Harnessing technological transformation in the era of climate change
Multi-sector reliance on the tech industry can illustrate how far our efforts can go to impact commerce. The green technology and sustainability market is currently valued at $10 to $17 billion and expected to grow to $74.6 billion in 2030. New estimates reveal that digital technologies, at scale, can enable up to a 20% reduction by 2050 in the three highest-emitting sectors—energy, mobility, materials. By adopting digital technologies, these industries can reduce emissions by 4% to 10%.
At Kyndryl, our sustainability platform is informed by the principles of Klaus Schwab’s fourth industrial revolution premise, that rapid technological change must serve as a catalyst for good. Innovations in robotics and automation, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT) have accelerated our reliance on technology, leading to greater energy consumption and carbon emissions, especially across the manufacturing, transportation, and energy sectors. In today’s economy, every industry sits at the intersection of tech, therefore, our industry’s lead on sustainability is paramount.
In our first year of business, Kyndryl launched a goal to achieve Net Zero by 2040. With over 240 data centers globally and a Green IT program, we have reduced our data center energy consumption by more than 40,100 MWh since 2021 utilizing energy efficiency improvement programs, consolidating and modernizing our facilities, and implementing a renewable energy program that enables the annual generation of 18,000 MWh of solar energy.
As one of the largest IT infrastructure companies in the world, our technology solutions from AI and data analytics, cloud migration, 5G Network and digital workplace solutions support our 4,000-plus customer base to implement sustainable solutions that can scale. This includes the work we do with our alliance partners, such as Microsoft, Google, and AWS, to migrate our customers to the cloud, reducing energy usage by as much as 85% and reducing emissions through the cloud’s use of up to 100% renewable energy.
Through green initiatives like energy-efficient data centers, software development that reduces power consumption and digital transformation including automation and harnessing big data to reduce carbon emissions, we can implement best practices that directly address climate change and transform markets. At Kyndryl, we’ve implemented a series of best practices that can be applied across sectors, including:
Establishing a clear sustainability strategy: Develop a sustainability strategy that defines your organization’s social and environmental priorities and how you will align these with your operations. Kyndryl has done this in Year One by defining four sustainability strategic priorities focusing on quantifying and addressing our environmental impact, reporting and communicating our efforts, educating and engaging our stakeholders, and driving market differentiation.
Identifying sustainable products and services: Identify sustainable alternatives to your products and services, where possible. This could include shifting to renewable energy sources, reducing waste through reusing materials or end-of-life recycling of hardware. Kyndryl has a robust management process to divert end-of-life products from the landfill, achieving a greater than 96% diversion rate in 2022.
Engaging suppliers and partners: Engage with your suppliers and partners to encourage more sustainable practices throughout your supply chain. This involves setting sustainability targets and working together to achieve them. Kyndryl has partnered with the Responsible Business Alliance to manage and build our supplier program using industry best practices.