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Tech business can step up on climate

Tech businesses play a critical and influential role in transforming our world for the better. Like others they also have a responsibility to manage their own environmental impact. The Planet Mark – partnered with the iconic Eden Project – is given to organisations making a positive impact on society and the environment. Steve Malkin explains.

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One of the greatest challenges that we face is climate change. The repercussions of anthropogenic warming are being experienced throughout the world, and how we respond, as individuals and organisations, will define us and our planet.

The digital industry and tech startups specifically are uniquely positioned to help transform the world we live in for the better. Many are already creating and bringing to market products and services that deliver positive impacts on society and the environment. The inaugural DigitalAgenda Impact Awards are testament to this trend.

And change is happening at a quickening pace. Investment strategies and confidence to innovate, deploy and scale low-carbon technologies is already well underway. In China a new wind turbine is planted every 30 minutes, while renewables have now overtaken coal as the world’s largest source of electricity capacity.

Last November, following one of the fastest ratifications of an international agreement in history, the Paris Agreement came into force, securing the first-ever global deal on climate change. This historic deal is already impacting on policies and regulations around the world, and will ultimately affect us all – at national level, regional level, in cities, where we live and where we work.

The digital business sector holds many of the cards to enable governments and business meet our climate targets. It provides us with data we require, it can make it more accessible, easier to analyse and more meaningful to communicate about.

To drive real change, though, we also need people to shift to more climate-friendly behaviour. The tech sector has a critical role to play here, too, from making our systems and home appliances more intelligent to creating more effective ways to engage people around a better way of living.

But, if we are to create a better future, companies, whatever size and sector, we need also to address their own social and environmental impact. This applies to digital startups, too.

Operating with sustainability at their core from the outset will stand them in good stead reputationally, but also commercially as they grow and seek new customers and markets.

The business case for sustainability is growing all the time and this is born out by our case studies of Planet Mark-certified organisations.

The Planet Mark mission is to empower organisations and their people to make continuous improvement in sustainability.

The Planet Mark certification enables organisations to publicly commit to sustainability targets and provides a programme that helps reach them. Wherever The Planet Mark logo is displayed signifies a commitment to delivering positive impacts for society and the environment.

Digital technology plays a central role in what we offer and the results speak for themselves. Planet Mark-certified organisations are reducing their carbon emissions by an average of 5% per employee per annum.

It’s a unique programme designed to provide all the key elements of sustainability, from measuring and reducing carbon emissions to engaging employees and communities, protecting endangered rainforest, and communicating sustainability achievements to customers and stakeholders.

The benefits go far beyond carbon, helping to shape a company’s culture and values, how it does business and what it stands for. The effect is transformative and scalable. The Planet Mark is not only inspiring action within organisations, but across whole supply chains, and across continents.

The digital tech industry has the opportunity to be a sustainability leader. We want to help it become one.

The Planet Mark™ sponsors the climate category of DigitalAgenda’s Impact Awards. Entries close on January 20, with the awards event happening on March 2 in London.

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