The recent Tech and Net Zero Conference by TechUK focused on what the tech industry is doing to measure, reduce and report emissions, and how digital innovations can facilitate the big goal of becoming net-zero. Experts from companies like Microsoft, Accenture, BT, and more shared valuable insights on the role of tech companies in this sustainability journey.
Here are some key takeaways from the conference that are worth considering:
5 key takeaways from the conference
1. Clarify the definition of Net Zero
The biggest challenge to achieving Net Zero is actually having a vague definition of what it is, or one that is always changing. Reaching Net Zero means reaching the short- and long-term emissions reduction goals, moving beyond the value chain mitigation, investing in high-quality direct carbon capture and geologic storage projects, and then neutralizing the remaining emissions.
2. Focus on reducing your emissions
As mentioned in the previous point, reducing emissions should be your main focus, as it provides the biggest changes and results. Examples of how to reduce emissions are: transitioning to renewable energy sources and electric fleets, building less carbon-intensive websites and adopting non-new technology, and promoting remote work, that does not require travel.
3. Analyse consumer behaviour
When implementing these changes, it's essential to monitor the public's perception, before, during, and after their operation. A common topic that emerged from the conference, is the need to reuse more, instead of just relying on recycling. In fact, especially in technology and electronics, recycling is very complex and time-consuming, and it would be more profitable to reuse devices, instead of buying new ones. The problem that arises is about consumers' perception of second-hand and used objects, which are still perceived as less valuable, especially when it comes to devices like phones and laptops. Long story short, reusing electronics and technological devices would be more sustainable and more profitable but neither companies nor consumers are there yet.
4. Train your employees
Don't assume all employees feel the same way or have the same understanding of what it means to be Net Zero and how to get there. Provide inclusive and comprehensive training to ensure everyone understands the strategy and is able to implement it in daily operations.
5. Collaboration over competition
Tech companies will need to shift their mindset and start collaborating with each other, sharing data and knowledge, given the novelty of the topic.
If you want to dive deeper into these themes you can listen to one of the latest episodes from CX Insider.