The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as COP26, was the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference, held at the SEC Centre in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, in October and November of 2021.
According to Cindy Jaudon, president of IFS North America, “We needed a COP26. By its very being, COP26 is raising awareness on a global stage of the ways organizations, leaders, and nations can play their part in helping create a sustainable planet. Being aware that change is needed is the first step to creating that change.
“At IFS, we are on track to reach our goal to be a carbon neutral company by 2025. From mid-2019 to date, IFS has reduced the square meterage of its global real estate by 9.5 percent and its car fleet is 86% smaller than what it was in 2019.
“Having been in the enterprise software field for more than 25 years, technology has consistently played a key role in driving business change; there’s no better time and place than now for technology to take center stage and drive sustainable change.
“When we talk about sustainability and technology, all roads point to the circular economy. The circular economy is a business model encompassing a ‘reduce-reuse-recycle’ premise, that quite frankly, is impossible to integrate without technology. To shift from a ‘throwaway economy’ to a circular economy, organizations will need to utilize technology to apply solutions for eliminating waste, circulating resources, and regenerating nature.”
1. COP26 IS BRINGING SUSTAINABILITY AND CARBON EMISSIONS UNDER THE GLOBAL MICROSCOPE
Jaudon continues, “Tech doesn’t just play a key role when it comes to the circular economy. As societies race to hit global emission targets, the reliance on disruptive technologies to provide answers and change the way we operate rises. Organizations are turning to the Internet of Things (IoT) to collect data, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to reduce development time, and Software as a Service (SaaS) to optimize the use of energy resources, through advanced reporting, expertise, and managed services. These solutions provide the capabilities to disrupt traditionally environmentally unfriendly industries.”
2. TECHNOLOGY IS PUSHING SUSTAINABLE CHANGE AND THE BENEFITS ARE ALREADY BEING SEEN
Jaudon notes, “Competitive advantage and brand reputation are clear benefits that we reap from technology, but so is the environmental impact. Advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), digital platforms, and cloud-based solutions have enhanced traceability and product workflow. Additionally, these solutions have enabled organizations to place their focus on waste management and their accountability for sustainable practices.”
3. WHAT CAN BUSINESSES DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Jaudon shares, “The goals of COP26 are easier to understand than to put into practice. The push for sustainability is critical and that is why it really is all hands-on-deck. In April 2021, IFS announced a multi-year sustainability strategy, designed to create a positive impact for the business and our customers through industry-wide action. A report from KPMG in 2020 found that 96% of the world’s largest companies are now reporting on their sustainability performance. To make sustainability tracking easier for our customers, we have announced the IFS Cloud Sustainability Hub, which is now available and integrated inside Microsoft Teams. The Sustainability Hub is helping businesses collect the data needed to demonstrate their compliance. Beyond compliance measures, businesses can analyze the data to see how they can continue improving their performance to meet and exceed sustainability standards. As part of our corporate commitment, IFS will donate a share of the license revenue generated by the module to sustainability causes.
“This is where software and disruptive technologies can make a difference to how organizations approach their sustainability practices. We can see this with IFS Cloud, which makes best use of the latest technologies to enable efficient on premise or cloud deployment for its customers. This makes IFS Cloud 52-79% more energy efficient than compute equivalents in traditional data centers.”
4. IFS LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Jaudon say, “It’s not just in the technology we deploy, it’s in encouraging businesses to be proactive when it comes to sustainability. Ahead of COP26, we launched the IFS microservice sustainability site and the IFS Change for Good Sustainability Awards. IFS customers that have been making significant progress with their ESG practices were carefully reviewed by our sustainability judges. The awards, which will take place annually, are aimed to showcase the incredible work companies around the world are not only doing for their own business, but in empowering their customers to follow in their footsteps. The 2021 roster of winners are IFS customers that span across core IFS industries. The winners are invited to attend COP26, where they will be able to network with their like-minded peers and have the privilege of meeting and discussing issues with other leaders in sustainability.”
Jaudon concludes, “COP26 is shining the global spotlight on to the need for global change. The UN Global Compact is also encouraging more sustainable practices. The world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative is calling on companies around the world to align their operations and strategies with its 10 core principles. IFS has been quick in taking initiative by identifying several areas such as education, carbon emissions, and philanthropy where focus will be increased for greater impact. We are committed to incorporating these into IFS operations as they align well with the IFS Foundation, a group of charitable organizations helping fight poverty in Sri Lanka. The Foundation is investing in a series of projects with local communities in remote and rural areas to renovate schools and hospitals, improve access to fresh water, and create employment opportunities.”
About the Author:
Cindy Jaudon is president of IFS North America. For more, visit www.ifs.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, December 2021
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