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UK firms struggling to see the point in sustainability investment

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

Business leaders know they need to do more to make their organizations more environmentally friendly and sustainable. They are also under increasing pressure from investors, customers and governments to improve environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG).

However, according to a new report from Ricoh Europe, many are struggling to invest in these initiatives because they believe they have more pressing concerns. Surveying 251 decision-makers across the UK and Ireland for the report, Ricoh found that only 27 percent of organizations increased investment in sustainability over the course of the pandemic.

At the same time, the majority (73 percent) are increasing or maintaining their level of investment in digital transformation. Ironically, according to Ricoh, digital transformation can help businesses improve their ESG performance, as well as collect the data required to effectively measure it. 

However, just two in five (39 percent) see technology as an enabler of sustainable business practices, while most of the respondents (72 percent) don’t believe digital transformation can help them hit sustainability goals. In fact, just a quarter (28 percent) believe improving IT infrastructure can help reduce an organization’s long-term impact on the environment. 

At the same time, most have deployed cloud technology, hybrid working, or big data solutions, all of which can contribute to the reduction of the carbon footprint in one way or another. 

Digital transformation is one area leaders should feel confident investing in because there’s a lot of overlap with business and ESG outcomes,” said David Mills, CEO at Ricoh Europe. 

“Not only does it help to improve operational efficiencies and environmental outcomes, it future-proofs the business. Ultimately, it increases the capacity to collect and analyze data, which will be vital as new reporting requirements come into effect.”  

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.