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In 2023, the climate crisis became an extremely pressing reality with a growing effect on both our lives and the environment.

As a result, the international effort to decarbonize the economy intensified the focus on organizational emissions. It is understandable why IT sustainability and green tech solutions remained solidly in the spotlight this year given that end-point devices are acknowledged as the biggest carbon culprits in businesses.

Implementing a sustainable tech strategy that combines digitalization with environmental, social, and governance ( ESG) commitments is no longer an option; rather, it is now required by law and strategic imperative for companies seeking to increase operational, financial, or environmental resilience.

However, according to Accenture, only 7 % of executives have included technology in their ESG strategies, despite the fact that 100 % of them agree that it is essential to sustainability.

Are there any signs of progress toward making green IT a reality now that Gartner analysts have warned that IT-related GHG emissions will rise by about 30 % annually and after years of tech leaders discussing the significance of combating climate change?

circling in circles

Business leaders will have the chance to reflect, recalibrate, and reevaluate at the end of 2023, but there has also been an obvious shift as organizations truly commit to and start implementing the circular economy in practice as part of their business operating models.

Thousands of delegates gathered at the World Circular Economy Forum in June of this year to discuss how to transform the spiral economy from a vision for the future to one that is grounded in reality.

I spoke to the delegates along with various leaders and discussed workable solutions that companies like ours can provide to support the switch to spiral practices. We all agreed that speeding up the transition from a linear to circular economy depends on turning circularity into an operating and financial advantage for businesses.

Businesses will usually be concerned with efficiency and profitability, therefore in order to bring about a structural shift towards circularity, we must show that it has economic potential. Anything less will inevitably fall short. &nbsp,

This year, the volume of calls for change and the number of voices were both drastically unique. I saw the circular economy become a hot topic at this event and throughout 2023, no only for businesses in the industry but also for influential international organizations like The World Bank and even&nbsp, The White House.

The conversation has changed as well, particularly among IT leaders. Then, discussions are centered on real-world application and how to find solutions that benefit businesses everywhere they are on the path to circularity, despite the fact that the majority of people are only nowadays beginning to think about ways to implement this new level of resource efficiency and reuse.

selecting a value

Tech sustainability may have become somewhat of an afterthought in a year when the economy has taken center stage and some businesses are compelled to make tough decisions about where and how to prioritize investment.

Nonetheless, the opposite has occurred. Organizations have been quietly realizing that funding ESG-related initiatives and investments would have a positive effect on their bottom line behind the scenes. A recent Capgemini Survey found that businesses that have scaled sustainable IT use cases have, on average, reduced their costs by 12 %.

After all, sustainability can and should be an exercise in efficiency, and some CIOs have started to look at circularity as a way to maximize their capabilities and returns on investment when it comes to technology given its crucial role in business growth. &nbsp,

With policy interventions quickly ramping up in 2023, regulation has also been a significant driving force behind this change. This year, ESG reporting requirements also increased, and greenwashing and carbon offsetting eventually received the scrutiny they deserved.

Thousands of organizations with presence in Europe have been investing, mentoring, and getting ready for two new EU directives that will go into effect between 2024 and 2026 and make resource use and spiral economy performance required topics for disclosure over the past 12 months.

Everywhere in their value chain, businesses will be required to take steps to lessen harm to the environment and human rights. The traceability offered by spiral economy throughout an asset’s lifecycle, both during and after use, will become an extremely valuable and essential tool as a result of this, including, for example, waste management and recycling partners.

Organizations are better equipped to measure and track ESG progress thanks to this new level of reporting, as well as better educated and prepared to effect change. The start of a new era of policymaking calls for organizations to advance lastingIT.

the path in front

Businesses were certainly reassessing the environment in 2023, the first true post-pandemic year, and changing their course for the future.

But, I can honestly say that I have never come across so many customers who are eager to learn how to be more round. Importantly, I have not encountered but many manufacturers and business partners who are eager to collaborate with us to provide their clients with effective circular solutions.

Change does n’t happen overnight, and businesses have undoubtedly been slow to adopt the circular economy for technology and other business sectors. But, there are a lot of encouraging signs for the future, and I think businesses are moving in the right direction to make sure that their technology is sustainable going forward.

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