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Reimagining Sustainability Can Be Viewed As The Digital Transformation Of Sustainability: Ankush Patel, CEO & Co-Founder, Treeni Sustainability Solutions
Technology solutions make performance management and impact assessment of sustainability initiatives relatively easy and become a platform that provides data for strategic decision making, and making a sound business case for sustainability
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In order to reimagine sustainability, technological solutions towards sustainability have to be harnessed to deliver good. In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, Ankush Patel, CEO and Co-founder, Treeni Sustainability Solutions, discusses the facets of reimagining sustainability.
How do technological solutions aid in reimagining sustainability goals?
Progressive companies around the globe do a great job in ensuring their values, culture, approach, and attitude, are ingrained in their strategy, policies, business plans and people. That said one of the critical elements of executing a sustainability strategy is the ability to effectively launch, manage and measure the results from any sustainability initiative which can be done seamlessly with the help of technology solutions. Technology solutions make performance management and impact assessment of sustainability initiatives relatively easy and become a platform that provides data for strategic decision making, and making a sound business case for sustainability.
How do the solutions by Treeni transform sustainability from being mere reporting centric function to a business function focussed on impact and performance?
Sustainability reporting is important and has its rightful place in communicating sustainability strategy, focus, performance/KPIs to stakeholders. At Treeni we believe that sustainability technology solutions, while making the sustainability reporting process easier, less time consuming, and automated, should go beyond and create the enterprise capability to collaborate across traditional silos, manage sustainability initiatives, baseline, improve and disclose performance, and provide the basis for strategic decision making. Our solutions enable good sustainability strategy, governance structures and leadership accountability, and custom approaches to address specific aspects of sustainability be it waste, water, emissions, supply chain, Circular Economy, EHS, reporting and disclosure standards. With this approach, Treeni can engage clients at any stage of their sustainability maturity lifecycle and partner through the entire sustainability journey, while making them self-reliant over time.
While we call this ‘Reimagining Sustainability’, if it is helpful this can be viewed as the digital transformation of sustainability.
Does Treeni help organizations reduce their ecological footprint?
Peter Drucker was often quoted as saying "you can’t manage what you can’t measure", Treeni through its team of consultants and sustainability data management and analytics platform Resustain, helps businesses do exactly that. Our consulting-led approach helps companies understand the importance of measuring and managing their ecological footprint in an age where stakeholders are aggressively seeking this data. We assist in environment-related risks and opportunities assessments, formulating a strategy along with relevant time-bound targets. In tandem our cloud-based platform Resustain, aggregates, calculates and displays relevant data thereby helping businesses measure, manage, analyse and disclose their ecological footprint (which includes GHG emissions, energy consumption, water consumption, waste generation etc.) to all stakeholders.
Why does sustainability have to be reimagined in the first place?
There is a sense of fatigue with people deeply involved in sustainability caused by never-ending reporting cycles, many standards, and frameworks to disclose against and the difficulty in measuring impact. For most enterprises sustainability has meant energy efficiency programs and writing sustainability reports, reports that, unfortunately, very few people read and care about. This process is effort intensive, manual, inefficient and frustrating for most people involved. This is a poor way to engage with employees that are passionate about sustainability and does a disservice to their skills, time, and intellect. Keep in mind that many of these employees are millennials and understand the importance of sustainability and care deeply that the company they work for is truly making a difference.
At the same time, the sustainability landscape is changing rapidly. The recent developments from the Paris Climate Accord demonstrate that nations are coming together to address the urgent and potential devastating problems that climate change poses. While the US exited from the deal, other nations, including India see that as an opportunity to lead and aspire to go ‘above and beyond’ the commitments from the Paris Climate Accord. Some of the most well-known business leaders including Ratan Tata, Anand Mahindra, Paul Polman, Richard Branson, and Michael Bloomberg are pushing global businesses to do more, they are talking about opportunities from sustainability, low costs solutions and the need to 'price carbon'.
Therefore, this is the perfect opportunity for ‘Reimaging Sustainability’ and make it a boardroom conversation that inspires action. This can be done by the ways outlined above in ‘how can sustainability be thoroughly ingrained in corporate culture’.