As advancements in technology continue to happen regularly for the benefit of communities around the world, our planet is soaking up some of the consequences of its rapid progress. We decided to look into why being a sustainable tech company is so vital for the planet and how you can achieve this. We also wanted to highlight some of our favourite businesses who are helping to tackle climate change in a sustainable manner.
There is no doubt that the actions of humanity are causing a huge increase in global warming, and if it's left unchecked, it can and will result in disastrous consequences for the environment. Although creating and enforcing policies in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a lot easier said than done, we all need to actively work together to prevent climate change from happening.
The tech industry is now on the frontline of creating green economic sustainability, whether that's by building technologies to boost efficiency, supporting alternative power sources or even reorganising company structure to try reduce and eliminate green house gas emissions in general. Tech giants such as Google and Apple have started to make commitments to become more environmentally friendly after their sustainability was brought into question globally - with other firms like Unilever and JP Morgan following in their footsteps, to try and tackle the global issue.
Resource depletion is one of the many negative contributions of advancement within technology - so much so, that during the second half of the twentieth century, awareness of the impact of human activity on the environment was brought to light and sustainable development became one of the major ways to try and improve this. Companies then started to 'go green', in order to implement new ways of production to reduce the pollution and mass product waste.
In a report created by not-for-profit London & Partners and Dealroom.co, it was stated that the total valuation of climate tech startup's in the UK's capital city has almost tripled year-on-year to now reach $28 billion. With London's climate tech sector being one of the most promising in the world right now, we're having a look into how sustainability is not only good for the planet, but also for a business.
The Benefits of Sustainability
Becoming more sustainable has clear perks, from tackling global warming to improving a tech business' chances of winning over customers and retaining them - but it also comes with a lot more benefits than you'd think.
Gaining and retaining customers is an extremely positive asset to have when 'going green', but employees are now more likely to be attracted to a company with green credentials. Research has shown that 60% of UK job hunters look for sustainability commitments from potential employers before accepting a position, whilst 34% of millennials refuse to work for a company that they believe harms the planet.
Accessing finance is another perk when being more sustainable within the tech industry. Again, companies with green credentials tend to stand out more to investors, with climate impact among the criteria which investors use to assess their suitability. In fact, sustainable funds reached record highs in 2020 with over $51 billion in brand new investments, which is more than double the previous record set in 2019 globally.
Financial saving is inevitable when making your business more sustainable - 'going green' will typically mean that is creates less waste and gains in efficiency. With that being said, the UK's Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng has suggested last year, that UK firms could save as much as £6 billion, simply by lowering their energy use by 20%.
How You Can Start To Implement Sustainability
We understand that not all businesses can make sudden and big changes like tech giants Apple and Microsoft can, however, small and efficient changes will still contribute towards tackling the global issue. As a business, you must consider environmental matters like your carbon footprint, the sustainability of your supply chain and even your brand values regarding the matter and how you want to help to tackle it - as this is what's going to stand out to potential consumers/clients and employees.
Being transparent is extremely efficient for your business when discussing your sustainability values, objectives and actions. Having a clear plan with measurable targets is an amazing way of showing your progress around environmental issues, and it's often worth sharing this information openly where you can.
When being completely transparent with investors, consumers, and businesses, there's usually acceptance that not everyone can do everything to help tackle global warming - but what matters most is that organisations are moving in the right direction and making an effort to address/make a change to the topic.
Setting realistic goals is another step in the right direction to becoming more sustainable. Whether it's eliminating single-use plastics from the office, going paperless, or offering remote work to reduce emissions through commuting - the list is endless and will still make an impact.
Another simple, yet effective step can be using alternative energy. Currently over half of the power in the UK is generated by low-carbon sources - company's that switch to renewable energy such as solar power or wind energy, will enjoy lower energy bills, with less service disruption and ROI over time.
It's now becoming easier than ever for businesses to start making the change of switching to renewable energy. Many businesses worldwide have all pledged to switch to renewable sources - including the likes of Burberry.
After looking into the ways in which businesses can start to become more sustainable in order to help tackle the global warming issue, we have seen some outstanding companies and startup's that offer solutions to help tackle this issue, with the likes of Treepoints, Human Forest, Infogrid, Circulor, Pavegen and Red-Inc deserving notable mentions.