Tech investment crucial to making the green grade says O2

British boardrooms have a huge appetite for sustainability post recession, but many are being forced to ditch their corporate social responsibility commitments as they lack the technology and expertise to justify the commercial benefits, according to a new report released by O2 today.

Half (46%) of public and private sector leaders will double the funds currently allocated to sustainable strategies, but with budgets still under tough scrutiny, more than a third (36%) admits they will be forced to turn away from sustainability in the next two years. Of those turning their backs, one in three argues that they don’t have the technology to demonstrate ROI resulting in it failing to fly internally.

The findings show that technology will be crucial to meshing sustainability with core business, with four out of five (79%) of senior executives believing that investment in new technologies will be fundamental to meeting their long-term sustainability objectives.

Of those committing additional budget, a third (31%) say they will use new technology to trace, monitor and report on their performance and a similar number plan to use the latest in tech to create a real time picture of their environmental footprint.

The findings come as the Government rolls out a mandatory scheme that legally requires all organisations that spend more than £500,000 a year on electricity to monitor their emissions and purchase allowances for every tonne of CO2 they admit. Any organisation that does not comply faces stiff financial penalties, and a new league table in 2012 will name and shame the worst carbon offenders.

Ben Dowd, O2 business sales director, said: “Our report proves that success and sustainability go together, and new regulation will only focus attentions. Yet sustainability will only gain real traction when boardrooms have the tools to prove its commercial benefit and this presents an opportunity for the technology sector. State of the art products hold the answer with energy monitoring, and expert consultancy just some of the ways we can give British boardrooms the confidence they need to make sustainability part of their profit improvement plans.”

O2 continues to lead the way in providing products and services to help corporate customers save energy and drive efficiencies, working with partners across the UK and Europe to provide connectivity, architecture and platform capabilities.

Research by The Climate Group, ‘SMART 2020’, predicts that by 2020, the mobile telecoms sector can use its services to help cut global emissions by around five times its own carbon footprint. That equates to a staggering €600 billion (£475.2billion) in saved costs.