Can you imagine what life would be without technology? The transition into digital products and services over the past decade has changed every aspect of our lives, including living situations, education, and transportation.
However, how can digital transformation bring us closer to sustainability? A joint report between Tata Consultancy Services (TSC) and the Centre of Digital Enterprise (CODE) at the University of Auckland Business School on the Digital Sustainability Index reveals how businesses in the Asia Pacific use digital means to achieve sustainability.
What is Digital Sustainability?
Digital Sustainability is how we can use digital resources to maximize our contribution to sustainability. TSC and the CODE believe that digital transformation is the key to accelerating our pursuit of sustainability, especially when they are incorporated into businesses.
The Digital Sustainability Index is the first report that tracks how businesses in the Asia Pacific leverage digital resources to realize their economic, social, and environmental objectives.
“We aim to start meaningful conversations on the convergence of digital transformation and sustainability for future-fit businesses as well as our people and planet,” said Girish Ramachandran the President of TSC.
The report is based on a survey targeting C-level executives of 195 companies in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, and Japan. Four significant themes are used to gain valuable insights:
- Orientation: The drivers to pursue Digital Sustainability
- Digital: The digital maturity of the business
- Partnerships: Ecosystem of partners and enablers
- Governance: The in-house governing mechanisms involved in Digital Sustainability
The key findings
A good 87% of the companies agree that Digital Sustainability enables their brand to compete in the market. Moreover, these companies have also recognized their businesses’ economic, social, and environmental aspects, even though the degree of priority varies across countries.
However, this concept doesn’t come without challenges. The report reveals that the lack of clear justification (ROI) to invest in sustainability tools is cited as the top three inhibitors in adopting Digital Sustainability. Australia and New Zealand report limited budgets as their key inhibitor; meanwhile, Singapore and the Philippines struggle with the lack of in-house expertise. These conditions need to be improved so that the companies can have room for innovations.
In partnership, 87% of companies seek strategic partners in Digital Sustainability. To create impactful contributions, all related stakeholders must be familiar with the company’s sustainability mission and goals.
The future of Digital Sustainability
The development of the digital world allows us to reimagine how we do things, including business. As we are slowly getting up from the aftermath of COVID-19, it is increasingly visible that business models need to use sustainability as one of the core lenses to ensure their longevity. The Digital Sustainability Index report shows how scaling up digital sustainability efforts requires clear purposes, proper measurements, and ecosystems that can cultivate this improvement in the long run.
Read the full report here.
Editor: Nazalea Kusuma
Madina is the Assistant Manager for Program at Green Network Asia. She is an English major graduate from Universitas Indonesia with two
years of demonstrated experience in editorial and creative writing,
researching, editing, and creating content.