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Towards a more sustainable future with technology

“As a technology leader, Finland can act as a trendsetter for practical sustainability measures and a low-carbon society.”

22 November 2019

According to the GeSi Smarter 2030 study, the ICT sector can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions five times more than it produces itself. As one of the leading Nordic technology companies, Tieto has a major role in supporting its clients in their endeavour for sustainable operations.

“Digitalization produces solutions with which it is possible to achieve substantial emission reductions in different sectors. Emissions can be reduced considerably simply by digitalizing day-to-day functions, but at the same time sustainable operations can be built up with technology in a more comprehensive manner,” says Tieto’s Satu Kiiskinen, Managing Partner, Finland.

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Tieto has helped its clients reduce the CO2 emissions of their services by digitalizing their business and modernizing their IT solutions. Digitalization projects within financial administration and our services to the banking and insurance sector helped our clients reduce 76 kilotons of CO2 emissions in 2018.

If a company starts using cloud services instead of servers of its own, it can reduce electricity consumption by as much as 90%, while the emissions of e-invoicing are 20% lower than those of paper invoices.

Digitalization also makes it possible to develop new kinds of environmentally friendly services. A good example of this is the co-operation between Tieto and Lassila & Tikanoja concerning the energy management of buildings. With the help of cloud services, Lassila & Tikanoja’s head office was turned into a virtual power plant that supports the nation-wide energy system and helps to reduce emissions and the energy bill regardless of circumstances. As weather dependant electricity production increases, we will need more and more solutions that enable flexibility of consumption. 

Another innovative ongoing project is Puro, a marketplace initiated by 23 companies. Its aim is to turn CO2 removals into verifiable, comparable and commercial operations and thereby create the first marketplace in the world where companies can buy certificates related to CO2 removal.

“Software and digital solutions are the enablers of several sustainability-led innovations that are coming to market,” says Satu Kiiskinen. “What’s especially exciting is that digital is helping bring organizations and their experts from various sectors together to look at sustainable operations from a new angle.”

Sustainable operations in Tieto’s own business

Tieto has set as its goal for the ongoing strategy period the reduction of its own CO2 emissions by 50% by 2020. This goal was reached ahead of schedule. In addition to the use of renewable energy at Nordic data centres, the other major factor that contributed to achieving this goal has been the use of virtual meetings instead of flying. Within a six-month period, this new practice reduced the company’s carbon footprint by the equivalent of 11 000 return flights between Helsinki and Stockholm.

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“At first, I was worried about how our personnel might react to reduced flying. However, they have been extremely proud of the change and of our concrete measures for the climate,” says Ida Bohman Steenberg, Head of Sustainability.

If we wish to combat climate change, companies must above all take measures and find new solutions. Tieto’s aim is to be a leader in sustainable operations – in its own operations as well as in the renewal and responsible management of its clients’ operations.

“We have made major investments in the training of our employees during the past few years. The IT sector will have an even greater role as a promoter of sustainability, and it is possible to make a great difference with digital solutions. Our sector is at the forefront of change, and this motivates me in my day-to-day work,” says Bohman Steenberg.

We are all responsible for creating a better and more sustainable future, but companies have a key role in taking practical measures.

“A sustainable future depends on the decisions and practical measures that we take today. As a technology leader, Finland can act as a trendsetter for practical sustainability measures and a low-carbon society. I believe that sustainable operations will increasingly become a competitive advantage for companies and lead to true business advantages. This enhances the resources for new innovative services, and the circle of positive change will accelerate,” says Satu Kiiskinen, summarising the opportunities created by sustainable operations.

The article is published as part of Kauppalehti Optio's attachement on Nov, 22nd in Finland

 

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Ida Bohman Steenberg

Head of Sustainability

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