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Businesses want to be more sustainable, but can't overcome the challenges

(Image credit: Image Credit: Moon Light PhotoStudio / Shutterstock)

Motivated by customer demand, as well as the potential for revenue growth, businesses are keen to become more environmentally friendly. However, according to a report from software company SAP, this is proving easier said than done.

Based on a poll of more than 7,000 business leaders the report states that more than half (52 percent) of companies looking to go green are motivated by customer demand. The potential for growth was the second greatest motivator, cited by 48 percent of respondents.

However, more than a third (35 percent) struggle to align their green ideas with their overall business strategy, and are uncertain how to effectively embed sustainability into business processes and IT systems. 

Many firms are also struggling to properly collect data; almost a third (28 percent) feel it’s not collected frequently enough, while 23 percent believe it’s incomplete or doesn’t cover the right scope. Another quarter (22 percent) would want to make that data accessible sooner, while 21 percent believe there’s little transparency in how calculations are used to generate results.

Another problem with data is standardization. While a quarter (26 percent) prefer to use in-house developed metrics, 12 percent follow the Global Reporting Initiative. A further 11 percent use the International Organisation for Standardization, while another tenth uses Science Based Targets-Initiative.

“As we build up to significant moments in the sustainability calendar, like COP26, these findings reveal that UK businesses are needing more support to implement action on environment, carbon and resources,” said Professor Peter Hopkinson at the University of Exeter. 

“Key to this is building strategic programs and pathways that demonstrate how innovative business models, product and service design, technology and whole system transformation built on circular economy principles can deliver new and higher levels of value creation. This will ultimately help accelerate the transition to net-zero sustainability.”

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.