A sustainable strategy for ESG


Wednesday, 01 June, 2022

A sustainable strategy for ESG

As businesses set ever more ambitious environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals, their sustainability and technology strategies need to become more tightly aligned. Chief information officers can play a critical role in supporting chief sustainability officers and ESG leads to achieve their company’s transformation to a sustainable organisation. An effective sustainable technology strategy helps drive business growth and ESG performance by delivering on three imperatives:

  1. Using the power of technology to enable and accelerate sustainability efforts across the organisation.
  2. Protecting people and the planet by making technology itself progressively more sustainable.
  3. Pursuing breakthrough innovation with ecosystem partners to develop radically different and more sustainable ways of doing business in the future.

Sustainability has moved swiftly up the executive agenda in recent years, with most CEOs interviewed for an Accenture study1 saying that “becoming a truly sustainable and responsible business” was a top priority. And with good reason. Beyond the great promise of protecting people and the planet, companies with a higher sustainability performance across ESG indicators perform better financially than their peers2. Just as digital transformation required every company to become a technology company, with technology at its heart, now every business needs to become sustainable — and technology is again taking centre stage.

Technology is — and will continue to be — the fundamental driver of sustainability for organisations, and their supply chains, customers and broader business ecosystems. Ninety-two per cent of companies in Accenture’s ‘Uniting Technology and Sustainability’ survey aim to achieve net zero targets by 2030, which will require deployment of advanced technologies to measure, reduce and remove an organisation’s carbon footprint.

Shining a light on solar panels for Origin

Accenture and Google Cloud have teamed up to develop a technology solution that can be used by energy retailers to streamline solar panel assessment and installation, making it easier for consumers and enabling energy companies to improve service delivery.

The innovative solution was designed by Accenture data scientists and deployed for Origin Energy solar panel customers. Built on Google Cloud, which has been carbon neutral since 2007 and is on target to be 100% carbon-free by 2030, it leverages a broad cross-section of Google Cloud tools and technologies. The artificial intelligence (AI) tool provides analytics on how solar will perform on customers’ rooftops and their potential savings within 10 minutes.

In addition, the platform uses 3D data, machine learning and advanced analytics to determine the optimal solar set-up for a household based on inputs like roof pitch, available space and shading from obstructions, alongside insights on household energy consumption. It provides solar power generation forecasts, system and installation costs, potential energy and bill savings and details on the investment break-even point.

Looking ahead, Accenture and Google Cloud intend to advance the system by creating recommendation tools that help consumers take advantage of the benefits their new solar systems can offer. For example, by predicting the amount of excess energy produced by the solar array, the tool will be able to help consumers make decisions about how they might be able to power an electric vehicle or what benefit they can gain from a home battery system.

Learn more about how Accenture Google Cloud Business Group are creating sustainable technology solutions at scale.

1. Accenture Shaping the Sustainable Organisationhttps://www.accenture.com/au-en/insights/sustainability/sustainable-organization
2. UN Global Compact–Accenture CEO Study on Sustainability https://www.accenture.com/gb-en/about/events/sustainability-cop26

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/adrian_ilie825

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