Sustainability unlocked: Transforming ambition into action with IBM's Envizi

Sustainability unlocked: Transforming ambition into action with IBM’s Envizi

  • IBM helps customers achieve sustainability goals with data-driven innovation and consulting technology solutions.
  • IBM’s Envizi software simplifies ESG reporting tasks with AI-powered management.

Multiple stakeholders have urged business leaders to focus on ESG (environmental, social, and governance) matters, and IBM is at the forefront of driving sustainability initiatives. In many leading economies, regulators and governments have established corporate disclosure requirements concerning environmental impact, promoting the conscious creation of sustainable growth business models that aren’t solely driven by profit.

A 2022 IBM CEO study found that sustainability is among the top priorities for CEOs, with over 80% of those surveyed citing sustainability investments as a strategic growth driver for business results within the next five years.

However, the study also highlighted several challenges related to sustainability:

  • 35% of global CEOs surveyed identified technological barriers to implementing sustainability within their organizations.
  • 44% of global CEOs surveyed listed sustainability among their most significant challenges due to a lack of data insights.
  • 57% of global CEOs surveyed pointed to unclear ROI and economic benefits as primary obstacles to achieving sustainability goals.

Consequently, many organizations with good intentions find themselves stuck at the planning stage, as implementing sustainable practices can be complex, and they often struggle with how or where to begin their sustainability initiatives.

Technology is critical in establishing a commitment to progress and fostering sustainability across essential industries to protect the planet. IBM aids customers in converting their sustainability aspirations into reality through data-driven innovation and top-tier consulting and technology solutions.

“At IBM Malaysia and IBM Global, we examine the meaning of sustainability and investigate effective ways to implement strategies in the market. We ask ourselves, how can we identify and reduce our carbon footprint? These two key points are what IBM Malaysia aims to proactively and assertively promote in the market,” said Catherine Lian, Managing Director and Technology Leader, IBM Malaysia.

To achieve this, IBM introduced Envizi, an AI-powered software that streamlines the management of tasks related to broader Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting initiatives. By utilizing Envizi with IBM’s extensive AI-powered software, organizations can automate feedback generated between their corporate environmental initiatives and the operational endpoints used in daily business operations – an essential step in scaling sustainability efforts.

Sustainability unlocked: Transforming ambition into action with IBM's Envizi

Envizi pathway to net zero (Source – IBM)

For example, IBM introduced the Envizi platform to Sarawak in Malaysia, enabling a performance-based sustainability analysis through dashboards. This approach allows the state to comprehend its carbon footprint, identify areas for reduction, and pinpoint opportunities for improvement. This case study will be presented more in-depth by IBM very soon.

IBM: 3 key industries that are showing progress in adopting sustainability measures

Inquiring about the specific industries that have made significant progress in adopting sustainability measures and the contributing factors to their success, Lian identifies three sectors leading the way. First is the financial services industry, particularly banks, as Bank Negara in Malaysia has mandated certain governance measures. Second are utility companies, which have realized that by operating uncompromisingly in sustainable product development, they can optimize sustainability and monetize common strategies. Lastly, the third sector Lian is passionate about advancing in sustainability is the government sector.

“By the government sector, I mean that there is currently no single policy standardizing sustainability across government sectors. We are working with government-linked companies (GLCs) and agencies to determine a starting point. This involves many government sectors, such as the Ministry of Transport, Accountant General, and the Ministry of Finance, which operate data centers,” Lian explained.

Most of them do not own data hosting, so they depend on data center providers. IBM is now partnering with these providers to investigate how they can better implement sustainability strategies together. As a result, collaborations with data center providers are being formed to facilitate these discussions.

Lian points out that developed countries are slightly ahead due to a push factor they possess, which she refers to as the demand and supply dynamic. Their electricity supply experiences shortages, unlike Malaysia, which has not yet encountered this issue. This is why Lian consistently emphasizes the importance of E, S, and G in Malaysia. The G, governance, must be particularly robust to establish an environment conducive to sustainability, a cause she passionately advocates for and actively promotes with the government.