employee data, and critical email correspondence, to name a few, that adds gravity to the urgency of bringing all hands on deck to tackle threats and arrange for preventive measures. For sustainable management of personal and commercial data alike, online threats pose a challenge that needs all attention.
Impacting the larger community – Businesses function within society, so business progress is closely interlinked with that of society. In developing systems, tools and databases, it helps to think of the larger scheme of implementation in communities. Taking care of the development and deployment of ESG mechanisms for the world outside the organization, including NGOs that create awareness, has become the need of the hour.
Balancing workloads – It is essential to understand that measures under ESG be taken not to transfer carbon emissions from source A to source B but to mitigate them altogether. Data centers are power-intensive, and it is vital to understand the nexus between emissions, computing and energy usage. It is important to shift focus to renewable energy to power such data centers to reduce carbon footprints. Serverless computing is a commendable update that manages business data well and is cost-efficient.
These measures are the tip of the iceberg of the tasks that need attention on the ESG front. Gone are times when ESG was a ‘good to have’ element of business. ESG is one of the fundamental building blocks in the central scheme of affairs. It’s critical in the eyes of investors and customers alike. Technology is an all-encompassing tool to bring ease of measurement and efficiency to ESG and CTOs. Hence a long-term view is better suited. And in the long run, the human race doesn’t have Planet B yet, so there is no time like now to ‘tech care.’