When we think of technology nowadays, we often think of it in the form of gadgets and the Internet. Through the years, technology has powered the many great strides of humanity, influencing how we work, live and communicate. But as we’ve discovered in recent decades, our technological advances have posed challenges to the health of our planet.
Now, technology is being used to help manage, if not reverse, the rise in greenhouse gas emissions and e-waste. The negative impact on the environment has made us more aware of the capabilities of technology and how much further we can push and develop it for the benefit of everyone, including our environment.
Transforming businesses into sustainable organizations
More and more companies are expressing their commitment to follow the path towards becoming more sustainable. According to an Accenture research, business leaders surveyed agreed that implementing a sustainable technology strategy can help companies transform into sustainable organizations. With a technology sustainability strategy in place, companies are able to accelerate sustainability efforts across the organization, protecting people and the planet by making technology itself progressively more sustainable, and pursuing breakthrough innovation with ecosystem partners to develop radically different ways of doing business in the future.
In 2021, Accenture, GitHub, Microsoft and ThoughtWorks have founded and launched The Green Software Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to build a trusted ecosystem of people, standards, tooling and leading practices for building green software. The non-profit organization will focus on three areas such as creating green software standards, patterns and practices; accelerating innovation in creating green software applications; and driving awareness and advocacy programs that include green software training and education for the industry.
“As a company that focuses on leveraging the power of technology and innovation, Accenture sees itself in the best position to act. Sustainability is part of how we innovate with clients and help them imagine and invent their futures. Embedding sustainability principles at the business core, Accenture ensures that care for both people and the environment is manifested in our internal processes, projects, and transactions with all stakeholders and clients.”
—Stephan Alba, Technology Sustainability Lead of Accenture in the Philippines
To do this, Accenture is focusing on integrating sustainability by design across all its assets and offerings – from the infrastructure and equipment to the operations and software clients will use. In the Philippines, Accenture’s sustainability services have helped companies from different industries to not only decrease carbon emissions through automation but also in transitioning to clean energy through solar installations. One specific asset, called the Energy Consumption Dashboard, allows businesses to monitor their energy consumption and keep track of their sustainability targets. In addition, Accenture’s Project Green Quotient (PGQ) enables software development teams to assess their green quotient and provides recommendations for improvement.
Investing in sustainability also means investing in people
Fully incorporating sustainability into the business practice also means deeply involving their people into achieving the goal together. Hand in hand with embedding sustainability into the business practice is ensuring that its employees know and understand it by heart.
This is why Accenture’s Sustainability Quotient learning program is a key part of their overall sustainability plan. One of the ways the company is doing this is by improving their Technology Quotient (TQ) through training modules, roadshows, and competitions. Among their projects include Green Software Engineering 101 training for all employees, as well as emphasizing sustainability in new joiner orientation sessions.
“Just as how we are committed to upskill our people in digital technologies, so remains Accenture’s focus on increasing their knowledge and understanding of creating a sustainable future for all. By providing continuous learning opportunities about green technology, our people will be able to apply the sustainable principles they have learned to help clients achieve their sustainability goals.”
—Eman Antonio, SAP Chief Technology Innovation Office Lead, Accenture in the Philippines
In line with this commitment to sustainability, Accenture in the Philippines recently celebrated Technology Month with the theme, “Metaverse + Sustainability: Shaping Responsibility in Shared Worlds.” Among the month-long activities were the Sustainability Bootcamp that included learning sessions about sustainability trends across industries, and a two-day Green IT Hackathon that challenged teams from Manila and Cebu to develop and showcase sustainable software solutions that can help companies lower their carbon footprint and reduce their negative environmental impact.
In addition, a Technology Summit was held as a platform to highlight the importance of innovation to help businesses and people navigate the metaverse safely and sustainably. During the virtual event, Antonio talked about “Sustainable IT in Action” and highlighted how Accenture embeds sustainability best practices to help clients and businesses achieve their sustainability goals.
“I believe that with a clear focus, the right skills, values and perspective on our sustainability goals, our people will be able to see and elevate the relevance of their work for the greater good,” added Antonio.
When used and harnessed with the right purpose, technology can truly pave the way to a sustainable future for everyone.