What is Sustainable Technology?
Sustainable technology is an innovative approach that considers natural resources when trying to achieve social and economic development. Sustainable technology strives to significantly reduce environmental risks and builds a strong connection with communities.
So, how are sustainable technology and ESG interrelated? In this article, we will discuss how ESG is defined, the benefits of ESG, and the role of sustainable technology in ESG. We’ll also look at some examples of sustainable technology and IT ESG goals.
What is ESG?
ESG stands for environmental, social, and governance. Enterprises embed ESG initiatives into their mission or strategy to ensure sustainability is at the core of their business model.
Several concepts apply to each pillar of ESG:
(E)nvironmental refers to the energy companies use to operate, the resources it requires to run efficiently, and the long-term impact on the environment. The E in ESG addresses the impact businesses have on the environment, as it directly correlates with carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, and e-waste.
(S)ocial evaluates the relationships companies have with the community and other organizations. The S in ESG refers to values like diversity, equity, and inclusion, and addresses the effects companies can have on the quality of life in communities where business is conducted.
(G)overnance identifies internal practices, processes, and procedures companies establish to govern themselves, make informed decisions, meet the needs of external stakeholders, and fulfill regulation standards and compliance requirements.
Although it seems as if these concepts only apply to specific parts of ESG, all of them are interrelated. Take climate change and its effects as an example; many companies are concerned about climate change.
When you put climate change concerns into the perspective of ESG, social intertwines with environmental and governance, as businesses are concerned about how their products or services affect the community, which typically results in companies verifying their compliance with new and existing environmental laws to ensure they’re taking the proper precautions.
What are the Benefits of ESG?
Companies that take the lead on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues outperform their peers financially, generating up to 2.6 times more value.
There are several additional benefits of ESG initiatives, but some of the primary benefits are: asset optimization, cost reductions, increased company growth, increased productivity, and reduced regulations.
- Asset optimization
Establishing ESG initiatives helps organizations find the best use of assets. Through asset optimization, companies utilize their resources instead of investing in solutions that may not be applicable or useful in a few years.
- Cost reductions
ESG initiatives lower energy consumption and reduce waste and disposal costs, which results in cost reductions.
- Increased company growth
Adequate sustainability practices allow enterprises to gain access to more useful resources, which can unlock value and fresh opportunities for growth.
- Increased productivity
Establishing ESG initiatives makes employees and their communities feel valued, which helps companies attract and retain employees and, in return, increases productivity by giving those employees a sense of purpose.
- Reduced regulations
As a result of establishing environmentally conscious corporate initiatives, organizations can earn subsidies and support from local government authorities.
The Role of Sustainable Technology in ESG
Sustainable technology is one way in which enterprises can achieve their ESG goals.
Technology is a fundamental driver of sustainability for enterprises and their employees, as the right technology can accelerate sustainability initiatives across an organization.
Organizations can create a sustainable technology solution by identifying and evaluating the issues that impact their business and community the most, ranging from issues like air pollution, e-waste, global warming, health equity, climate change, and much more. Assessing existential issues gives companies insight into what tools or processes are essential in achieving their set strategies.
Three examples of sustainable technology are extending the device lifecycle, allowing devices to be reused, and ensuring e-waste does not end up in landfills.
Different companies will have different ESG goals based on the overarching issue that impacts their organization. Still, it’s important to remember that strong ESG goals can safeguard a company’s long-term success.
Examples of Sustainable Technology & IT ESG Goals
The following are ESG goals you could set for your mobile device program, and ways you can incorporate sustainable technology to achieve them.
|IT ESG Goal||Sustainable Technology Solution|
|Elevate Supply Chain Initiatives||Resell devices into the secondary market. Many retiring IT assets still hold value and functionality and can be reused within an organization or another industry.|
|Increase Energy Efficiency||Upgrade the mobile IT assets in your workforce from 4G devices to 5G devices. 5G devices use around 90% less energy than 4G devices.|
|Increase Product Utilization||Redeploy IT assets to departments not requiring the latest technology to perform job duties.|
|Reduce E-Waste||Implement an IT asset recovery program with an R2 Certified recycler. With IT asset recovery, companies can get the most value out of mobile devices by reusing or reselling them.|
How Mobile Devices Drive Sustainable Solutions
Every company utilizes energy and resources to operate, so every company affects—and is affected by—the environment, which is why we must strive to be sustainable in all our efforts.
Technology can negatively impact the environment, but if positioned correctly and at the center of your strategy, it can drive success and contribute to a sustainable solution.
If your organization has an enterprise mobility program and issues employees mobile devices, here are two initiatives you can implement in your IT policies to achieve sustainable ESG goals:
- Lease IT equipment instead of purchasing devices
Leasing IT assets simplifies the IT asset management process because it allows devices to be reused instead of discarded after one deployment. Leasing companies try to keep the IT asset in circulation for as long as possible, as they pay for the devices themselves and then provide them to companies through a rental or leasing agreement.
- Recycle retired devices with an R2 Certified recycler
When devices are recycled with an R2 Certified recycling company, IT assets are dismantled to recover parts and base components—including precious metals—to ensure e-waste and toxic chemicals don’t leak into the environment or end up in a landfill.
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