Sustainability is just like any large transformation challenge—it’s a data and insights problem and requires careful change management, says Sanjay Srivastava, chief digital officer, Genpact. “Advanced analytics and digital technologies play a critical role in tackling climate change head on. Just as they help businesses improve performance and customer experiences, they also uncover ways to slash waste and build more sustainable practices,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent discussion on how data analysis can enable companies to make better decisions and meet their climate-action commitments. Excerpts:
How has the sustainability agenda evolved for businesses during the pandemic?
Through the pandemic, corporations have gone from responding—across supply chains, sales and commercials, finance and planning, remote and distributed work—to sustainable recovery. This means re-architecting the technology backplane to drive simplification, modernisation, growth and deliver new value. All of this has driven significant acceleration of the digital journey.
As governments, businesses, and people reinvented themselves to battle the pandemic, they put sustainability at the core of their transformation agendas. Companies that combined sustainability and transparency strategically into their business operations preceding the Covid-19 crisis have put an even stronger focus on it now during the crisis, and the acceleration of digital transformation has strengthened efforts to leverage technology for good.
Can you tell us about the sustainability initiatives at Genpact?
At Genpact, we align our business goals with 12 of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, in which we know we can make a significant contribution. Notably, we recently earned a gold rating from EcoVadis for our sustainability efforts —leading universal sustainability rating providers.
Examples of the work we do for clients include:
Automating data collection and analysis so companies can make better decisions and meet their climate-action commitments.
Using predictive analytics to maximise efficiency of transportation and boost sustainability
Enhancing supply chains to minimise disruptions and cut carbon emissions and waste.
We use this same expertise and technology in our own business to reduce water usage, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions. We implement green IT solutions, such as server virtualisation, data centre consolidation, and cloud-based solutions to reduce energy consumption. Our scope 1 (diesel, liquid purified gas and emissions for ozone depleting substances) and scope 2 (grid and gas electricity) greenhouse emissions have been reduced ~28% from 2016 through 2020. We continue to make progress on this journey and are committed to minimising our carbon footprint.
How is Genpact helping organisations globally to move towards a more sustainable business?
We believe that organisations with a clearly articulated purpose—beyond financial measures—are likely to have made greater steps to become more environmentally sustainable. Our purpose, for example, is “The relentless pursuit of a world that works better for people.”
For our most innovative partnership with Envision Virgin Racing (EVR)— we’re using our technologies and approaches to turn massive amounts of data into real-time, predictive insights that helps the team win races, and maintain its status of being the first carbon-neutral Formula E team. We’re supporting Envision Virgin Racing with its own emissions reports to The Carbon Neutral Trust.
Additionally, we are providing in-kind technology and digital transformation expertise to help scale a donation platform with the Not Impossible Foundation and Bento, a text-based service that connects families in need with nutritious, prepaid meals from nearby restaurants.
What are the top three things that companies need to keep in mind when adopting technologies for driving sustainability?
While addressing new technologies and how they are being applied to climate change solutions, three key ingredients are needed: 1) authenticity 2) broad based engagement and 3) orientation to results. Authenticity is about the work being an authentic version of who you are and want to be. Engagement has to be foundational, grounds-up, and close to the core of what you do for it to scale.
And finally, these are large long-term goals and not unlike other transformation initiatives of this scale, benefit from an agile approach—with a roadmap of visible achievable goals that allows success to build on success.