Latest Post

Missed your income tax deadline? New Jersey residents have some options Best Cheap Stocks – Forbes Advisor

89 percent of technology companies in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region are actively setting net-zero emissions targets and are optimistic about achieving their decarbonization goals, according to a Kearney study titled “Regenerate: An Asia Pacific Study on Sustainability and Beyond.”

The study surveyed around 1,000 executives in nine countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

In an exclusive interview with Channel AsiaChui Lee, a partner at Kearney, said optimism is generally prevalent among technology leaders in Thailand, with 56 percent of them saying their goals are achievable.

However, Lee said there is a gap between corporate ambitions and the global goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, with only 45 percent of technology companies in Asia-Pacific having decarbonization plans in line with the Paris Agreement.

“In addition, technology companies are at different levels of maturity on their sustainability journey and are taking a variety of approaches to adopting sustainable practices,” Lee said.

She emphasized that although 33 percent of technology companies had a sustainability strategy, they had not launched any major initiatives and were largely following the example of others.

However, most of these tech companies are Singaporean, with 54 percent of tech companies in Singapore at this maturity level. Therefore, there is an “increasing urgency” for tech companies to “implement concrete initiatives that align with their strategies” as Singapore works towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and meeting the goals of the Singapore Green Plan 2030.

When it comes to environmental sustainability, 51 percent of technology leaders have not set targets for all key areas of influence, despite having a clear strategy or framework.

“These findings underscore that technology companies can do much more to set robust targets, develop holistic sustainability strategies and adapt current sustainability strategies,” Lee said.

Bridging the gap between ambition and implementation

To bridge the gap between implementation and ambition, Lee stressed that technology companies should not only focus on becoming carbon neutral, but also be “climate resilient” by “reducing their dependence on fossil fuels and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.”

To achieve this, Lee said, technology companies need to adopt a regenerative approach that focuses on “actively restoring and unifying the entire ecosystem – people, digital technology and operational building blocks.”

Lee mentioned five key steps to embarking on a regenerative approach to sustainability.

First, technology companies must outline their vision and their North Star, the place where they believe their company can transform economies.

Second, technology companies need to map different systems (external and internal) to identify entry points for restoring social and natural systems through the active allocation of resources.

Next, technology companies should develop a regenerative strategy by focusing on the areas of greatest impact and where the company can create the most value for shareholders and stakeholders.

It then reviews the company’s business models and assesses how the company has created more value through regenerative practices.

Finally, technology companies must define where regenerative practices can create financial value for all stakeholders across the ecosystem.

Although this approach has been adopted by 50 percent of technology companies in the Asia Pacific region, regenerative sustainability still lacks “a widespread understanding of the long-term growth potential.”

Only 51 percent of technology leaders recognize the potential for profitability and long-term growth.

“As the technology landscape continues to evolve, we believe there are opportunities for companies to actively review their business models and define and deliver value,” commented Lee.

Accelerate decarbonization

According to the study, two-thirds of technology leaders believe that technological advances would accelerate decarbonization strategies.

This sentiment is most pronounced in Thailand (76 percent), followed by Malaysia (73 percent), India (71 percent) and the Philippines (70 percent).

“It is encouraging to see the technology industry taking the lead and recognizing the importance and urgency of investing in technologies for this purpose,” Lee said.

In addition, 54 percent of technology leaders want more government support to accelerate their companies’ decarbonization efforts.

This figure is highest in the Philippines (63 percent), followed by Singapore (58 percent), India (57 percent) and Indonesia (55 percent).

Addressing sustainability challenges

The study also found that the biggest challenges for technology companies in implementing sustainability initiatives are high complexity (69 percent), different ways of working (62 percent) and limited opportunities to effectively implement sustainable initiatives in terms of quantity and quality of available resources (59 percent).

To overcome these challenges, Lee suggested that technology companies prioritize collaboration by working closely across departments and with stakeholders such as regulators, suppliers, industry partners and customers.

Cross-functional partnerships would enable “companies to understand where to start with sustainability initiatives, what improvements are needed and learn more about best practices.”

Lee also pointed out that technology leaders play a critical role in ensuring that companies “implement sustainability practices appropriately” and “integrate sustainability strategies into their core business strategy.”

Combating greenwashing

In addition to the complexity, the different approaches and the limited resources, greenwashing represents a growing challenge.

Due to concerns about greenwashing, 91 percent of affected organizations are increasing their investments in sustainability resources and capabilities, 93 percent are paying more attention to agreements with suppliers, and 92 percent have tightened their sustainability policies and processes.

Lee found that these concerns have led to “caution and hesitation,” impacting goal-setting and communication strategies. Eighty-six percent of technology companies have expressed caution in sustainability planning and goal-setting.

According to Lee, the increasing caution and reticence is due to “increasing regulatory scrutiny on a number of factors, including the use of AI and ESG reporting, which all companies face.”

“While such regulations aim to increase transparency and credibility, they also inadvertently contribute to hesitation and caution on the part of organizations,” Lee said.

“Finding the right balance between setting ambitious targets and reporting transparently is critical to building trust, creating credibility and driving meaningful change,” Lee added.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *