Sustainability is an imperative for many private and public organizations worldwide as they increasingly set new environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals. Buyers and end-users are demanding more accountability to ensure organizations are respecting the environment and local communities. Senior leaderships are turning to new technology solutions as tools to achieve their own ESG goals faster and track tangible progress along the way.
Measuring sustainability impact
There are several ways organizations can build their own sustainability scorecards and messages. Aligning efforts and action to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities are common examples. The concept of resilience has also become very popular in the past few years, especially in the United Stated. If applied to the human and natural systems, resilience refers to the ability of facing threats, adapting, and preparing for any future disruptive events with the idea of safeguarding wellbeing and creating a better world.
This abundance of corporate messages and slogans, frameworks, scorecards, and buzzwords may seem overwhelming for many organizations. Where is the best place to start to ensure sustainability is not just a marketing strategy to attract more customers, but a strategic effort that focuses on initiatives and results? What changes can your organization make that will contribute to a more sustainable, resilient, and fair planet?
No matter which framework you decide to follow, the end goal is about doing things the right way and caring about people and the planet. Technology vendors are helping organizations to establish a sustainability baseline from where they can expand and build a scorecard. The goal is to create a vision, strategy, and plan that begin by putting people and their wellbeing at the center, whether they are citizens, employees or fans attending a sports event. Data and analytics have the power to provide the right information to enable better decision making to improve sustainability efforts. The ICT infrastructure that underpins this data allows end-users to access new services and experience new benefits.
Leveraging data to improve sustainability efforts
People-centric IoT-enabled edge applications can improve quality of life and wellbeing through:
- Traffic monitoring – data and analytics help you understand traffic patterns to improve the mobility of your city and avoid congestions. From a safety and security point of view, it can also avoid road accidents, for example by providing alerts when drivers are going the wrong way or showing unsafe behaviors.
- Air quality – sensors can provide useful information in terms of air quality around office buildings or across a campus or city. The data gathered helps draft the right measures and initiatives to decrease pollution and create a cleaner environment.
- Park – IoT enabled dashboards provide information on how busy a park is, how frequently its facilities are used and on whether there are any unsafe situations. Decision makers can plan accordingly and provide a safe, inclusive, and accessible green space to the local communities.
- Buildings – property managers track the quality of access and the quality of stay in their building by monitoring different areas and gathering inputs on parking availability, lift service, level of temperature and humidity, etc.
Another important step is to track and report progress with a data-based approach. Real evaluation will help shape the next set of actions and calibrate the approach if needed. Organizations can build sustainability deep into their businesses by harnessing the power of advanced digital technology and lead service innovation with people and their wellbeing at the core.
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