Earth Day 2022: Forrester On Emerging Tech’s Dual Role In Sustainability
This Earth Day, Forrester has published a series of new research reports to help tech leaders both navigate business risks posed by climate change and drive their firms’ sustainability transformation.
The first report ranks the Top Systemic Risks of 2022, with climate change coming in eighth. Additional insights on this topic can be found here for reference. Key takeaways include:
- To mitigate this risk, firms must adapt to climate change and embrace sustainability practices.
- Climate action plans help firms prioritize adaptation and mitigation initiatives for climate resilience and sustained revenue growth.
- Other top systemic risks identified by Forrester include data integrity, speed of innovation, and supply chain disruption.
The second report, Jekyll And Hide: The Dual Role Of Emerging Tech In Environmental Sustainability, examines the dual role (benefit and risk) of eight popular emerging technologies when applied to sustainability use cases and explains how to use them for good. These include:
- AI/Machine learning, which can be used to identify, track, predict and reduce environmental impact. Yet data storage and computational power requirements produce a large carbon footprint. Ultimately, AI’s benefits significantly outweigh its carbon footprint, especially as renewables increase.
- Edge computing and IoT, which can enable the role of other emerging tech in sustainability. However, this may result in eWaste of millions of devices and batteries. Ultimately, edge and IoT can be used in smart spaces and scope 3 emissions reduction, including supply chain and logistics processes.
- Augmented reality/Virtual reality, which enables remote work training and visualization. Yet these technologies consume finite resources in their construction and require energy in use. Ultimately, AR/VR can be used to aid in risk visualizations and supply chain decarbonization.
- Automation, which enables remote work, paper reduction, and environmental risk reduction. While automation does reduce carbon emissions, energy consumption from video collaboration will slightly offset carbon savings. Overall, downsides are few.
Additional insights on this topic can be found here for reference.
Further insights will be continually added to Forrester’s sustainability resource hub. Forrester has also announced that it will be advancing its sustainability practices and commitment to reducing its carbon emissions.
To access this research or arrange an interview with a Forrester analyst, please contact email@example.com.