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Capegemini Unveils Results of Organizations' Status of Sustainable IT

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According to a new report from the Capgemini Research Institute titled "Sustainable IT: Why it's Time for a Green Revolution for The Organization's IT," the report indicates that organizations have developed a comprehensive roadmap to accelerate sustainable IT implementation.

The report states that these organizations have seen improved ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) scores at 61 percent, customer satisfaction at 56 percent as well as tax savings at 44 percent as a direct result of sustainable IT practices.

However, the report showcases that only six percent of organizations have reached a high-level of sustainable IT maturity. Whereas, the rest are still largely ignorant of how to incorporate sustainable IT activities and proactively approach the environmental impact of enterprise-IT.

Although technological solutions can aid in the mitigation of environmental problems, IT as a whole has its own carbon footprint. The new report identifies the fastest-growing areas of enterprise IT emissions and sets out a three-stage roadmap for businesses to develop and adopt sustainable IT strategies.

The three-stage plan for accelerating sustainable IT outlined in the report includes.

•laying the groundwork with a sustainable IT strategy that aligns with the organization's sustainability strategy.

•Establishing a governance framework with a committed sustainable IT team and leadership support

•Making sustainable IT projects a core component of software architecture and putting them into action.

However, organizations are not yet recognizing sustainable IT as a goal or a tool in their overall sustainability agenda and journey to reduce their carbon footprint. Only 22 percent of organizations expect to reduce more than one-quarter of their carbon footprint by sustainable IT in the next three years, according to the survey.

Organizations are to realize the environmental impact of IT
With 57 percent of respondents unaware of their own organization's IT carbon footprint, there is a strong knowledge gap about the environmental impact of IT. This knowledge gap is caused by the fact that sustainable IT actually receives less support and funding than other green initiatives.

The financial sector has scored 52 percent and consumer goods sector has secured 51 percent that are regarded as the highest knowledge levels, while the heavy manufacturing industry has the lowest score of 28 percent. Merely 34 percent are aware that the manufacture of mobile phones and laptops has a higher carbon footprint than their usage throughout their lifetime.

When it comes to strategy, half of companies have established an enterprise-wide sustainability strategy, but only one-fifth, that is, 18 percent have a robust sustainable IT strategy with well-defined targets and timelines.

The majority of organizations lack the necessary resources and standards to assess IT's environmental impact. Just 29 percent use carbon evaluation instruments, and only 34 percent claim sustainable IT is on their board of directors' agenda.

Around 23 percent of organizations monitor and measure greenhouse gas emissions, indicating that KPIs (Key Performance Indicator) are not widely used to track and measure progress for enterprise IT sustainability. In total, only one percent of people have met their goals. 27 percent of organizations have standardized the practice of assigning a carbon cost to IT activities, which can help organizations across departments understand the effect of their IT footprint.

“Sustainability must be at the core of our global effort for post-pandemic recovery, and IT cannot be neglected. Organizations need to recognize and act on the carbon cost of our digital world by accelerating the move to business models which are supported by sustainable IT capabilities,” says Cyril Garcia, CEO, Capgemini Invent and Group Executive Board Member, Executive Sponsor, Group CSR program.

Garcia added that, “organizations must have the diagnostic tools, strategies, and a roadmap in place to accelerate their journey towards decarbonization. Endorsement from all stakeholders in the organization will be critical for success along with sustainable software architecture and change in employee behavior.

Organizations with a higher level of maturity reap more benefits
According to the Capgemini Research Institute, 52 percent of organizations believe technology firms should have a sustainable IT dimension in their products and services, 61 percent want tech firms to assist them in measuring their IT's environmental impact. The remaining 45 percent are willing to pay a premium of up to five percent for sustainable IT products and services.

Garcia added that, “organizations must have the diagnostic tools, strategies, and a roadmap in place to accelerate their journey towards decarbonization. Endorsement from all stakeholders in the organization will be critical for success along with sustainable software architecture and change in employee behavior. Beyond the environmental imperative, the business benefits are compelling in terms of bottom line, social status and customer satisfaction”.

The Capgemini Research Institute polled 1,000 businesses with annual sales of $1 billion or more to learn about their long-term IT plans. Insurance, retail, consumer products, banking, energy and utilities, life sciences and healthcare, automotive, telecommunications, industrial manufacturing, technology services, and the public sector were among the companies involved. Senior IT executives, sustainability professionals, and senior executives from core functions such as human resources, finance, and marketing were interviewed by the Capgemini Research Institute.

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