ESG in the high-tech industry is important for enhancing sustainability and ESG commitment. While the technology sector has long been a pioneer in adopting sustainability practices, whether through their data centers or through diversity and inclusion programs, there is still a gap to close in ensuring meaningful impact of ESG efforts.
The IT industry is responsible for a significant amount of emissions, with over 60% of coming from data center infrastructure to support downstream users, according to an S&P Global Trucost Data Report. To counter this, many top tech companies, including Apple, Google, and others plan to achieve 100% carbon-neutral operations by 2030 – and Microsoft in fact aiming to be carbon-negative by that point.
Additionally, tech companies show a significant gap in gender equity, for hiring and pay, while there is evidence to suggest more diverse workforces and leadership is correlated with stronger financial performance. Providing training to upskill for the latest innovations helps enable social development programs and creates a more equipped and advanced workforce.
Technology companies must enhance ESG programs by assembling data across the board from policies, employees, supply chain, data centers, research & development, new product development, packaging, etc. – with total transparency in reporting.
It also needs to meet the expectations and demands of regulators, employees, suppliers, customers, and society.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation, energy and water consumption in procurement, manufacturing, and distribution operations
- Increase utilization of renewable energy sources and recyclable materials, and improve environmental performance of the supply chain, transportation logistics, recycling and disposal of pharmaceutical and chemical products
- Develop greener product packaging to reduce environmental impact or address environmental challenges
- Improve affordability of products for underserved populations
- Increase diversity and inclusion in workforce composition, and patient access from financially and socially underserved communities
- Conduct humane and ethical research & development
- Maintain privacy policies
- Support employees, community health, and wellness initiatives
- Establish sustainability policies and monitoring processes
- Provide transparency and accountability in ESG information
- Comply with Federal, State, and Local laws and regulations
- Set up awareness training to prevent, notify, and action for employee harassment
- Set up controls and governance
- Set up a Dedicated ESG Platform to gather ESG data from across the company