With regional digital transformation (DX) stabilizing, one mini study suggests that digital solutions can be used to boost sustainability sustainably.

Based on a survey of 200 C-level executives in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) of firms with an annual turnover ranging from US$151m to over US$10bn across 12 sectors and 10 countries (Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam), it has been posited that the creation, usage, and governance of digital resources can help organizations to maximize their value for business, the environment and society (i.e. ESG objectives) for the next three years.

Through this Digital Sustainability process, organizations can improve their understanding of corporate motivators, and boost their capacity and capability around digital technologies.

The mini study has highlighted three major obstacles among respondents that were inhibiting their pursuit of sustainability objectives through digital solutions:

  • limited budgets
  • lack of in-house knowledge
  • challenges in establishing a traditional gauge of returns-on-investments

Other key findings

Initiated as a “world-first” APAC study that “focuses on how digital solutions are contributing to sustainability outcomes across social, environmental, and economic levers”, the findings, based on the respondents, were:

  • 88% had indicated anticipation of increased use of digital resources, systems and platforms to address sustainability outcomes in the next 36 months
  • 87% had agreed to prompts that digital sustainability can deliver a competitive advantage and was “a central value” of their organizations
  • 80% believed their corporate reputation in the market had improved as a result of digital sustainability initiatives implemented

According to Ilan Oshri, Director of the Centre of Digital Enterprise, University of Auckland Business School, New Zealand, which initiated the study: “Never has the impact of technology on the community and sustainable innovation been more relevant and more necessary… to help key decision makers in every company gain a better understanding of how technology can positively impact business outcomes and deliver longer term value for all stakeholders.”

Said Girish Ramachandran, President, TCS Asia Pacific, a collaborator in the mini study: “Digital has the power to positively change the world. The construct of digital sustainability provides a valuable, holistic framework for corporate leaders… across the region to understand how they can create, use, and regulate digital transformation, innovation, and resources to create future-fit, connected businesses that can deliver value for society today and in the future.”