Climate Innovators in the Information Age

Doing good for the planet is not inversely proportional to doing good business. Today it can actually mean better profit, stronger customer loyalty, and longer company sustainability.

First, offices are finding paper less necessary than they used to. Recent surveys show a drop in paper consumption since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Work-from-home and remote offices have played a part in the drop, but even as employees reenter the office full-time or in a hybrid arrangement, paper consumption still isn’t at 2019 levels.

Second, it’s worth following the investors. According to a recent McKinsey report, global sustainable investment is more than $30 trillion, a tenfold increase from 2004. Global sustainable investment considers “ESG [environmental, social, and governance] factors in portfolio selection and management across seven strategies of sustainable or responsible investment.

“The acceleration has been driven by heightened social, governmental, and consumer attention on the broader impact of corporations, as well as by the investors and executives who realize that a strong ESG proposition can safeguard a company’s long-term success,” the report says, adding, “The magnitude of investment flow suggests that ESG is much more than a fad or a feel-good exercise.”

A Rockerfeller Asset Management / Stern NYU study found that “Improved financial performance due to ESG becomes more marked over longer time horizons.” ESG is discussed much more now, but the impact is well beyond just the moment.

Consider the Long Term

The long-term perspective is clearer when you consider how eco-friendly and digitized the world is already becoming. By 2030 the tech-raised Gen Z will comprise one out of every five people in the workforce. This same generation and even younger people are prioritizing ESG, from the products they buy to the companies in which they work.

In other words, the shift is already happening and likely will accelerate.

Fortunately, there is still time to give your company an information advantage: turning it into an organization that is connected, intelligent, and responsible.

Connected means updating systems to reflect a thoughtful approach to managing data by giving employees and customers access to the right information at the right time and in the right format. This, in turn, enables organizations to pivot to a paperless environment, eliminate redundancies that waste energy, or make another ESG-forward shift.

Intelligence builds on these connected systems. If information is flowing smoothly, it will be easier to notice other ESG dimensions such as diversity and longer-term environmental impact. As Harvard Business Review recently shared, “Metrics like ROI or IRR are generally broken. They miss sources of value and use a too-high discount rate, which makes any investment in the future look worthless…. Instead, find and internalize the data that proves the value of longer-term thinking.”

Finally, responsibility means understanding how your organization is creating solutions or exacerbating the problems. Climate innovators and other thoughtful leaders are integrating ESG-forward ethics and principles into their business models and finding that their revenue is increasing, not decreasing.

If you’re ready to make a bigger impact, use the OpenText™ climate innovator calculator today to learn how digitization can help you reach your ESG goals faster while gaining an information advantage over the competition.

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