Companies’ sustainability plans can only be effective if they include both energy efficiency and emissions reductions. This calls for new technology investments that not only can make corporate real estate and facilities management more efficient but more cost-effective also.
Not only heatwaves and then floods have recently made the situation difficult for European countries, but governments and companies must also rethink the diversification of their energy supply and their energy independence. “We can all agree that the time for action has come” – pointed out Hans Dekkers, CEO and Chief Technology Officer of IBM for Northern, Central and Eastern Europe.
Challenges with opportunities
According to the UN Environment Programme, buildings are responsible for 40 per cent of global energy use, 25 per cent of water use, 40 per cent of raw material use and 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.
“It seems obvious that sustainability plans can only be effective if they include both energy efficiency improvements and emission reductions. This dual objective requires investments to develop new technologies,” – the expert stresses in an article published on Világgazdaság.
Experience shows that companies that have increased energy efficiency, reduced emissions and mitigated environmental risk in their facilities have also achieved an increase in the life cycle of their assets and a significant increase in their productivity. At the same time, even so, we are only scratching the surface of the enormous changes that can be achieved – emphasizes Dekkers.
Technology to reduce carbon footprint
Understanding a company’s energy and carbon footprint requires aggregating and analysing data from a multitude of sources. IBM works with many companies to make their property and facilities management more efficient, thereby reducing their costs and carbon emissions. “Businesses need to develop a sustainable strategy, covering areas such as ESG (environmental, social and governance aspects in investments), climate and weather information, smart infrastructures, ‘green IT’ solutions, supply chains and so on.” – says the technology manager.
Machine learning does not only examine, aggregate and interpret data but also presents the resulting information to business leaders in a way that helps them make informed decisions. Likewise, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology can help reduce time and product waste by providing visibility into inventory and can help reduce a company’s carbon footprint. IBM’s solutions have helped many companies create a more transparent, traceable and low-carbon supply chain through intelligent workflow and automation.
B+N Referencia Zrt., for example, makes its operation transparent, plannable and cost-effective with the intelligent facility management system of IBM Tririga.
Technology-related energy consumption results in cost savings
“Computers, data centres and networks consume about 10 per cent of the world’s electricity production. That’s why we are investing heavily in making greater use of renewable energy sources to power IBM Cloud data centres. Our goal is to meet 75 per cent of our data centre power needs globally from renewable energy sources by 2025 and 90 per cent by 2030,” – Dekkers says.
To reduce energy consumption, businesses must improve the energy efficiency of their data centres and modernize their IT infrastructure. Reducing technology-related energy consumption will result in clear cost savings.
Good intentions are no longer enough – actions are needed!
Expectations from regulators, consumers and boards are also becoming more stringent. Companies need to show meaningful and rapid progress towards their environmental objectives. Organisations integrating ESG considerations into their day-to-day operations and making meaningful reductions in their energy consumption will stand out. Technology can be the catalyst to becoming successful and sustainable companies. If this happens, there may be a chance to rebalance our climate for future generations,” – concludes Hans Dekkers.