Improving sustainability will become top 5 priority


By 2015, improving sustainability related
performance will become a top five priority for 60 percent of major Western
European and North American CEOs, according to Gartner.


Sustainability is no longer primarily about
risk mitigation, focused on compliance, reputation, philanthropy, the
“triple bottom line” and being seen as doing good things. In
practical terms, for most enterprises today, the value in
sustainability is actually derived from operational efficiency and
business enablement.


Sustainability’s enhanced corporate value
will be enabled by a maturing set of information systems and decision support
tools that facilitate the engagement of the CFO and the finance team.


Sustainability is no longer a ‘soft’ and
tangential aspect to organization performance. A sustainable approach to
business activities is generating tangible business benefits for organizations
today, through a combination of operational efficiencies and market growth
opportunities,” said Simon Mingay, research vice president,


Improved financial and operational performance
is achieved by optimizing the use of increasingly expensive natural resources,
minimizing the value lost through waste and emissions, and exploiting the
increasing fiscal incentives and tax breaks particularly those for energy
efficiency. Business enablement is achieved by exploiting the emerging market
opportunities of a low-carbon economy.


As perspectives continue to evolve, it is also about
meeting the expectations of investors, customers, employees and other key
stakeholders, by making better-informed decisions that explicitly balance
commercial, environmental and social performance standards and criteria.



Gartner analysts said information-enabled processes and
technologies will be a key enabler in achieving all these elements, providing a
lens into organizational performance that is highly fragmented.



For many consumer-facing and resource-intensive industry
sectors, we anticipate a steady shift in the strategic intent of sustainability
from operational efficiency to more of a core capability directly impacting
products and services.



Though many CFOs have historically been skeptical of the
financial or business enablement value of sustainability, volatile and
escalating resource costs most notably, energy costs along with changing customer,
consumer and investor expectations in many developed economies, are changing
the value equation.


While IT can continue to improve its own
energy efficiency, the much bigger opportunity is applying IT to analyze,
optimize, manage and otherwise improve the sustainability performance of the
business itself. The applications of IT are many, and they are highly
contextual according to the industry sector.


Recurring themes continue to include the easy and
obvious, such as the use of remote-collaboration tools for travel substitution,
and increased building utilization and efficiency, workplace management and
remote working.



By Team

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