In 2025, most larger companies will have to apply the new rules for corporate sustainability in their reporting for fiscal 2024. Chief Information Officers play a critical role in making ESG (enterprise, social, governance) tangible. CIOs must act as Climate Impact Officers. Why? The days are over that you get away with planting trees as a fig leaf for sustainability. Digital innovation has positive and negative effects on sustainability: acting as an enabler (smaller footprint) or a blockage (larger footprint).
A good example is the rapid emergence of artificial intelligence. On the one hand, AI is the equivalent of a V12 combustion engine regarding energy consumption and carbon footprint. On the other hand, AI plays a crucial role in combating climate change by enabling intelligent energy management, waste reduction, and resource optimisation in combination with the internet of things.
“AI is the equivalent of a V12 combustion engine regarding energy consumption and carbon footprint”
The terminology “Scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions” is a chessboard for CIOs. Scope 1 covers emissions from sources that an organisation owns or controls directly, for example, the carbon footprint in the life cycle of laptops, servers, and networks. By ensuring the energy used to power buildings, data centres, and public cloud is from renewable sources, a CIO covers scope 2.
The Champions League for Climate Impact Officers is scope 3: emissions not produced by a company itself and are not the result of activities from assets owned or controlled by them, but by those that it’s indirectly responsible for up and down its value chain. The World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates that IoT in precision agriculture can increase crop yields by up to 70% and reduce water consumption by up to 90%. IoT-enabled infrastructure, including intelligent lighting, waste management, and transportation systems, enhances efficiency, improves public services, and promotes sustainability.
The list for “Tech for Good” goes on and on. IoT and AI solutions in the energy sector can reduce energy consumption by up to 30%. Real-time tracking and monitoring of goods enable enhanced inventory management and logistics optimisation, leading to cost savings and reduced environmental footprint by up to 40%.
The CIO is dead; long live the CIO as Climate Impact Officer! The Circular IT group is dedicated to supporting CIOs to address the circularity of their IT hardware assets. We have your back in addressing the low-hanging fruit to show and prove that you are genuine in sustainability.