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Technology for net zero goals

What strategies are companies putting in place to mitigate climate change? Global tech and business solutions company NTT is leveraging its pioneering technologies to become carbon neutral by 2040.

As the environmental crisis becomes an urgent priority globally, both governments and businesses are under pressure to take actions that slow climate change. The case for organizations to prioritize people and the planet alongside profit is gaining momentum, and a collaborative effort is required to stem carbon emissions.

The global technology and business solutions company NTT is one of many purpose-led organizations determined to innovate and work with others to drive real change. The company is leveraging its technology to enable a more sustainable future for all of us. Realizing the urgent need to take firmer action, NTT Group published its new initiative in September and updated its Global Sustainability Charter in November.

These new frameworks commit NTT to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2030 compared to 2013. Additionally, the company is on track to be carbon neutral across its value chain by 2040.

Leveraging technology for good

NTT’s research indicates that an increasing number of organizations are also taking action to help create a sustainable future—spurred largely by the coronavirus pandemic’s fallout. Its white paper, Innovation with Purpose: For the Trusted Digital Future, published in October 2021, found that almost all respondents (94 percent) accept that “the pandemic has heightened expectations that large corporations will serve the interests of all stakeholders and not just shareholders.” With over half (56 percent) agreeing “strongly.”

Encouragingly, 99.7 percent of respondents have established at least one strategy to minimize environmental impacts. On average, they have set up four. Also, more than half (57 percent) have—like NTT—set environmental targets or are developing plans to pivot toward renewable energy and look for energy savings and greater efficiency.

Ultimately, the research confirms that as the world learns to live with Covid-19, people and the planet are becoming increasingly important for organizations of all sizes rather than just profit.

“As one of the largest technology companies in the world, we have an obligation to make that world a more connected and sustainable place long into the future.”

NTT’s net-zero target is within reach thanks to the organization’s continued commitment to developing pioneering tech and collaborating with experts.

“Creating a more sustainable and connected future sits at the heart of our business strategy,” says Abhijit Dubey, Global Chief Executive Officer of NTT. “Rather than be just another IT vendor, we show up with the purpose of harnessing technology to make the world a better place. This is good for business, and it’s simply the right thing to do.”

Commitment to green innovation

Central to NTT’s environment and energy vision, and its ambition to achieve net-zero by 2040, is its focus on green innovation in the fields of high-performance networking and computing, artificial intelligence and advanced-learning technologies that can support sustainability.

In addition, the company will leverage its breakthrough innovations to address environmental issues through more sustainable business activities and improving economic growth, resulting in a virtuous circle that will benefit everyone.

For example, its sustainable business activities include new eco-friendly processes at data centers and across 15 companies in its mobile network arm, NTT DOCOMO Group. Also, NTT is investing in the research and development of critical technologies for digital-twin computing (DTC). NTT is focused on building a collaborative system with external partners aimed at academic research, technology development and social implementation. Realizing the DTC concept will empower citizens by integrating technologies and services.

Digital-twin technology will help NTT and other organizations achieve its net-zero targets by unlocking efficiencies, reducing energy usage, and enabling smarter use of data. Leaders then can make better decisions and fewer costly mistakes from financial and environmental perspectives. The technology can also be used to help cities become more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. Virtual models can guide planning decisions and offer solutions to the many complex challenges faced by modern cities.

Furthermore, NTT is investing heavily in its IOWN (Innovative Optical and Wireless Network) concept for networks and information processing infrastructure. The aim is to use high-speed, high-capacity communication and new optical technologies combined with computational resources to substantially lower energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent.

With the right partnerships, NTT believes IOWN can be achieved by 2030. Its benefits will bridge various research themes, remove current technological barriers and enable further innovation that contributes to a sustainable future and the company’s net-zero goals.

“We will continue making investments in technology, people and programs to achieve these goals,” says Mr. Dubey. “As one of the largest technology companies in the world, we have an obligation to make that world a more connected and sustainable place long into the future.”

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