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Digital sustainability in the Microsoft ecosystem?

The topic of sustainability is hotter than ever – as is the climate.. so how do we get to spend more time on action and less time on manual processes and internal coordination? Sif Neldeborg, Senior Consultant at Devoteam and resident sustainability expert recommends how to tackle new EU sustainability legislation with tech.

Players in big tech have been practising sustainable transition for years now. They have experience in using complex technologies to support businesses around the world, and more importantly; they have the knowledge about how employees get their daily assignments done efficiently. 

A digital mindset or ‘way of work’ is key to understanding how the Microsoft ecosystem supports your efforts  in,collecting, organising, and reporting on your sustainability tasks. Working inefficiently with your sustainability tasks, endangers their business case, and compliance related to sustainability will become the next assembly line labour, slowing your speed of business.

New rules for reporting

But why do we have to be extra good at working with sustainability now (besides the fact that the climate is going crazy)? 

Companies in Europe with more than 250 employees got a new basket of tasks this summer, when the European Parliament and the European Council agreed on the proposal for the new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). 

The new regulation states that all larger companies must disclose their sustainability initiatives , and that reporting on initiatives must be assessed by a third party auditor. This brings new employee tasks in finance, IT, and CSR, with new standards and certifications to follow, and up to 150 new key figures to report on. The increasing demand for numbers and coordination between colleges and suppliers, calls for working smarter digitally. And looking closer on the tasks, this change also holds a potential for digitalization and increased automation..

Use the tools at hand

Microsoft has for many years been a tool to digitise our way of working, making processes more efficient and letting employees make informed decisions rapidly instead of spending time collecting and analysing data. Of course, there is no quick fix to sustainability, nor to sustainability reporting, but there is an option to spend more time on reaching sustainability goals and less on figuring out how you are performing based on a mess of numbers and data sources.

With a focus on including the sustainability currencies (CO2e, kWh, diesel and such) into the business support systems like ERP and the Power universe, Microsoft and other system providers make it easier for leadership and Corporate Sustainability directors to make sure sustainability is a healthy business case for the company. This is ensured by access to better informed decisions for the future, not only based on financial data, but also risks like environmental or climate related cost and supply chain dependencies.

Devoteam’s 3 recommendations to make your it-operations support your sustainability ambitions in a cost-effective manner::

1. Support your collection of sustainability data with your Microsoft platforms: ERP, BI 

  • Use the systems you have, and always consider handling sustainability data in new systems acquisitions, to avoid as much manual collection as possible

2. Use business automation and platform technology to share data in your organisation and with your suppliers: Power App, Power BI

  • Make sure you make it easy for your suppliers, sub-suppliers, and procurement managers to share data on certifications, audit reports, and eco-labels
  • In the long run, the suppliers will also be able to supply CO2e emission data related to a specific product you buy or rent

3. Use digital sustainability (or your business intelligence) systems to calculate the business case of initiatives and get your priorities right: Power BI, Microsoft Sustainability Manager, featured on TechRadar by Devoteam, Emissions Impact Dashboard, featured on TechRadar by Devoteam.

  • Be precise about the benefits you want to achieve – or the business risks you want to avoid
  • Use digital services supported by artificial intelligence to make better informed decisions and get a more accurate business case description with enhanced calculations – and benchmark with other organisations
  • Take advantage of the technology available – too many organisations do not achieve potential savings because of inaccurate business case calculations and/or missing focus on which benefits they are

Premium Microsoft Consulting with Devoteam

Devoteam M Cloud is an Azure expert MSP Partner and one of the world’s leading providers of Microsoft Cloud technologies. Our team of over 1,000 Microsoft experts in EMEA, helps modernize the IT architecture of leading businesses and governmental organizations. Through this, we support our clients in their digital journey to the Cloud, make them future proof, and provide the best managed services for their business needs.