The Rise of Automation in ESG: Implementing Sustainable Business Growth

The Rise of Automation in ESG

Originally published on spiceworks.com on November 29, 2022

The need to understand how sustainability can be weaved into the fabric of business for better value is now apparent. And the answer to efficient ESG lies in automation. Deepak Kinger, co-founder and chief strategy officer at EvoluteIQ, looks at the reasons and the corresponding ways to stitch together a business that incorporates both sustainability and monetary benefaction that comes with business automation enablement.

We have all come across the term “sustainability” time and again, but what exactly does the term mean to you? This can vary in several degrees based on a person’s social and political standings and more so as somebody who owns or runs a business.

It is important to answer this question as it raises a critical touchpoint of the economic vitality that sustainability offers to organizations, big and small. At the same time, it has increasingly become apparent that the need to understand how the aspect of sustainability can be weaved into the fabric of business for better value.

In our experience as one of the hyperautomation and enterprise automation pioneers, we realized the answer to efficient ESG lies in automation! In this article, we have put together all the reasons and the corresponding ways to stitch together a business that incorporates both sustainability and monetary benefaction that comes with business automation enablement.

What Exactly Is Sustainability?

The Brundtland Commission describes sustainability as development that satisfies the current demands without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to satiate their own needs. Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) challenges are too prevalent in business, with many organizations failing to meet their targets. It is evident that companies are not doing enough to achieve their sustainability goals. However, these targets are often difficult to meet in an unstable market, and where there are external challenges, multiple variabilities affect the business outcome.

The Business Perspective of Sustainability

World over, the advancement of economic growth and development began as offshoots of the Industrial Revolution. Although it appeared to solve a lot of yesteryear problems, it left behind a legacy of huge other costs. The firsts in this list would be environmental decline, oppressive work policies, and a large burden on future generations to offset the imbalance caused due to mindless overexploitation of resources.

In this respect, the way we view sustainability has evolved over the years. As defined by the Brundtland Commission, it currently means to use resources in a way as to ensure that future generations have enough for them as well.

Now, it is important to explore the business underpinnings of sustainability which pan out in ecological terms and churn huge financial gains. How does this happen? Think about it. When was the last time you remember someone sending a personal letter on paper or using a fax machine? It must have been at least three decades ago.

Extravagant usage of paper for business purposes has increasingly become frowned upon. Now, we send out quick emails that save both paper and time. And yes, there is also the added advantage of the costs (albeit internet affordability is still a thing in many underdeveloped regions of the world). This is just one illustration.

Automation: The Game-changer for Sustainable Businesses

A report by McKinsey suggests that a robust ESG stance helps businesses effectively cut down costs leading to better value creation, and there also appears to be a “significant correlation between resource efficiency and financial performance.”

Every company has a moral obligation to lower waste generation and reduce the ensuing environmental effect. End-to-end enterprise-scale automation can help businesses blend in sustainability targets directly within business workflows and forge efficient mechanisms to boost optimized energy use, according to an article by Emerging Europe. With hyperautomation enablement platforms, this is made possible by enabling the shift in process efficiency, resource optimization that comes from digital transformation, energy efficiency, and the ease of flexibility to adapt to new and emergent technologies.

For instance, automation can be deployed to shut down network devices when not in use. With the help of robots that turn off these nodes, organizations can successfully cut down on their energy usage. This will also drive substantial cost savings, at a time where energy bills are spiraling to new highs.

The Key to Unlocking Automation-led Business Sustainability

We need to look beyond the clear merits that automation enablement platforms bring to the table. The focus should be on creating a fully dedicated system to address deeper concerns that come with seamless workflow management cutting across multiple domains. Irrespective of the nature of your business and the industry, our solution is practical across Banking, and Financial Services, Sales and Marketing, Healthcare, BPO, KPO, Insurance, or service led businesses due to the features and capabilities that help in using sustainability towards generating economic benefits.

1. Robotic process automation (RPA)

Reading and extracting valuable data is done via robotic process automation (RPA). This higher efficiency setting might make it possible to reduce waste more quickly. As a crucial and strategic accelerator for sustainability, robotic process automation, which employs software robots to carry out simple, systematic, and repetitive business operations like data entry, has a huge bearing on sustainable business practices. Relying on hyperautomation enablement platforms can help make a huge headway in this regard.

2. Process intelligence

Process mining has the potential to shed light on actual emissions, promote factual transparency, and raise awareness of global environment issues. Every business process action has a digital footprint that can be linked to a carbon footprint. The carbon footprints of raw materials, manufacturing processes, transportation, and other activities can all be assigned, giving a detailed picture of the real emissions caused by every company activity and process step. Data-driven reporting provides the proof you need to monitor process development and support your success as an industry leader committed to the environment.

3. Digitization

Digitization helps eliminate paper use, optimize electricity use, spread it to more remote locations, and optimize energy use more sustainable. Artificial intelligence, 5G, and blockchain are examples of digital technologies that can optimize and speed up the impact of environmental policies. Innovative green businesses that will address the climate challenge can emerge thanks to a robust digital economy.

4. Customer support optimization

Automation helps optimize customer experience and support through function-specific and corporate-wide strategies to maximize cost reductions. Customer experience optimization should be a continuous discipline, not simply during periods of increased expense pressure, as it helps identify, evaluate, and prioritize solutions that increase business value while decreasing costs and increasing customer satisfaction.

5. Supply-chain efficiency

A Harvard Business Review report says that most multinational firms try to include ethical labor practices and environmental responsibility in their supply networks. However, they need to do more. With hyperautomation, it is easier to achieve this by minimizing the demand for warehousing through effective inventory management, which in turn results in sustainable warehousing practices.

The Way Forward

Future developments in technology are also expected to impact governance. Leaders will now have to make decisions for their regions, considering environmental variables, and focusing on data, values, and ethics. A World Economic Forum article says that these choices will enable leaders to accomplish their SDGs and manage a resilient and sustainable economy.

Businesses also must be prepared to act if they want to retain customers and personnel since sustainability will only grow more crucial over time. Companies may achieve their ambitious sustainability goals while also saving time and money on routine company processes with automation enablement software to address key issue areas.

Deepak

Deepak Kinger

Chief Strategy Officer, EvoluteIQ
Deepak Kinger, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at EvoluteIQ, spearheads the company's strategic direction, overseeing key go-to-market offerings, technology alliances and solution partnerships while managing Marketing and Analyst Relationships. With leadership experience at Virtusa, Publicis Sapient, Genpact and Wipro, Deepak excels in technology innovation, strategy, scaling businesses and client stewardship. An accomplished strategist with extensive global experience, he brings valuable insights to the Banking, Financial Services, and Healthcare industries.

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