Sustainability means taking responsible action and providing solutions that improve operational resilience, commercial sustainability and environmental sustainability with the resultant environmental, commercial and social benefits. This is now more important than ever.
There is a wide range of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions that have the potential to deliver a positive commercial outcome which can be modelled and proven whilst delivering a strong environmental and social benefit. WWF 1 has evaluated the role of ICT in meeting the challenge of climate change and concluded that if ICT was widely used it could help deliver up to 2-7 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emission reductions annually, simply by scaling up proven, commercially viable solutions.
Many organisations have started a sustainability journey towards reducing their own contributions to greenhouse gas emissions in recognition of a burning platform for change. There is mounting pressure to embrace environmental and social responsibilities to address greenhouse gas emissions at a corporate level, the onset of government policy, carbon pricing increasing energy costs and the imperative of maintaining market relevance, credibility and competitiveness.
In order to address these growing imperatives, Australian organisations need to take action on two fronts: making operational changes through investments in new technology as enablers of sustainability outcomes and changing employee behaviours.
ICT solutions are instrumental to achieving sustainability outcomes for Australian organisations. Government policy is setting substantial national carbon mitigation and abatement targets, which will require large-scale energy conservation of the kind that ICT can demonstrably help to deliver. Operationally, ICT can also be a key productivity and efficiency enabler, helping organisations improve performance from the individual through to the enterprise level.
ICT solutions will also prove to be critical in a time of global economic uncertainty, providing cost-effective solutions that will drive both productivity and sustainability benefits.