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COP28: AI Enables Organisations to Make Informed Sustainability Decisions

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Vicky Bullivant, the Senior Vice President for Sustainability at NTT Ltd, says her company wants to use technology solutions to help protect, restore, and regenerate the natural world

Please tell us about your efforts that ensure a sustainable and equitable digital future.
At NTT Ltd., we believe in using technology to enable a better, more connected future for all. Through our solutions, operations, and people, we connect the planet, economies and communities in innovative and sustainable ways that positively impact the world. We’ve set ambitious targets including net zero, biodiversity, circularity, social impact and diversity and inclusion. Using the power of our technology and our employees’ paid volunteering days, we’re committed to addressing regenerative conservation, education, and digital access across our global communities.

What is your commitment to combat climate change?
In 2021, we set out our sustainability ambitions which put us on a path to achieve operational net zero emissions by 2030. Our approach, guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and using science-based targets, focuses on three interconnected themes: connected planet, connected economy and connected communities.

We want to use technology solutions to help protect, restore, and regenerate the natural world, and conserve precious natural reserves for future generations. We intend to reduce net-zero emissions across our operations by 2030, and across our value chain by 2040. We are committed to using 100% renewable energy in all our data centres by 2030 and across our offices and other facilities by 2035. We plan to implement solutions for biodiversity on every continent where we operate by 2025 and incorporate circular design in our operations by 2026 to reduce waste and carbon emissions.

What sort of trends do you foresee in the areas of sustainability and technology?
AI plays a pivotal role in enabling organisations to achieve key sustainability goals by leveraging its capabilities in data analysis, prediction, and optimization. The applications for AI are endless because of its ability to crunch huge amounts of data, see patterns and in turn find ways to save energy.

Think of it as the brain behind making buildings and smart city infrastructure more energy-efficient by tweaking things like heating, cooling, and lighting systems. It’s not just about energy, though—AI dives into supply chains, finding ways to cut waste and make deliveries more eco-friendly. It can predict maintenance needs, which means machines run better, and we waste fewer resources fixing things.

AI enables organisations to make informed decisions for eco-friendly manufacturing, product innovation, and policy implementation, thus significantly advancing sustainability initiatives. The path to Net-Zero requires effective automated collaboration across complex ecosystems. Digital and AI-driven solutions make this possible at scale. They are crucial pieces in the puzzle to address climate change and build a planet-positive society before time runs out.

How do you envision your role in shaping a more sustainable future in 2024 and beyond?
Technology and digitalisation play a crucial role in driving decarbonisation and steering us towards a more sustainable future. It acts as a catalyst for change across various sectors, leveraging technology to optimise processes, reduce waste, and enhance efficiency.

By collecting and analysing vast data sets, digitisation provides critical insights into energy consumption, emissions, and resource utilisation, guiding targeted efforts toward reducing carbon footprints.

Digital tools streamline operations, supply chains, and transportation networks, curbing waste and enhancing resource management. Digitisation isn’t just about efficiency; it fuels innovation, empowers consumer awareness, and aids policymakers in implementing data-driven strategies, all crucial components in steering our global community towards a more sustainable and eco-conscious future.

How are you aligning your sustainability initiatives in line with the themes of COP28?
Our approach is guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through a materiality assessment, we’ve identified the areas where our people, operations and solutions can have the greatest impact across our three interconnected themes of planet, economy and communities.

Prarthana Mary

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