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The digital era has revolutionised how companies handle data, leading to an unprecedented surge in its generation and storage across various operational domains. However, this abundance of data has brought forth a significant challenge: fragmentation. Valuable information often exists in silos across different systems within organisations, making synthesis and actionable insights a daunting task. This fragmented landscape particularly complicates endeavours for businesses aiming to align their operations with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitments to optimise their outcomes.

In preparation for impending regulations such as the SEC’s scope 3 emissions disclosure and the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), some companies have begun collating specific ESG data, primarily greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Yet, these requirements should not be viewed merely as compliance exercises.

Technology plays a pivotal role in efficiently mining data necessary for current and future disclosures, enabling real-time data-driven decision-making. This approach not only provides a comprehensive overview of business operations but also offers invaluable insights for adapting corporate strategies to drive sustained growth.

The urgency surrounding climate action cannot be overstated. Climate change risks, ecosystem degradation, and resource scarcity are escalating realities, with 18 weather and climate disasters in 2022, each causing damages worth $1 billion. Simultaneously, regulators, investors, and stakeholders demand transparency regarding these impacts on businesses.

However, corporate ESG initiatives often span multiple platforms and functions that lack integration, resulting in complexity within data infrastructure. Nevertheless, recent surveys highlight a shift in executive priorities toward integrating new technologies like cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) into business models, with a significant emphasis on addressing climate change risks.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a suite of cloud-based capabilities in AI, machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), and data analytics, enabling companies of varying sizes and sectors to develop and implement ESG solutions. These solutions aid in automating decision-making, innovating new business models, and driving sustainability goals.

Sustainability, encompassing a focus on ESG factors for long-term value creation, requires concerted efforts and technological solutions to:

  • Ingest diverse ESG data in real-time, from GHG emissions to governance standards.
  • Secure data across IT infrastructure.
  • Analyse data to generate predictive analytics.
  • Implement strategic initiatives derived from data analysis.
  • Facilitate communication of insights and initiatives across the value chain, fostering collaboration among multiple stakeholders.

Beyond compliance, aligning data, technology, and sustainability initiatives presents three compelling areas for advancement:

  • Strategy: Digital investments enable businesses to reimagine models, optimise value chains, and deliver transformative growth experiences.
  • Action: By tech-enabling sustainability strategies, companies can identify supply chain efficiencies, reduce product carbon footprints, and innovate sustainable products and services.
  • Visibility: Technology offers real-time insights into enterprise operations, aiding in decision-making and monitoring progress against climate goals.
  • Both PwC and AWS recognise the urgency of providing a comprehensive view of emissions across value chains (Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions). Amazon’s commitment to achieving net-zero by 2040 and PwC’s targets for emission reductions underscore their joint commitment to sustainability.

In a convergence of sustainability efforts, PwC and AWS stand as partners on a similar journey, acknowledging the gravity of global regulations and the shared imperative for environmental stewardship.

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