Written by Selina Yuan

As the world grapples with pressing environmental challenges, companies are under increasing pressure to pivot toward sustainability. It is no longer just a moral obligation. It's an operational necessity and a competitive differentiator.

As organizations strive to align with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), digital technology is emerging as a key enabler, driving businesses towards a future where sustainability is at the heart of corporate strategy. Masu.

The use of sustainable technology is listed as one of the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2024, according to Gartner, and the use of sustainable technology is an increasing number of digital solutions that enable companies' environmental, social, and governance (ESG) outcomes. We emphasize this technology as a framework. and its customers. Gartner predicts that by 2027, 25% of CIO compensation will be tied to sustainable technology impact. When implemented carefully and thoughtfully, sustainable technologies can be a valuable resource to help organizations manage and reduce their carbon emissions.

Greening your IT infrastructure with the cloud

Among cutting-edge technologies, cloud computing plays a vital role in reducing corporate carbon emissions. Moving from traditional on-premises servers to a cloud-based solution not only streamlined operations, but also significantly reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with data management. Coupled with the adoption of renewable energy sources by major cloud service providers, there is a clear path towards greener IT practices.

According to Accenture analysis, businesses can reduce their carbon footprint by an average of 84% when moving to cloud services. According to Gartner, more than 85% of companies will adopt a cloud-first policy by 2025, which could be a key lever for carbon reduction and efficiency gains for both businesses and economies. .

According to the Carbon Trust's report “Carbon Benefits of Alibaba Cloud,” Alibaba Cloud users can avoid 85.5% of emissions by switching from the traditional mode of locally deployed data centers and servers. Empowering our clients with cloud computing led to a reduction of 6.863 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) Emissions in 2023.

SaaS sustainability solutions

The rise of digital technology is changing the way Alibaba approaches sustainability, enabling customers to be fully informed about their energy consumption before taking steps to reduce energy use, improve efficiency, and reduce carbon emissions. We support you in making informed decisions.

Streamlined solutions help companies automate carbon accounting and reporting processes and obtain real-time sustainability impact statistics to make informed decisions.

Energy Expert, Alibaba Cloud's AI-powered energy optimization and carbon management platform, enables users to monitor, analyze, and optimize carbon emissions and take informed actions to achieve sustainability goals. It's built on a cloud infrastructure that makes it easy to use. Over 3,000 organizations use the platform, saving 75% of time and 90% of costs compared to using traditional tools to measure their carbon footprint.

The availability of this platform is even more important given the impressive number of companies pledging to achieve net-zero emissions goals. According to Net Zero Tracker, 929 companies on the Forbes Global 2000 list have set net zero targets by the end of 2023, up from 417 in December 2020 and 702 in June 2022. did.

With a favorable business environment, advanced digital infrastructure and strategic location, Malaysia is well-positioned to become a major hub for the region's digital economy.

For its digital ecosystem platform, Edgenta NXT, UEM Edgenta Bhd, a leading asset management and infrastructure solutions company in Malaysia, uses Energy Expert to count and measure emissions and carbon emissions and improve its emissions roadmap. Supports calculation. The sustainability Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution helped Edgenta simplify processes, reduce errors, prepare for compliance exercises, and also help the company implement its ESG strategy. .

Making sports more environmentally friendly

Large-scale international sporting events are also using digital technology to improve sustainability.

During the first Olympic Esports Week (OEW) last June, event organizers deployed Energy Expert to measure and analyze carbon emissions from the event's temporary construction and make informed decisions regarding material and equipment selection. You've generated data-driven insights. Event organizers use the platform to identify sources of carbon emissions associated with venue construction and operations, quantify a venue's carbon footprint, and monitor venue performance using integrated dashboards and online reports. Visualizing sustainability performance.

Hangzhou Asian Games used Energy Expert to use AI-powered tools to go green and reduce emissions in manufacturing licensed products and operating stores in Asian Games villages. Using insights from an AI-powered platform, the organization will optimize the mascot’s carbon footprint through pre-built calculation models using public emission factors and proprietary datasets, and will We increased our use of photovoltaic power and adopted a more environmentally friendly design. Reduce the carbon footprint of each mascot by 0.15 kg per item.

Building a green campus using AI

Alibaba Cloud also applies low-carbon standards and sustainability-conscious green technologies to its buildings.

Alibaba Cloud Valley campus facility control uses Alibaba Cloud's AI algorithms, combining industry expertise and AI models to manage all heating, air conditioning, and lighting on campus for energy optimization. Since bringing the Energy Expert platform online in December 2022, the Cloud Valley campus has embarked on a series of optimization strategies that have reduced energy consumption by approximately 26% in the summer and 10% in the winter.

way forward

The digital age is redefining what it means to do sustainable business. With advanced technology at their disposal, companies are discovering innovative ways to reduce their environmental footprint while achieving their commercial objectives. As organizations continue to navigate the complexities of sustainability, digital technology will help them thrive in a world that demands responsibility as much as business success.

See how Alibaba can leverage digital technology to help organizations achieve their sustainability goals.

Selina Yuan is President of International Business at Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.

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