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S&P Global Unveils a New Report Detailing Substantial Impact of ESG on the Information Technology Industry

  • Report Reveals ESG to Play Significant Role in Shaping Future It Industry Strategies With Implications for Investors, Suppliers, Digital Leaders and Consumers

S&P Global Market Intelligence unveiled a new report that details the significant, wide-ranging and long-term impacts that Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) considerations will have on the Information Technology (IT) industry. The report, from 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence finds ESG is emerging as one of the most significant issues and will have major impacts on, and implications for, the IT industry, especially at large and public organizations.

The report, “ESG and Technology – Impacts and Implications” details the ways in which ESG mandates are shaping technology industry priorities and investments across a broad gamut of enterprise technologies and segments, from cloud-based datacenters to consumer smartphones, and everything in between.

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Chris Marsh, Principal Analyst at 451 Research and lead author of the report, said, “ESG will become not only one of the hottest issues of our time, but potentially one of the most transformative for both industries and societies as well. The importance of IT in shaping our increasingly digital future means the industry will have a huge bearing on the evolution of ESG, and in creating a more sustainable and equitable society. This is already happening in some obvious ways, such as through the use of sustainable energy in datacenters, but will also play out in many more subtle, but no less impactful, ways.”

Chris added: “There are multiple challenges and risks for the technology industry to address, but also massive opportunities to help drive changes that will be positive for society at large. We aim to help clients understand the broad and sometimes complex ESG space through our data and insights.”

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The report identifies more than 30 important technology trends that have a bearing on the nature, pace and extent of ESG, including the following:

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Datacenter efficiency. Half of datacenter operators say their investment in sustainability initiatives is being driven by customers’ interest, according to a global survey by 451 Research in 2020. The majority of service providers expect sustainability to become a key competitive differentiator in three years.

Ethical consumerism. Around a third (35%) of respondents in 451 Research’s VoCUL: Tablets & PCs, Purchase Drivers & Motivators 2020 survey say they are more likely to purchase electronic devices produced using environmentally sustainable business practices. Eighty-seven percent of these respondents are also willing to pay more for such a device.

Talent strategies. Technologies are playing a growing role in employee engagement strategies. Thirty-five percent of employees would accept a new job if the only way it differed from their current job were the better availability of devices, applications and other productivity tools, according to our VotE: WPC, Employee Engagement 2020 survey.

Supply chain governance. Manufacturing companies are using digital twin and digital thread processes to shore up their supply chain governance: 68% have partially or fully deployed them across their operational systems, according to our VotE: IoT, The OT Perspective, Use Cases and Outcomes 2020 survey.

Bias in AI. Sixty-six percent of organizations with AI deployments are testing their models for bias either prior to or after deploying, according to our VotE: AI & Machine Learning, Use Cases 2021 survey, illustrating the strong push for ethical and responsible AI.

Consumer data privacy. Nearly half (46%) of consumers have reservations about sharing their personal data online, yet only 8% of businesses report having a dedicated data privacy team that has primary responsibility for data privacy and data protection, according to our VoCUL: Connected Customer, Trust and Privacy and VotE: Data & Analytics, Data Management & Analytics 2020 surveys.

Dependence on ‘smart’ technology. With 451 Research’s Industrial IoT Market Monitor showing the number of industrial IoT (IIoT) devices nearly doubling over the next five years – with billions of ‘smart’ devices proliferating in consumer, retail and industrial markets – S&P Global there are clear and growing environmental, social and governance risks across almost all aspects of human existence.

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