Sustainability in the tech industry - statistics & facts
From running businesses to keeping in touch online with other people, technology has completely revolutionized our lives over the past few decades. At the same time, accounting for climate change and addressing sustainability have become pressing issues across all industries, including the technology sector. Enterprises in the tech industry increasingly face the demand to prepare operations and deliver solutions for a more sustainable future, emphasizing social responsibility, accountability, and transparency of processes.
Sustainability reporting in the tech industry: a growing trend
In recent years, companies have taken up a new approach to promote sustainability, that is, filling corporate social responsibility or sustainability reports. Particularly, these reports ensure that organizations are aware of their impacts on sustainability issues, assess risks, and identify opportunities in the field to reduce their environmental impact. They also provide information to businesses and consumers, so that they can 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 across all industries, including the technology and telecommunication sectors, where companies release their sustainability reports every year.
Carbon emissions: a significant challenge
As the world becomes increasingly more data-intensive, sourcing green energy has become one of the major challenge technology companies face. This transition has led to larger data centers, namely, facilities that require additional power to maintain the IT infrastructure supporting them. In their sustainability reports, companies report three types of emissions, known as Scope 1, 2 and 3. Scope 1 refers to emissions within the firm’s control, Scope 2 to any indirect emissions resulting from energy generation, and Scope 3 to all emissions occurring in the firm’s value chain. Many tech giants strive toward carbon neutrality in the next two to eight years, and yet end-users of electronic devices also have responsibilities in this sense, from device daily usage to its disposal at end of life.
Managing waste management and reducing energy consumption: a priority
Last but not least, reducing energy consumption is another sustainability goal set for companies to reach. Over the years, several technologies, including electronic products and process management technologies, have been developed to optimize energy consumption, examples of which are LED (light-emitting diode) lights, which consume less than 25 percent of the energy of an incandescent bulb. The growing use of artificial intelligence is also expected to support attempts to combat climate change, implementing this technology in several use cases.
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Research expert covering the global consumer technology industry