Celebrating Earth Day at Avanade

  • Posted on April 22, 2024
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Celebrating Earth Day at Avanade

Despite social and economic challenges globally, environmental sustainability remains critical to businesses across the globe – an unsurprising fact, considering climate change looms as an ever-present source of uncertainty.


Businesses also see sustainability as an opportunity to stand out and act on important causes. A recent Accenture report, "CEO Climate Leadership & Sustainability Study" indicates top CEOs embrace sustainability as both a competitive differentiator and a promising business model, allowing them to align their operations with company values.


At Avanade, our purpose is to make a genuine human impact, so it's only natural that our environmental commitment is integrated into every facet of our community engagement. As a member of the Corporate Citizenship team, I am proud to lead the Green Forward Program, which promotes continuous engagement for environmental sustainability in our communities around the world. In honor of Earth Day, here's a glimpse at how we focus on environmental sustainability in our communities all year long.


A look back at Green Forward


Over the past year, I had the opportunity to work with our Corporate Citizenship Champions – individuals who dedicated their time to Citizenship initiatives – and volunteers on a variety of community engagement activities. With events like a beach clean-up in Fujisawa, a park clean-up in Stockholm, teaching kids sustainability through design thinking in Melbourne, or working community gardens in Atlanta, we encourage Avanade employees to volunteer for their environmental protection where they live and work.


We deepened our focus on digital sustainability. Avanade is a founding member of the Green Software Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at reducing carbon emissions associated with digital software. Over the past two years, we promoted the nonprofit's Green Software Certification across the business and helped Avanade achieve the second-highest number of certified green software practitioners across globally. This helps all our employees understand the environmental impact of software and equips software practitioners with essential knowledge to build, maintain, and run greener applications.


With digital sustainability in mind, we also launched a digital clean-up campaign across Avanade, encouraging our employees to reduce their cloud storage. This simple action not only helps us reduce Avanade's carbon footprint, but also reduces cost across the organization.


Coming together for environmental sustainability on Earth Day


Every year, we use Earth Day as an opportunity to come together and take action for a healthier planet – and reflect on our progress, too.


Recently, I had the opportunity to host a series of global webinars to cultivate this discussion at Avanade, bringing our employees, clients, and partners together to learn from and inspire each other. I wanted to leave you with a few personal learning points from these sessions:


  • Digital technologies such as generative AI have the power to enhance sustainability in profound ways. For example, AI can track plastic usage, identify alternatives, and improve recycling efforts, and the social sector can accelerate climate equity efforts through using qualitative data.


  • Green software is and should be part of Responsible AI.


  • Ad-hoc efforts can't help us to reach our goals. Sustainability by design should be the new norm that allows businesses and organizations to achieve their goals and create impact. In the future, Green Software will not be considered added value, but a standard that digital transformation projects will have to embed.


  • Inspiration sparks when technologies and frameworks are the tools rather than and not the means. Hence, employee engagement (through re-skilling and volunteering) and cultural change will be one of the new pathways to sustainability.


Last but not least, we should not forget that sustainability efforts will not be limited to a specific timeframe. There is no such thing as an endpoint when it comes to sustainability, and ' 'that's why each little step is counted and needed. The path to change starts with communities supporting each other on Earth Day and beyond.

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