When it comes to tracking and measuring Scope 2 improvements, the big question is: how can we work together with suppliers so they can effectively report to us what their emissions are? CIOs and organizations can mandate that suppliers provide the information (which may not be an effective strategy). Or organizations can incentivize suppliers in a way that helps those organizations establish an accurate representation of the effects of their services and allows them to share that data with their potential clients. A supplier that can demonstrate it has a lower carbon footprint than another supplier may win more business and encourage competitors to reduce their carbon footprint as well.
Suppliers are material to your ESG ambitions, not just the supplier’s Scope 2 emissions. Other ESG factors that CIOs should consider are their suppliers’ labor practices, workforce and commitment to diversity.
Looking at your supplier network, what percent of the supplier base are women-owned businesses or minority-owned businesses, and how does that align with your ambitions or the customers you serve? While supporting minority businesses is an important social consideration and valid on its own, having a diverse supplier network can also help a company’s bottom line. Multiple sourcing arrangements minimize the risk of supply disruptions, and organizations with a higher adoption of supplier diversity programs generate a greater return on procurement investment.
Implement a circular economy program
As your organization upgrades technology, what do you do with outdated laptops and old equipment, also known as e-waste?
E-waste might contain resources, such as copper or mercury cobalt, gold, lithium and neodymium. Establishing an e-waste recycling program within your organization makes sense not only from a cost-savings and environmental point of view — the “E” in ESG — but also from a social perspective. For example, organizations can donate retired laptops, phones, tablets and other electronic devices to schools, low-income areas and community programs to help bridge the digital divide.
A circular economy is about more than just recycling equipment. It includes thinking of the second and third life of a product or components and using resources, by-products and surplus materials efficiently.
Develop a sustainable talent strategy
Research shows that diverse teams always perform better than homogenous teams. How can we break down barriers that lead to gender and racial segregation among the workforce, especially within computing and technology?
The World Economic Forum recently published a Global Gender Gap report2, which explored segregation of occupations along gender lines, along with the fastest-growing job clusters, and found that gender gaps in emerging professions have made little progress toward achieving parity.
One often-cited barrier is the talent pipeline. Women are under-represented in STEM fields, which may be because they were not encouraged to pursue those careers at an early age. However, there is a path to progress. Programs that aim to encourage women and girls in STEM fields and programs that highlight minorities in STEM fields can help set the foundation for these careers to be accessible to everyone equally. CIOs, as part of their organizational strategy, should encourage people to give back to the community and drive participation in such programs. In addition, the Global Gender Gap report found that effective mid-career reskilling opportunities and managerial anti-bias practices in hiring and promotions are important mechanisms for developing and deploying female workers into previously male-dominated growing professions.