The Roles of ESG and Technology in a Sustainable Future

The Future is Now

As the IPBN Sustainability Conference approaches we would like to lay the foundations for the two conversations scheduled to take place within the conference on the themes of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and Technology’s role in sustainability. The IPBN will gather experts in their fields to discuss these themes at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIP) on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17 from 9h to 13h.

The first talk will be held between Mário Gago, IPBN Board Member and CEO of Pink Room, and Stefan Goor, Co-founder and Group CIO of Ardanis Technologies, an IPBN Executive Partner. The two tech gurus will present their understanding of where technology’s role in sustainability is currently and if it can save the future. Specifically, Mário and Stefan will look into the impacts of the cloud, software, and technology practices and what we can expect moving forward.

Technology has a long way to go when it comes to not only decarbonization but also hydrogen production and energy storage as well. McKinsey reported in January of this year that “Developing and deploying climate technologies [that are expressly intended to accelerate decarbonization] is critical for the world’s net-zero agenda. Growth could await businesses willing to innovate quickly and to collaborate across value chains.” When it comes to the production of clean hydrogen, research suggests that its annual production would need to increase more than sevenfold for the world to hit net zero in 2050 while the global capacity of long-duration energy storage must increase by a factor of 400 by 2040 to help the power sector achieve net zero by then.

On that note, IPBN member company and Executive Partner Ardanis recently organized an event in Dublin on Sustainability and Software in which Tracy Keogh, Co-founder at Grow Remote, discussed the rise of remote working and the impacts associated with it with some interesting and surprising analysis. If you missed it, you can follow more follow Ardanis Technologies here to gain more information on upcoming events.

When it comes to the existing link between ESG and profitability, Carolina Almeida Cruz Co-Founder of IPBN member company C-More! Beyond the Obvious and Krystyna Rawicz from IPBN member company KRA Renewables will discuss new research and highlight key strategies that can not only make a difference on the planet but also on the financial health of companies across sectors. In order to better understand where businesses currently stand on the issue, it is important to recognize the levels of pushback and full adherence that are simultaneously taking place in business.

The Harvard Business Review recently published an article on sustainable business practices stating that many policymakers, especially in the U.S.A., still insist there is an “inherent trade-off between choosing a more sustainable future and achieving business growth and profit.” However, according to Adrian Murdoch’s recent article on Capital Monitor,  “Companies that place importance on ESG factors have seen profits rise 9.1% and revenues grow 9.7% over the past three years while as many as 84% said that their ability to raise capital had become easier.” And there is room for all sectors to enjoy these results, however, IT and finance are in the lead as they were pioneers in embracing ESG-driven directives while the slower-to-act public sector has fallen behind. 

Forbes used data from Refinitiv Lipper to report that on an international scale as of March 2022, investors poured a record $649 billion into ESG funds during the first 11 months of 2021, up from the $542 billion invested in such funds in 2020.” The study estimates that a whopping “ten percent of the assets invested in funds worldwide are now in ESG funds.”

So why are leaders so reluctant to make ESG investments? It’s surprising to think that even those who understand the ultimate benefits for the bottom line are reluctant to pull the trigger. The five key reasons outlined by the Harvard Business Review are that “the numbers hide the truth about the real cost, our biases trick us, we focus on short-term benefits, we think about costs in silos, and we miss the bigger existential costs.”

Their article tackles each of these excuses with simple answers applicable across all sectors with instructions to “Price the unpriced, diversify the decision-making group,  redefine your tools for investment decisions, broaden thinking on value and think in systems, and understand the world’s thresholds and learn to think in net positive terms.”

Don't miss these two conversations. Join us March 17 in Lisbon at the 4th annual IPBN Sustainability conference to celebrate St. Patrick's day. You will find the full programme here where you can register if not already done!




Executive Partners