Just One In Five UK Organisations Have Integrated Sustainability Into Their Business Strategies

Kyndryl (NYSE: KD), the world’s largest IT infrastructure services provider, in collaboration with Microsoft, today announce UK findings of The Global Sustainability Barometer Survey ahead of Earth Month in April. The study, conducted by Ecosystm, finds that while almost three quarters (74%) of UK organisations place a high strategic level of importance on sustainability, only one in five (20%) have actively integrated sustainability into their strategies and data. 

 The UK is currently predicted to miss its 2050 net-zero goal, and it’s critical that businesses act now using technology to drive sustainable solutions. The study found that while 92% of UK organisations see technology as key to achieving sustainability goals, higher than the 80% globally, under half (45%) believe they are making full use of IT in their organisations. 

 AI has been highlighted as key technology to support with achieving sustainability goals. Over half of UK businesses use AI to identify opportunities to lower their carbon footprint (53%) and monitor energy usage emissions (51%). Almost half (49%) use AI to predict future energy consumption based on current data, but a similar number (47%) see integration of AI solutions with existing systems as a challenge to manage sustainability data. 

 Key UK-specific highlights of the survey include: 

  • The main drivers of sustainability in UK organisations are to reduce energy consumption (42%) and cost and access to funding (42%). 
  • UK organisations are turning to consulting firms (61%) or system integrators (48%) to develop their sustainability capabilities, while a significant percentage are looking at improving their internal capabilities (53%). 
  • Half of organisations (51%) see the role of technology in sustainability to support workplace digitisation for a hybrid work strategy. 
  • To support adoption of sustainability, organisations would like to see the UK government increase training and upskilling opportunities (43%) and provide detailed actions plans with clear accountability (43%).  

 Employee investment is a key priority for organisations, with 56% turning to employee education and training as an environmental measure undertaken by organisations, after customer programmes (57%). There is a disparity in the UK, with employees in the bottom three stakeholders advocating for sustainability (25%). Sustainability measures to engage employees, such as Kyndryl’s Carbon Literacy programme, are key initiatives to promote education and training amkynong employees. 

 The Global Sustainability Barometer study, conducted by Ecosystm in collaboration with Kyndryl and Microsoft, was conducted among 1,523 technology and sustainability business leaders across 16 countries in Asia, EMEA and the Americas. The survey took place between September – October 2023. The survey was conducted across nine industries and included small to medium as well as global companies. Learn more about the study, “From Vision to Impact: The Global Sustainability Barometer.”