Sebastian is VP Sales North America VediaProvider of enterprise digital asset management (DAM) solutions.
Brands around the world now face the added challenge of working a sustainable approach into their business models. Indeed, a recent study showed that 58% of Fortune 500 companies (membership required) are looking to achieve net-zero goals by 2050 or earlier.
Due to investor, regulatory and consumer demand, there is a need to move to a location that considers the environmental impact of business operations. It is no longer just about brand image: leaders must demonstrate real impact and a real change towards long-term sustainable profits.
Companies from all different fields of activity are now building their businesses around corporate sustainability. We now know that consumers, especially Millennials and Gen-Z, actively seek to interact with brands that support an ESG (Environmental Social Governance) approach to managing their business. This has surprisingly changed the status quo of many companies as they work to tap into this influential buying group.
Putting sustainability at the heart of a business has to be achieved at every level of an organization. From suppliers to company partners to the buildings they occupy and the materials they use, leaders must take advantage of a fully rounded, considered approach.
1. Technology and Sustainability: Is This the Way to Net-Zero?
One way to reduce a company’s carbon footprint is through investment in digital software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. The use of sustainable technology was cited by Gartner in its Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2023, demonstrating its potential as a powerful tool to help shape future innovations. When applied carefully and thoughtfully, this technology can provide a valuable resource to help companies manage and reduce emissions.
A SaaS solution is a means of software delivery that allows data to be accessed from various devices with web connections, rather than having to install the software on individual computers or networks. These solutions can provide ways for companies to control and reduce their carbon footprint, whether through measuring their activity, streamlining certain processes or reducing physical waste.
Take for example Japanese company NTT’s SaaS offering, which aims to help manufacturing, transportation and other industries reduce their carbon footprint. NTT’s software combines a variety of technologies, including IoT (Internet of Things), private 5G, edge compute, NTT Smart Solutions Platform and digital twins to create a customized product that aligns with the company’s net-zero goals, their organization and their supply chain. Tracks footprints.
This type of innovation feeds into the new consensus that digital technologies can help us on our path to net-zero. Research in the field suggests that such digital technologies, when measured across industries, could contribute to a 20% reduction in emissions by 2050 for the energy, materials and mobility industries.
2. Marketing and communications teams can also integrate sustainable technology into their strategies.
If a company is truly capable of adopting an ESG-led strategy, it must be an approach that is adopted by all aspects of the business.
For marketing and communications teams, the growing amount of digital assets in the form of video, photo, image and audio files presents a challenge in stockpiling, sharing and analyzing them.
This is why solutions such as Digital Asset Management (DAM) are now becoming an increasingly important part of any marketing and communications specialist’s toolkit as they work to better manage their media assets. As a disclosure, my company Vedia is a provider of a DAM solution.
Rather than juggling multiple types of software and uploading and downloading different media types from each, leaders seeking a robust DAM solution must ensure that the system forms a single hub, or single source of truth (SSoT). In which all types of content are managed.
As a SaaS solution, this solution should not require heavy program installation, but will need to be accessible to business users in different locations and using different devices.
A robust DAM system should be able to reduce the amount of email and documents constantly being sent between teams, a practice that contributes significantly to the digital footprint of a business. Leaders must ensure that the solution will help increase collaboration while allowing a centralized and real-time view of a given project.
In large companies with multiple teams, across multiple locations, the issue of content duplication is very real. Content duplication only adds to a company’s digital storage needs and in turn contributes to carbon emissions. A robust DAM platform should help mitigate this with the ability to identify and remove duplicates, freeing up storage while ultimately helping to reduce associated emissions.
3. Use the right strategies while investing in sustainable solutions.
Finally, leaders must ensure that they are careful and selective when determining which type of SaaS solution is right for their organization.
Auditing an existing MarTech stack helps leaders understand where new SaaS solutions can help them in their day-to-day operations. Are they looking for a way to centralize their media assets or do they need to take a phygital approach to their communications?
And how will the new equipment help in achieving the goal? Rather than looking for multiple solutions, leaders should take the time to find one tool that can support their overall strategy.
What’s more, having a goal like reducing an organization’s carbon footprint means setting objectives against which a company can continually benchmark how a new SaaS solution is really making an impact.
Leaders must seek means to achieve sustainable content production.
Sustainable technology can be a differentiating factor for organizations of any size. As consumers’ needs for increasingly personalized content skyrocket, the fact that brands now need to ramp up their content production shouldn’t come at the cost of a greater carbon footprint. I hope this article has outlined some valuable things leaders should consider when considering incorporating sustainable technology into their operations.
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