Data and Analytics / Whitepaper
4 MINS READ
Going green, proactively
Sustainability is on the agenda of every organization.
This was driven by requirements from regulators and investors to demonstrate that theirs is a responsible brand—to employees and customers alike. This compliance-driven approach has now been replaced in several advanced companies after recognizing the interdependence of commercial and environmental sustainability. In essence, shifting from a reactive to a proactive approach to make systemic improvements across the enterprise value chain has put sustainability at the center of corporate agenda.
Enterprise ESG (environmental, social, governance) initiatives are complex. Defining a concise problem statement around corporate sustainability management remains a challenge for two key reasons. First, it involves taking into consideration several stakeholders’ perspectives and second, the environmental impact varies across industries and geographies. A solution framework that enables analytical interventions such as delivering end-to-end sustainability capabilities ‘as a service’ is crucial. This will push enterprises to transform into sustainable businesses spanning a broad range of performance KPIs.
Enterprises must leverage data and analytics and aspire to deliver end-to-end sustainability capabilities through analytical interventions across the entire value chain.
Sustainability is essential for individuals and enterprises and must be made an intrinsic part of business strategy and culture.
We must reimagine how enterprise sustainability is understood. Climate change, damaged ecosystems, and depleted natural resources have made existing business models risky and unpredictable. A transition to a more resilient, resource-efficient approach is vital for every industry vertical’s future. There is no singular cause that impacts the environment since the factors vary from market to market. Every enterprise activity that weighs the environmental impact against its benefits must be assessed routinely in an instinctive way just as cost-to-benefit ratios are examined. To enable this, the solution must incorporate the following characteristics:
Focus on data and analytics—it is a key sustainability enabler.
Shift from managing environmental impact (in terms of a company’s own operations) to a perspective that addresses the entire value chain and overall impact.
Integrate sustainability and data management levers that provide control and foresight on the overall impact of its activities.
Service providers can deliver sustainability analytics as a service through a service delivery paradigm that ensures these requirements are best served.
They provide analytical insights that can enable intervention options for enterprises to deliver their best outcomes for sustainability performance. A central component of the service paradigm is an over-arching solutions framework for measuring, monitoring, and disclosing holistic enterprise sustainability data and performance.
The sustainability-as-a-service framework can be set up by aggregating a set of point solutions and accelerators integrated in an underlying common data and process model. This enables a set of specific services such as net zero models, circular services, disclosures, and others that address the sustainability needs of the enterprise. In turn, this ensures uniformity of service outcomes and traceability of reported KPIs such as gas emissions, renewable resources, resource consumption, and waste management. It can be extended to incrementally add new capabilities as more sustainability components are automated in the target enterprise.
The framework is targeted to apply across all vertical markets as a service delivery methodology for enterprise sustainability. With pre-built accelerators, the implementation of service framework components can be fast tracked. It can also cover key areas of enterprise sustainability. This allows monitoring of sustainability risks and opportunities by simulating operational scenarios for decision-making, measuring results, and creating compliance reports for stakeholder groups.
However, for this model to work well, an enterprise must have a clear, strategic direction and aspirations. It will need to identify and monitor key insights, translate them into strategic risks and opportunities, and execute operational rigor around them to be successful.
To do this, the services, and the underlying solution framework must enable users to navigate methodologies, jargon, and unfamiliar data that prevent progress. This will allow a non-practitioner of sustainability to use and leverage the services and derive business outcomes.
What’s more—the data backbone aggregates the sustainability data sets into a virtual layer. The data and process models then feed into a set of platform services, built either with existing enterprise assets and intellectual property or a set of custom tools that fit into the overall framework. The sustainability services are realized by orchestrating these technology and platform services into a host of platform end points. From here, they are either consumed directly in a machine-first mode or via full-time equivalent (FTE) based manual interventions for delivery of accelerated business outcomes.
Service delivery approach
Enterprises can realize multi-fold advantages by using a data-driven, service delivery approach and reap the following benefits:
Ensure consistency in sustainability reporting.
Enable complete traceability of sustainability outcomes to enterprise actions through its underlying data universe and process model.
Empower the organization to have control on not just one or two tactical areas but a holistic impact view.
Permit incremental deployments of services based on enterprise budgetary priorities that accelerate desired outcomes.
Provide subject matter expertise so that users need not be sustainability practitioners.
By realizing these benefits, enterprises can ensure improved environmental compliance and transparent disclosures, better visibility, and control on sustainability performance data and KPIs. This helps businesses minimize supply chain risks, source responsibly, generate new greener opportunities, and deliver on commitments around climate change and environmental impacts. The TCS A&I Sustainability Analytics services backed by its solution accelerator framework paves the path to sustainable business operations.