How CIOs can bridge the nexus of IT and sustainability

 Sarah Johnson, APAC Digital Leader of ERM

What does it mean for CIOs when ESG has changed their agenda when they are charged with leading digital transformation for organizations? Organizational and structural barriers must be surmounted in order to achieve an ESG outcome, and CIOs must take advantage of these chances to digitize their IT strategy.

As a result, we understand why sustainability is the new digital and who in the industry is driving the ESG digital transition. CIO World Asia spoke with  Sarah Johnson, APAC Digital Leader of ERM about bridging the nexus of IT and sustainability.

The currency of sustainability

Many individuals have stated recently that sustainability is the new digital. The last three decades have seen a significant degree of change in corporate organizations as a result of digital transformation. Messages for work are no longer delivered on paper; instead, computers with email and chat servers are used.  Additionally, the digital shift has altered how consumers go about their daily lives. Thus, with how digitally involved consumers are, Consumers now expect businesses to be digitally focused.

In fact, sustainability and digital transformation are very similar. Although it is a fresh necessity, it originates from a more urgent area where failure to act now will have far more severe implications.

There is sustainability everywhere. Especially this year due to climate change, which has caused heat waves in numerous nations and a significant rise in sea level. As a result, sustainability is the new digital since change is so important.

The severity of the effects makes sustainability more essential. In contrast, sustainability is the fundamental change that has to be implemented permanently, whereas digital transformation is more of a short-term change.

Sustainability is the new digital since it affects everything people do and is the catalyst for change for the future.

Connecting the ESG and CIO function

Who is in charge of ESG often varies between various organizations. This is because there are several contributing elements. Depending on the industry and organizational strategy, some businesses have a chief sustainability officer or a small sustainability team, while others have CEO.

This is related to the idea that sustainability is the new digital since it permeates everything. It simply acts as a red thread that runs through all of your operations, data management, decision-making, and procedures. It must be taken into account in everything.

CIOs have successfully navigated the digital transformation curve and emerged on the other side, and it has been crucial. Therefore, they are aware of transformation and change management. They are aware of what it takes to effect change throughout a whole company.

The key to their position in sustainability is the CIO. Their knowledge of the digital transition is to blame for this. As a result, we do not connect IT with sustainability.

Additionally, businesses want to begin forming more alliances with tech providers so that CIOs can supply sustainability services on a larger scale.

Sustainable IT leaders with ESG

Large data centers produce a great deal of emissions that are bad for the environment. Some businesses produce emissions comparable to a small city. resulting in a significant influence. Additionally, in addition to emissions, water is utilized to cool, which has resulted in even more waste. The gadgets we use on our laptops and phones contribute to e-waste as well. Therefore, IT leaders should consider all of this waste and consider how to control it.

Human rights and diversity are the key focus of the S component of the ESG. Often, environmental sustainability has come first. The social sector, however, has significant gaps in terms of technology leaders, women in leadership, diversity within IT organizations, and even encouraging people from diverse backgrounds to join the organization at the graduate level.

Therefore, having more diversity in leadership will result in sustainability as a result of the many perspectives that diversity offers.

The human rights sector faces pressures from businesses as well. This is due to the possibility that some businesses deal with independent contractors over whom they have no control. Digital can therefore be used to assist gather such data and comprehend the third party vendor’s overall notion.

Finally, by presenting genuine facts and fostering trust, governance is a field that may significantly aid in management. This is due to the fact that it can be challenging to choose the best course of action when it comes to sustainability issues because the field is so vast, complicated, and continually evolving.

Real facts and data are therefore crucial. IT leaders may use governance’s access to all those systems and data sources to assist them make practical judgments that will increase transparency and confidence when making sustainability-related decisions.