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The Sustainable Impact

  • Geplaatst op dinsdag 14 december 2021
  • Leestijd 5 minuten
The Sustainable Impact Avanade

Article by Annelies van Doorn-Tuinman, Sustainability Lead at Avanade, & Marit van Dijk, Advisory and Digital Transformation Lead at Avanade.

We hear it all the time: companies and organizations are taking serious steps in the name of sustainability. But does this mean their operations are getting greener? Are their priorities changing? Is being a responsible business just as important as being a profitable one? The short answer is yes.

But as with any major movement, things are a little more complex than that. Companies all over the world are rethinking not just how they do business, but how a focus on sustainability and a renewed sense of purpose can be differentiators. Ones that create business opportunities, increase brand value, and attract new talent. Which are all added benefits, given new legislation that requires all companies to report on double materiality (inward and outward impact) by 2024.

These days, if you are not focusing on building or improving a responsible business, you are already behind the curve. We believe organizations need to ‘rethink to renew and grow,’ in order to align with the changing business landscape. This concept builds on our core offering: assisting clients through digitization to transform their internal and customer-facing processes.

Technology as a green catalyst
The turn towards sustainability shares many of the same challenges faced by the “Digital Transformation” ten years ago. In both cases, sustainable systems and processes require fundamental changes within an organization, and these have wide-ranging effects. Sustainable transformation has the same potential for impact on organizations, as the digital transformation has already had. It affects everyone and everything from stakeholders to communities, partners, the environment, brand value and the future of a business model. And ultimately, these kinds of big changes are really about people.

To empower the sustainable journey, technology must serve as a catalyst. We partner with companies who align with our views and values, and build on the power of the Microsoft ecosystem to drive sustainable solutions. Like the Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability – the newest industry cloud that supports companies as they create insights into their emissions.

The need for insights is vast, and different companies have different goals. Which is why we don’t limit our focus to the Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability. We’ve also launched the Avanade Sustainable Smart Hub, which aligns insights with the UN’s 17 ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SGDs). In Italy, the Avanade Sustainability Smart Hub helps government officials determine the environmental statuses of different cities, according to the SDGs. And the Hub’s dashboard maps the direct impact of policy.

These are two specific examples of solutions that drive sustainable change. However, IT is an accelerator and can rise to the occasion. No matter the project, we lead with an open mind. As has long been the case with digitization, sustainability means embracing continual change. Rethinking what it means to be agile and resilient, and innovating faster in a new hybrid world.

Rising to the occasion
Implementing solutions is the next hurdle. Companies in the food and fashion industries, for example, must be increasingly accountable for their supply chains. End-consumers often demand a comprehensive understanding of who produces their products, and where and how resources involved in production were sourced. Digital solutions – such as blockchain and digital twins – can play a role in building more transparent, accountable, and ultimately responsible value chains.

A holistic organizational and cultural approach is needed to make people-oriented solutions and supply chain innovations happen side-by-side. And one major variable in that equation involves every stakeholder understanding the nuts and bolts of a supply chain.

That’s why Avanade is committed to applying our technological capability to produce complex solutions. We advise on the appropriate technologies and approaches to help organizations grow their business responsibly. We have supported conservation efforts in Scotland, non-profits digitizing to adopt Microsoft technologies, and medical teams researching viable treatments for ALS, to name a few recent projects. We believe in tech for good that rethinks growth as a question of human and ecological – and not just financial – opportunity.

Of course, we need to walk the walk ourselves. We’re embarking on a journey alongside many of our peers, and we’re as committed to our own sustainability goals as we are to our clients’. That means matching Avanade’s customer commitments through co-creation, and community-focused initiatives and projects for all our people.

Continued transformation
This is all to say that we believe organizations that make sustainability core to the way they do business will grow through continual, positive change. A flexible new approach is needed to respond to a rapidly changing world, and all the challenges that come with it. Those who adopt new ways of doing business will be the leaders of tomorrow.

And if you ask us, digital is the enabler and sustainability is the only way forward.

If you’d like to discuss how digital transformation can unlock responsible growth opportunities for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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