Digitalization & Sustainability: A Winning Combination

Discover the transformative impact of digitalization on sustainability efforts in Schneider Electric’s latest report. Gain insights into how businesses in Singapore are leveraging digital strategies to confidently achieve their sustainability goals and drive positive change in a greener economy.

A recent report from Schneider Electric, a global leader in energy management and automation, highlights the significance of digitalization in achieving sustainability objectives. The report, titled “Thriving in the Green Economy,” presents insights from a survey conducted in May and June 2023, involving 500 business leaders in Singapore across various industries.

The survey reveals that real estate and data center companies are at the forefront of digital sustainability efforts, while professional services firms are trailing behind. Approximately 35% of Singaporean business leaders are categorized as “Digital Sustainability Leaders,” firmly believing that digitalization plays a pivotal role in their organization’s sustainability strategy. On the other hand, 59% fall into the category of “Digital Sustainability Adopters,” showing less enthusiasm for digitalization’s sustainability benefits, and 7% are classified as “Digital Sustainability Sceptics,” expressing disagreement or uncertainty regarding the importance of digitalization in advancing sustainability.

The study also identifies industry-specific patterns, with sectors such as real estate, data centers, automotive, and e-mobility displaying a higher likelihood of having “Digital Sustainability Leaders,” whereas professional services, FMCG, transportation, and infrastructure sectors tend to have more “Digital Sustainability Sceptics.”

Interestingly, “Digital Sustainability Leaders” exhibit significantly greater confidence in achieving their sustainability targets, with 61% expressing strong confidence, in contrast to only 16% of “Digital Sustainability Adopters” and 8% of “Digital Sustainability Sceptics.” Furthermore, “Digital Sustainability Leaders” tend to work with shorter timeframes, with 31% focusing on goals set for the next year or less, compared to 19% of “Digital Sustainability Adopters” and 8% of “Digital Sustainability Sceptics.”

The report underscores that “Digital Sustainability Leaders” are twice as likely (41%) to have comprehensive and integrated sustainability strategies, complete with policies and targets, compared to 21% of “Digital Sustainability Sceptics.” Additionally, 64% of “Digital Sustainability Leaders” report having dedicated sustainability teams, while only 42% of “Digital Sustainability Adopters” and 18% of “Digital Sustainability Sceptics” have similar resources in place.

In terms of climate change mitigation efforts, “Digital Sustainability Leaders” outperform their counterparts by utilizing methods such as Carbon Foot-Printing (40% vs. 34% and 27%), Supply Chain Analysis (38% vs. 31% and 15%), and Lifecycle Assessment (34% vs. 22% and 18%). They are also more inclined to adopt various decarbonization measures, including Supply Chain Optimization (36%), investment in Carbon Capture and Storage (32%), retrofitting buildings (32%), or optimizing energy distribution (30%), in contrast to only around one-quarter of “Digital Sustainability Adopters” and one-fifth of “Digital Sustainability Sceptics.”

The report suggests that the heightened commitment to decarbonization among “Digital Sustainability Leaders” may stem from their increased perception of climate change as a significant business risk (60%) compared to “Digital Sustainability Adopters” (42%) and “Digital Sustainability Sceptics” (30%).

Yoon Young Kim, Cluster President at Schneider Electric, Singapore, and Brunei, emphasizes the strong connection between digitalization and sustainability. He emphasizes that with improved access to data and technology, organizations can better monitor, plan, and optimize their sustainability initiatives. Decarbonization, in particular, benefits significantly from digital solutions as companies strive to achieve ambitious net-zero targets. Kim underscores the importance of collaboration with the right partners to adopt integrated digital solutions, enabling businesses to reduce emissions, promote circularity, and make substantial progress toward their sustainability goals.

The Schneider Electric Sustainability Survey 2023 included 4,500 business leaders from nine countries and was conducted in collaboration with partner Milieu Insight. The survey targeted middle to senior-level executives in the private sector across Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Schneider Electric’s insightful report, “Thriving in the Green Economy,” sheds light on the pivotal role of digitalization in driving sustainability efforts among businesses in Singapore. The findings underscore that organizations embracing digital sustainability strategies are not only more confident in achieving their sustainability goals but also exhibit more comprehensive and integrated sustainability practices. As we navigate the challenges of climate change and work towards a more sustainable future, it is evident that the correlation between digitalization and sustainability is profound. With the right partnerships and innovative digital solutions, businesses can forge a path towards decarbonization, circularity, and meaningful progress in their pursuit of sustainability targets. Schneider Electric’s survey offers valuable insights that can inform and inspire sustainable practices and collaborations across industries and regions as we collectively strive for a greener, more sustainable global economy.