Sustainable tech solutions: an NTT case study

Jan Wuppermann

Chief Digital Officer, APAC, NTT

Sustainability has long been on organisations’ minds since the days of ESG and CSR. A gap, however, lies between their desire for green changes and the effect of operations. Adopting sustainable operations is an ideal, but how do organisations go about it?

NTT, a global technology and business solutions provider has pledged several goals in becoming a greener organisation. They are working towards net-zero emissions by 2030, data centres entirely running on renewable energy and a suite of IoT services capable of making intelligent decisions to reduce carbon footprint. 

CIO World Asia met with Jan Wuppermann, Chief Digital Officer, APAC to uncover NTT’s experiences in designing sustainable tech solutions and learning points for organisations embarking on sustainable tech journeys. 

I fundamentally believe its two sides of the same coin, you can’t do good business without doing it sustainably. Now we are in a world where doing good and doing well is the same thing. There is no more separation anymore between doing the right thing and doing it right.

Jan Wuppermann, Chief Digital Officer, APAC, NTT

Green Priorities For CIOs

CTOs and CDOs can also lean in on this agenda, for their roles with CIOs, are cross functional, offering a peep behind the curtain. Wuppermann outlines 4 main priorities: 

  1. Start from the top by taking ownership, making sustainable development a critical business component. Engage stakeholders, have them onboard on your plans in making the company’s carbon footprint visible and reduced. 
  2. Measure the baseline of sustainable development and bring it to the forefront of conversations. Keep questions such as, can it improve business outcomes, cost savings, employee engagement, client engagement, fresh in one’s mind when dealing with daily tasks. 
  3. Tendering only with partners with established sustainability plans, detailed documentation, and are to meet with you on sustainable goals. Being the spokesperson of the company’s green demands, you need to stand up for it. 
  4. Harness sustainable and secure IT design, while adopting innovation from a sustainable angle. 

NTT’s client engagement model for environmental prosperity

An observed emerging trend is that more clients are demanding providers to be sustainable. Positioning sustainability as a joint partnership agenda becomes imperative for client engagement. NTT’s client driven transformation journey towards accelerating sustainable solutions comprises of 4 broad portfolios: 

  1. Global Data Center Division to be running on 100% renewable energy by 2030, providing for all clients a cleaner, greener migration to cloud applications.
  2. Accelerating efforts in aiding clients’ cloud migration in a manner that reduces carbon footprint. From hosting in-house, to hosting on a scalable cloud platform.
  3. Moving from hardware-based solution to software-based solution. Providers need not produce hardware kits, which reduces pollution from production, shipping logistics and manufacturing of recyclable components.
  4. Devising IoT applications and working with clients on building their desired smart infrastructure such as campuses, hospital. Redesigning facilities by reexamining usage levels of air conditioning, heating and lights. Things previously taken for granted are reexamined through a sustainability angle, asking questions such as, is this the right material, right way of doing, is it possible to do it more efficiently? 

NTT’s Green Tech Goals

NTT’s green transformation plan spans three major interconnected pillars: the planet, the economy, and the communities. A connected planet maximises natural and manmade resources, extending their lifespan across the value chain. A connected economy collapses barriers, facilitating a robust environment for innovation and growth. Connected communities fosters equitable and inclusive digital education. 

Coupling this strategic framework are further goals and commitments. NTT aims to achieve net-zero emissions across its operations by 2030 and its value chain by 2040. NTT’s Global Data Center Division operating almost 600,000sqm across 20 countries and regions, envisions establishing 100% renewable energy by 2030. On the employee side of things, company employees are pledging 1 million staff hours for investing in sustainable activities. 

This year’s World Environment Day theme is #OnlyOneEarth, a reminder that we have only one liveable planet. Its an important thought to keep in mind while doing good green business.