A strategic vision for a sustainable future

  • January 08, 2024

As the imperative of environmental protection and climate action picks up steam for C-suites and national governments, so has another harsh truth: its complexity.

Presently, more than 50% of the world’s GDP is moderately or highly dependent on nature and its services. Simply put, nature is a key component of the global economy, and any action taken will have negative consequences for societies and economies. Solutions are neither simple nor straightforward.

With this in mind, we see three critical areas where collaborative, global action can make a difference:

Accelerating net-zero journeys

By 2030, NTT DATA aims not only to achieve net zero emissions but also to power our data centres entirely with renewable energy. Our environmental strategy addresses both carbon and water usage concerns, particularly considering the demands of AI infrastructure. AI systems require extensive cooling, which traditionally consumes a significant amount of water.

To tackle this, we’re focusing not only on renewable energy but also on innovative cooling techniques, such as liquid immersion cooling and direct chip cooling, helping to reduce our energy and water footprints. In FY22, we successfully reduced our total emissions by an impressive 21%. This resulted in the saving of over 1.6 million tonnes of carbon.

With the global fight against climate change gathering urgency, heavy industries are also adopting innovative approaches to reduce their emissions. The aviation industry is one such example. By structuring its decarbonization efforts around the concept of airports as energy hubs rather than transportation hubs alone, industry participants are opening opportunities for economic growth, green job creation and more efficient supply chain management.

In parallel, electrification and automation can mitigate airport pollution by handling processes including aircraft pushback and taxiing, baggage handling and passenger transportation. Meanwhile, deploying 5G-enabled smart infrastructure supports renewable energy integration, optimal traffic and energy management and predictive maintenance for power systems.

In the field of transportation and logistics, meanwhile, smart grid technology and IoT-powered analytics is driving reduced environmental impact by enhancing visibility and control of the entire network. As a result, industry players can more effectively identify supply chain inefficiencies, improve route planning and optimize overall energy management.

Introducing nature positive solutions

Ensuring the preservation, restoration, and sustainable management of nature is not only a moral obligation but also an economic necessity. We are facing interconnected challenges, including climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, food security, and social inequality.

Effectively addressing any of these crises demands comprehensive solutions that tackle them collectively. Beyond merely adhering to net-zero goals and climate financing pledges, businesses ought to allocate resources to the conservation and restoration of nature.

These efforts have the potential to contribute 30% or more to the overall climate solution. However, collaboration between public and private stakeholders is vital to move the needle in this area.

For example, blended finance (private capital and public funding) can spur sustainable business models. Such models assign a monetary value to nature’s economic contribution, ensuring that natural capital is considered alongside physical, financial and human capital in feasibility studies, investment planning and so on.

Technology capital also has a major role to play. Industry 4.0 technologies such as data analytics and IoT have the potential to improve the efficiency of business processes — thereby enabling reduced environmental impact. Additionally, blockchain technology can help to enhance transparency and traceability across supply chains.

As an example of what technology can do, we built fully automated greenhouses in Japan which employ 5G-powered technology to control key variables like temperature and humidity. This intelligent farming innovation delivers to both business and sustainability objectives, improving yields while reducing energy wastage.

Promoting responsible resource stewardship

Forty percent of the earth’s land is now degraded due to modern agriculture. To help reverse this trend, regenerative agriculture serves as an outcome-oriented production model, with a fundamental emphasis on enhancing soil health.

This approach plays a pivotal role in mitigating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing carbon removal. It actively contributes to maintaining, preserving, or restoring on-farm biodiversity while conserving water resources through improved retention and reduced runoff.

Additionally, regenerative agriculture has the potential to boost yields and productivity. Simultaneously, it promotes the social and economic well-being of farmers and communities.

NTT is committed to supporting the development of regenerative agriculture and to help facilitate its adoption by the farmers so that it can be implemented at scale for the benefit of all.

Towards economic and environmental prosperity

NTT DATA—a catalyst for positive change, is cultivating a greener and more prosperous future for everyone. And as a Trusted Global Innovator, we’re ideally placed to lead this process by introducing purpose-fit digital solutions and driving partnerships across the public and private sectors.

But we are humble, and we recognize there is a lot to do. We want to keep on transforming the way we operate to become a leader in sustainable practices, not just in our industry, but globally. Together, we can achieve our shared net-zero vision and support a more prosperous global society.

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Augusto Gibernau Torres

Augusto is director, business consulting at NTT DATA Europe & LATAM. He is responsible for leading NTT DATA’s work with the World Economic Forum’s Nature and Climate initiative. He helps lead transformation projects related to sustainability, customer experience, sales effectiveness, re-definition and implementation of new organizational and operational models, operations and efficiency, strategic planning and digital transformation.


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