Avanade: Business priorities cited as key barrier to achieving sustainability goals, with 93% global organisations struggling

Organisations are facing a dilemma of how to achieve sustainability goals while prioritising the current global business and economic landscape challenges.

That is according to a study commissioned by Avanade, the leading Microsoft solutions provider, which found that less than half of the executives surveyed are confident they will hit their ESG (environmental, social and governance) goals on time.

The study* of over 1,500 business leaders from the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan, Italy, Germany and Ireland revealed:

  • Almost half (45%) say they have higher business priorities than sustainability
  • More than a third (35%) are bracing for an economic slowdown
  • Only 7% say they have completed their ESG plans
  • 14% are midway through executing their ESG plans but experiencing challenges
  • A quarter don’t even have a plan in place for reaching their sustainability goals
  • 63% say digital is “very important” to their sustainability objectives
  • Only 8% have three-quarters of their organisation’s digital budget supporting their ESG goals
  • 61% of organisations rely solely on cloud to achieve their sustainability goals
  • Only 30% of respondents are currently measuring software carbon emissions
  • Only a third say that their company is not susceptible to the charge of greenwashing

To help organisations overcome their toughest sustainability challenges, Avanade has two digital solutions – Avanade Sustainability Technology Accelerator and Avanade Sustainability Quick-Start – that combine data, green software and the Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability to see results in as little as a month.

Jillian Moore, Avanade Global Advisory and Sustainability Lead (pic) said: “The results of this research validate that while everyone is talking about sustainability, leaders are challenged to know how to use digital technologies to take practical actions towards achieving their ESG goals.

It’s understandable that the ambitious sustainability targets can seem overwhelming, especially as leaders are dealing with issues they’ve never faced before and in the context of global economic uncertainty.

“Here’s the good news: It’s more impactful to focus on continually evolving, rather than the end goal. Identifying and prioritising practical actions is key.

For example, we are working with clients to help them apply green software principles to start optimising their IT systems and operations to consume fewer resources and reduce the carbon footprint of their organisations.”

Note*: The Quartz Creative study surveyed 1,572 respondents across the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan, Italy, Germany and Ireland in August 2022. Respondents included primary decision-makers across sustainability and IT initiatives. Respondents were from 15 industries including manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, consumer goods, retail, energy and utilities, government, non-profit, legal, life sciences, consulting, insurance, information technology, construction, education, and other sectors. This content was produced on behalf of Avanade by Quartz Creative and not by the Quartz editorial staff.

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