Europe’s digital journey to Net Zero | NTT DATA

Fri, 12 November 2021 - 8 min

Europe’s digital journey to Net Zero

According to an NTT DATA and PAC report, 88% of European businesses interviewed expect IT to be the driving force in the decarbonization process

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Cluj Napoca, 12 November 2021 – European companies are focusing their strategies towards Zero emissions, according to an NTT DATA and PAC - a teknowlogy Group company - report. Overall level, 87% of the companies have the objective to reach zero emissions by 2030 or earlier (43% before 2030, and the rest 44% by this year).

Supporting these figures, business leaders are fully aware of the need to create a business strategy that goes in this direction. 94% of European business leaders consider decarbonization to be a key aspect for the survival of their businesses, while 93% point to this factor as one of the most important for attracting and retaining talent in the future. 97% also firmly affirm that this goal can also bring with it new sources of income for organizations.

Differences between the sectors of activity of the economy

Despite being a general premise and depending on the activity of each of the industries, these figures vary significantly.

On the one hand, if we look at those that have this goal achievable in the shorter term, more than half (57%) of manufacturing companies aim to reach zero emissions by 2030. Also, both 50% of telecommunications companies, like those of the public sector have that objective.

On the contrary, and in general due to activity issues, only 23% of transport companies expect to reach this milestone by 2030, while another 23% expect to do so between 2040 and 2050. Something similar happens with the sector energy and the public sector, where less than a third of organizations expect to achieve zero emissions by 2030.

Customers, a fundamental factor to undertake decarbonization

One of the fundamental factors for companies to consider turning their strategies towards zero emissions is none other than the satisfaction of their customers. 84% point to this reason as one of the clearest to reformulate their strategies. Specifically, in the financial sector, 100% of those surveyed have highlighted this factor as one of the most important.

Regulatory entities and investors are other factors to take into account for organizations to address these processes of change. This is the case of companies belonging to the financial sector (93%), which consider that the opinion and satisfaction of their investors play a fundamental role, while transport companies (97%) and energy (93%) are more inclined towards regulatory entities. Despite these optimistic data, only 16% of organizations have a “comprehensive knowledge” of their emissions at a general level.

One issue is forecasting and, quite another, action. In this sense, about two-thirds of the companies surveyed have implemented or are implementing a climate scenario analysis, including 85% of companies in the public sector.

The use of personal carbon footprint trackers has been accelerated by the shift to flexible working during the pandemic, and 57% of European companies (including 77% of energy and utilities companies) have launched them currently.

Technology companies as a key part of this new gear

For most organizations, this journey to zero emissions will take a decade or more. In this process, they believe with certainty that it will be the technology companies that will lead the change. 88% of organizations affirm that technology will play a fundamental role in the next two or three years. 95% of the telecommunications companies surveyed consider that their sector will lead this process, followed by financial institutions (93%).

To monitor emissions and strictly control them, companies are aware of the need to implement technological solutions to help them on this journey. At the top of the list are central emissions monitoring platforms, which more than half (52%) consider an essential piece of the foundation of their zero-emissions strategy.

Another area of digital transformation that has been on the radar of many organizations in recent years is the blockchain. There has been a flurry of initiatives in the cryptocurrency space designed to improve your emission levels.

"The study shows that the effective harvesting and management of emissions data is already seen as a critical success factor to delivering on net zero. But only a very small of proportion claim to have the 360 view across their organization and beyond, so this has to be a primary focus area for the next phase of the net zero journey." expresses Nick Mayes, Principal Analyst at PAC, a teknowlogy Group company. 

For its part, Alonso Domínguez, Partner Head of Green Deal & Sustainable Engineering at NTT DATA states: "As explained in the report, our clients have a clear idea of their needs in decarbonization, and we are aligned with them by providing TIC and technology disruptive tools to optimise the energetic efficiency. This will maximise the use of renewable resources, while minimising the carbon footprint in the whole product value chain. The objective of that is to, among others, achieve a net positive impact the sooner and more effectively possible. We are developing a plan to ourselves to buy and consume 100% renewable energy, working in sustainable buildings and smarter mobility. If we are helping our clients to be carbon-neutral in the short term, we have to lead by example.”


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