Achieving Your Net-zero Commitment is Impossible Without Dealing with Your Digital and Technology

By

admin

CEO and Founder, GoCodeGreen
May 21, 2024

Eric is CEO and Founder of GoCodeGreen, a UK-based world-leading ClimateTech company with a mission to help decarbonise the digital world in which we all live. GoCodeGreen is a self-funded, independent ClimateTech business that has built the world’s first carbon impact assessments for software and ICT (Information and Communications Technology). GoCodeGreen has already worked with over 25 companies across 5 industry sectors and consistently identified carbon reduction opportunities of up to 45%. GoCodeGreen has been nominated for the Earthshot Prize, in the Fix our Climate category for 2023 and is the winner of the World Green Technology Leader Award. Here, Eric talks about the wonderful opportunity for CXOs to take a leadership position in digital and technology decarbonisation as part of achieving their net-zero commitments.

This matters. If you have committed your organisation to a net-zero target then you will be unable to achieve it without tackling the carbon costs associated with your use of technology.

We live in a digital world. But we also live in a world in crisis. Every business in every sector will use technology in some form to create the amazing products, services, and capabilities they offer to their customers. Every business has a role to play, whether small or big, to contribute toward action. By implication all CXOs are needed to take a leadership position to help drive a change in the way businesses are run, the choices they make, and the culture they build within their organisations.

Fortunately, decarbonising digital is one of the opportunities you can take as a CXO that won’t require radical reform, huge investment, or changes in business practice. And you can start taking action tomorrow. Everywhere we turn we hear talk of SmartCities, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and ChatGPT. Technology and digital solutions are here and growing, and the social, educational, health, and business value of technology is now unquestionable. Digital products and services are the bedrock of many businesses, and increasingly for some, the only way of delivering products to customers. But behind the scenes, this growth has a carbon impact that has remained invisible to most of us.

The information and communication technology (ICT) sector is now estimated to account for somewhere between 4 to 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions and is predicted to consume over 20% of global energy by 2030. Research has shown that for some businesses, as much as 29% of their total carbon impact can be related to technology use. A much-quoted comparison that continues to shock is that data centers running the software we so depend on, now have the same carbon impact as the aviation industry.

The recent IPCC synthesis report, the conclusion of its sixth assessment cycle, gave us an updated call to action. The world’s leading scientists have once again shown us that we have no time to spare, and that, as António Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations, stated we now must do “everything, everywhere, all at once” if we are to hold to the 1.5° temperature change a set by the Paris agreement. By the time the next IPCC assessment cycle completes it may well be 2030, it is the same timeframe we have to make a difference to avoid reaching the tipping point, the critical threshold that, if crossed, will lead to large and often irreversible changes in the climate system.

Digital decarbonisation needs to be part of that ‘everything’, and we can start to take action ‘everywhere, all at once’.

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Eric is CEO and Founder of GoCodeGreen, a UK-based world-leading ClimateTech company with a mission to help decarbonise the digital world in which we all live.