87% of business leaders to increase digital use to drive sustainability

Girish Ramachandran, President, Tata Consultancy Services APAC

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has launched its inaugural ’The Digital Sustainability Index (DSI)‘. The first APAC framework and index has been developed in partnership with The Centre of Digital Enterprise (CODE) at the University of Auckland Business School to track the adoption and leverage of digital tech along with their social and environmental objectives.

It also uncovers the factors critical to the pursuit of sustainable digital solutions across social, environmental, and financial outcomes. This index aims to map, measure, and understand how sustainability goes beyond compliance or risk-based exercises, identifying the need to fuse sustainability with digital and business strategy to create a future-fit business.

What were the key insights of the DSI?

It also unpacks the different approaches and attitudes to Digital Sustainability across sectors, industries, and geographies. Some key findings of the Digital Sustainability Index include:

  • 87% of all respondents agreed that Digital Sustainability could deliver a competitive advantage and be their organisation’s central value.
  • 98% believe the use of digital resources, systems, and platforms to address sustainability outcomes will either remain the same or increase in the next 36 months.
  • 87% are looking for new strategic partners for Digital Sustainability; demonstrating the need to collaborate with innovators or specialist partners to deliver win-win outcomes
  • 84% have indicated that they measure sustainability outcomes against their objectives
  • On index scoring, Australia has been identified as a key strategic player (60%), yet lags in terms of leadership as compared to our APAC counterparts
  • As a developed nation and an early adopter of sustainable practices, it is surprising Australia ranks the second lowest on social objectives

Spend, Inhibitions and influencers

  • 50% of respondents in Australia said their Digital Sustainability spend as a percentage of annual spend is greater than 1%
  • Limited budget is one of the key inhibitors for the adoption of Digital Sustainability
  • Over 80% of respondents agreed that boards (82%) regulators (81%) are the largest group influencing sustainable change
  • Improvements in transparency, decision making, employee communication, and proactiveness towards change are expected to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices, according to respondents in Australia

What were the top sustainability goals?

The top three sustainability goals for the Australian C-suite included:

  1. Efficiency gain and cost savings
  2. Sustainable/social procurement/sourcing
  3. Reduction of resource consumption and Employee health & safety incidents

Girish Ramachandran, President, TCS APAC said, “The ‘Digital Sustainability Index’ is the first of its kind in the world. Co-created by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and The University of Auckland, we aim to start meaningful conversations on the convergence of digital transformation and sustainability for future-fit businesses as well as our people and planet.”

“We believe together we can take the giant strides needed to envision new paradigms that will build a better world for future generations through the power of digital sustainability.”

Ilan Oshri, Director, Centre of Digital Enterprise, University of Auckland Business School, New Zealand commented, “Never has the impact of technology on the community and sustainable innovation been more relevant and more necessary as it is today.”

“The Centre of Digital Enterprise is committed to developing tools and frameworks that harness the power of technology to address sustainability challenges,” Oshri concluded.