The last two years have seen significant debate and mixed results in climate change. The world has experienced a brief reprieve in emissions due to lockdowns in early 2020; however, emissions increased beyond pre-pandemic levels in 2021.
The UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) has amplified the climate change plan; however, critics question whether the agreements articulated are enough. In the Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) region, the drivers that result in concrete sustainability outcomes are still primarily financial.
Examples include customer penalties for lack of compliance, policies from parent organizations, the push for energy efficiency, or access to preferential interest rates through sustainable or green finance, impacting the requirements placed on organizations and their supply chains. While some governments are introducing policies and initiatives in this area, real leadership is still missing to implement the radical changes necessary to achieve COP26 goals.
She added that actions in one area often result in unforeseen consequences in another, which requires line-of-business (LOB) and IT to work together and scale technology solutions to solve these challenges.
“As a result, we are seeing that while technology use does obviously increase energy use, there is significant potential for greater positive impact through technology-enabled sustainable solution development," continued Krishnan.
IDC's top 10 sustainability predictions
Prediction 1: Sustainable operations: By 2024, 40% of major APeJ companies will have completely embedded sustainability into their operations.
Prediction 2: Sustainability as technology buying factor: 45% of organizations in APeJ will consider sustainability considerations to be “very important” for their technology buying decisions by 2024.
Prediction 3: Emerging sustainability ecosystems: By 2024, 40% of A2000 companies will be participants in broader networks of companies engaged in sustainable innovation to solve 'wicked' problems with significant, long-term innovation potential.
Prediction 4: Environmental sustainability: By 2024, 40% of major APeJ organizations will have environmental sustainability parameters firmly embedded in their business KPIs.
Prediction 5: Diversity, equity, and inclusion: By 2025, 30% of APeJ organizations will be tracking their diversity, equity, and inclusion performance using ESG metrics and KPIs.
Prediction 6: Data privacy and governance: Companies in APeJ will extend their data privacy initiatives to surpass compliance requirements with 45% of enterprises establishing KPIs regarding the ethical use of data by 2024.
Prediction 7: Sustainable cloud infrastructure: By 2025, 60% of APeJ-based organizations will deploy software tools to monitor utilization at on-premise, cloud or edge locations to improve utilization metrics that reduce energy costs improve sustainability.
Prediction 8: Data centre energy management: 80% of operating high-end data centres and 60% of mid-tier data centres in APeJ will implement an energy management program in order to reduce energy consumption and ensure energy reliability by 2022.
Prediction 9: Responsible sourcing: By 2024, 40% of organizations will mandate responsible sourcing policies and implement audit and accountability solutions requiring proof of compliance to build trust among consumers and stakeholders.
Prediction 10: Responsible AI and digital ethics: By 2026, 50% of A2000 companies will prioritize responsible AI solutions as the top area for artificial intelligence services investments.