Although we have already explored the digital transformation phenomenon, this time round we are challenging it further by adding yet another facet or factor to the magical equation, and that`s sustainability.
Now, for many of us when we hear the word sustainability, what comes to mind is less plastic, environmental-friendly and carbon footprint. Well, if that`s the case you are on the right track, but it`s not only those.
Let`s delve further to discover how companies today are being encouraged to amalgamate also sustainability in their already digital daily work routine, in what way digital transformation can improve sustainability and why is this important.
Starting from Product Creation
When a business adopts sustainability, it has to introduce it from its foundations, from the creation of the product itself. It stands to reason that a company can`t proclaim itself of being in line with sustainability, if their products are not.
Therefore, the products need to be designed, manufactured and promoted in a way that it endorses sustainability, bearing in mind eco-friendly, social and monetary impacts of the said products during the course of their whole lifespan.
This doesn`t only refer to ecological material utilised for the products, but companies need to make sure that any negative effects on the environment are minimised, such as water consumption and gas releases to name two.
Products are multi-faceted, from manufacture to usage, to recycled and/or repurposed once they complete their life span. Thus, businesses need to keep this in mind when choosing materials to be used for their products, which need to be biodegradable and originate from renewable resources.
What are the 3Rs of Sustainability?
Ethics of sustainability are threefold:
- Reduce – One of the best ways to be sustainable is to try to use less of everything, like taking shorter showers, thus wasting less water, switching off the lights when leaving the room and consuming less meat.
- Reuse – Find a way to reuse things, such as a refillable water bottle, compost your food left-overs and taking your own bag to the grocery store.
- Recycle – By transforming waste material into new products and alternative material ready to be utilised again, the consumption of fresh new material is reduced, while the amount of waste sent to the landfills and incinerators is also lessened, which in turn helps to slow down global warming.
Let`s Revisit Digital Transformation
As aforementioned, we had already touched the subject on its own in a separate article, but it is paramount to make sure that we understand why businesses switch to digital.
In this day and age, with consumers accessing and buying online from the palms of their hands, companies and businesses need to make sure that they are not only present via a website, but that they are making themselves heard constantly via social media, interactive publicity and e-shops, if they want to remain relevant and competitive.
Digital transformation then needs to be introduced at every stage of a business in order to obtain optimum connection with clients, attract new consumers while retaining existing ones. This will lead to a better leverage, potential sales and hopefully profit margin.
For digital transformation to be embedded and work properly within a company`s structure, it has to be embraced from the management down, with leaders committed to the cause while employees being given access to the right tools.
One of the most popular and widely utilised key components of digital transformation is cloud technology. This avant-garde tech assists companies by enabling:
- Improved efficiency – Access data and applications from anywhere via cloud systems.
- Scalability – Manage operations easier and faster without the need to invest in supplementary hardware and software.
- Flexibility – Be swifter, by adapting to modifications in demand rapidly and effortlessly.
Benefits of Digital Transformation for Sustainability
So far, we can appreciate the advantages a company can attain by switching to digital. However, this in turn also contributes to sustainability in our economies and societies.
Sustainable growth can be achieved if we embrace the digital transformation of our physical world with sustainability in mind.
The benefits are various:
- Reduce material usage and energy flows by recycling
- Lessening waste which will positively impact the environment
- Build a clean energy future by increasing energy efficiency
- Inform consumers about better lifestyle and choices via sustainability, as by being knowledgeable they will be empowered in their decisions
Moving Towards Sustainable Innovation
Sustainability is being hugely promoted across the globe even by top institutions, which is a peace of mind really, and means that the world has recognised and believes in a better future for all via digital transformation and sustainability.
Even the United Nations (UN) formally presented 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were agreed back in 2015 during the Sustainable Development Summit in New York, and came into effect in 2016. These goals are an internationally agreed set of global high level targets related to international development to tackle poverty and inequality. We encourage you to take a look at these SDGs, which hold honourable values, like food and education for all, gender equality and more.
This shows that digital transformation and sustainability have become essential and significant on a global level, and it is paramount that they are promoted to be implemented for the benefit of all, businesses and consumers to ultimately positively impacting the world`s population.
Nowadays, thankfully, we fully comprehend the disasters pollution causes, destroying nature, the environment and animals, by gases emissions, unloading waste in seas, rivers or lakes, ultimately intoxicating the air and affecting humans with different types of diseases.
NGOs are constantly working, while info is out there to make the industry aware about all the benefits the application of digital transformation and sustainability bring to the table. Hopefully, even third world countries are approached and assisted to revise their structures and production line.
Once we realise the positive snowballing effect digital transformation and sustainability hold, affecting all of us worldwide, we start to appreciate the motives behind their publicity and implementation by traders.