56% use digital tech in their sustainability efforts: how do you lead the way?

56% are already implementing digital technologies into their sustainability initiatives: how do you lead the way?

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Sustainability continues to be a top priority for management and organisations. 

Fujitsu’s Global Sustainability report unveils how strategic sustainable initiatives and digital capabilities work together to maximise value through the organisation. 

The report looks at the state of sustainability transformations and how digital transformations are enabling change. It also shares how organisations are recognising the need to act from stakeholders, employees and external pressure. 

Fujitsu carried out the survey with 1,800 decision makers across 9 countries, from organisations with a sustainability strategy, performing 23 in-depth interviews with C-level executives. It’s key finding revealed that sustainability is becoming a top business priority, where 41% of respondents reported it to be within their top 3 (figure 1). 

Figure 1: Sustainability in top 3 leadership priorities

Survey findings show 54% are yet to execute on sustainability initiatives, whilst only 5% of organisations revealed they have truly mature sustainability transformation capabilities, emphasising the growing need for more to be done. This can be done through alignment and engagement with C-suite for maximum impact. 

Digital transformation is a key enabler for sustainability transformation.

Fortunately, sustainability priorities are continuing to rise, with 43% admitting that improving their focus increases organisation brand value as well as its products and services, demonstrating a forward-thinking approach. 

“There’s increasing customer expectation that we not only perform our role in managing water but also in terms of how we manage societal obligations… Previously the drive had more of an operational and compliance focus, but now there is a broader view of sustainability in the context of the climate crisis.” 
Chief Information Officer respondent

More companies are starting to use data and digital technologies to transform their business processes, and 56% already have digital transformation visions, planned their organisation-wide strategies and have started implementation. Additionally, 60% of organisations are looking to increase investment in data and digital technologies to support their sustainability initiatives. 

Figure 2: Maturity of digital transformation

The survey identified a strong correlation between the maturity of sustainability transformation and digital transformation. Some leaders use technologies to collect and track data, to measure performance against their goals and then justify financial metrics and ROI, proving they can be a worthwhile – strategic – investment. Figure 2 demonstrates how forward-thinking leaders are paving the way for successful organisations, as they implement digital technologies sooner to aid their team and business processes.

“The link between digital initiatives and sustainability initiatives is strong… Digital transformation is a necessity and almost like a maturity process. Once you set the goals you can then use the digital solutions to help drive those goals.” 
Director of ESG and Sustainability at Healthcare company respondent 

38% of respondents still believe there is a lack of executive alignment on sustainability vision and executive. With the right mindset, investment and help of C-suite, more organisations will be able to focus on extracting the best value from their time and resources and create a more sustainable future for everyone. 

Key takeaways and actions 
  • Sustainability is a top priority for business leaders 
  • Strategic purpose-driven leadership is essential for change 
  • Sustainability and digital capabilities go hand in hand to maximise value 
  • Leaders are transforming digitally including their IT architecture 
  • Developing digital capabilities to scale sustainability objectives is critical 
  • Include technology partners in your external ecosystem collaboration 

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