Technology has completely changed our lives in recent years, from running businesses to maintaining social contact with others. Alongside this, addressing sustainability considering climate change has become a pressing issue across all industries, including the technology sector. There is an increasing demand for enterprises to prepare and deliver a more sustainable future, emphasizing social responsibility, accountability, and transparency of processes.
Sustainability reporting in the tech industry
One of the approaches taken up by enterprises is the sustainability reporting process through corporate social responsibility or sustainability reports. These reports ensure that organizations consider their impacts on sustainability issues, assess risks, and identify opportunities in the field. They also provide businesses and consumers with information to make informed and conscious decisions about investments and product purchases based on the companies’ carbon footprints and other sustainability metrics. The sustainability reporting rate has been on the rise in general, with the technology, media, and telecommunications sector reporting at 84 percent.
Energy consumption and carbon emissions
One of the most significant challenges tech companies face is sourcing green energy as the world becomes ever more data intensive. This transition has led to larger data centers, facilities that require additional power to maintain the IT infrastructure housed within them. However, many businesses appear not to have implemented solutions to reduce their carbon footprint. Furthermore, even with many tech giants striving toward carbon neutrality wherever possible throughout their value chain, part of the responsibility also lies with the end-users of electronic devices from daily usage to disposal at end of life.
In addition to emissions, recycling is also a significant issue in relation to sustainability, notably how the tech industry deals with the increasing amounts of e-waste. With most of the waste produced by the major tech players ending up in landfills, there are growing calls for stricter regulation on recycling such waste and preventing it from polluting our environment.
Technology for sustainability
Several technologies have improved our energy consumption over the years, especially with electronic products and process management. One of the prime examples of green electronic products is LED (light-emitting diode) lights, which consume less than 25 percent of the energy of an incandescent bulb and are forecast to make up over 87 percent of the global lighting market by 2030. Apart from electronic products, the use of artificial intelligence is also supporting attempts to combat climate change by implementing this technology in several use cases. Finally, tech giants are investing more in the refurbished consumer electronics market, producing devices such as smartphones and PCs with recycled materials. As a result, the reconditioned and used smartphone market is expected to reach roughly 144 billion U.S. dollars by 2031.
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In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 30 most important statistics relating to "Sustainability in the tech industry".