The journey to a more sustainable world can be informed, planned, guided and promoted through the better use of data and insights, explains digiio Insights & Design Director Andrew Leming.
There is wide-ranging consensus on the imperative to decarbonise economies and societies in order to mitigate the significant physical, economic, and societal risks from climate change. Clarity is also emerging about the pace and possible pathways that would enable the world’s energy and land-use systems to become compatible with net-zero emissions by 2050.
The link between profitability and sustainability
As a system-level problem, tackling climate change will require incentives, investment, ingenuity, and unprecedented levels of cooperation. It requires coordinated timing of the necessary standards and regulations and engagement from all stakeholders—international institutions, governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and individuals—to deliver net-zero transformations.
According to SAP’s 2022 Sustainability Report, nine in ten UK businesses connect long-term profitability with environmental sustainability. However, they find their inability to find the right talent and the problems around harnessing data to measure and substantiate their eco-credentials to be the biggest barriers to success.
The barriers to rapid and successful transitions
Sustainability leaders at some of the UK’s largest companies have warned that the scarcity of climate change talent at both operations and board level will be one of the largest barriers to achieving their net zero targets. According to research from EY, UK sustainability leaders cite these as barriers to achieving net zero, including 35% who point to difficulty hiring talent with climate change and 33% who say a lack of board-level climate expertise continue to hamper transformation efforts.
Such barriers in time also hold back the financial potential of firms seeking to drive sustainability transitions. Studies have shown that taking decisive action towards sustainability can positive financial effects. The Centre for Sustainable Business at NYU Stern, for example, published a study in 2020 finding that progress on ESG is positively correlated with financial performance.
What can be done to drive sustainability further?
To reach net zero and increase profitability, UK companies must drive engagement across their organisations, supply chains, and networks. In many cases, the pieces to the sustainability puzzle can be found in examining more closely the transitions taking place among customers and partners, and locked into place with external sources of support that help to overcome internal talent and informational deficits.
The first steps toward B2B strategy formation are easily available to digiio clients in the form of a series of rudimentary insights assets to create a framework for engagement and for finding the right touchpoints and opportunities to collaborate for growth.
If you’d like to know more about our Insights & Design services, please get in touch to schedule a chat with our Insights & Design Director, Andrew Leming.
You can reach him at: email@example.com
Or call: 020 7902 1190