Accenture and Microsoft are working together through their joint venture Avanade to tackle climate change, which is one of the most important and urgent problems for both businesses and people. The three companies are currently focusing on providing solutions to help organizations change their operations, products, services, and value chains to help speed up the move to net zero. In the future, they will broaden their focus to include other environmental, social, and governance (ESG) challenges.
“Increasingly, as all stakeholders look to business to move from commitment to action on environmental challenges, companies that embed sustainability across their enterprises can become a powerful force for change. Our partnership with Microsoft and Avanade will help organizations find new value at the intersection of technology and sustainability – from embracing green software development principles and sustainable cloud migrations, to digital twin technology adoption – to drive stronger performance and competitiveness, and make progress on their decarbonization goals and their journey to net zero,”said Julie Sweet, chair and chief executive officer of Accenture.
The companies are investing in the co-development of innovative solutions that are built and designed from the start to release less carbon over their entire life cycle. They are also offering advisory services to help businesses reduce carbon emissions, speed up the switch to new energy sources, and reduce or eliminate waste of limited resources like water, food, and raw materials.
“Operating sustainably has become a source of competitive advantage, enabling organizations to increase efficiency, accelerate growth, and lead with purpose. By combining our expertise with Accenture and Avanade, we have an opportunity and responsibility to deliver innovative solutions that will empower organizations to achieve their sustainability goals and drive lasting environmental change,”said Judson Althoff, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Microsoft.
With the powerful combination of Accenture Sustainability Services, Avanade’s human-centered digital experience, the Microsoft Cloud, and each company’s strong data and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, the expanded strategic partnership will address both horizontal and industry-specific sustainability challenges to help drive impact and deliver new value.
“The world is at an inflection point where organizations are expected to play an active role in addressing sustainability issues. Now more than ever, technology is key to accelerating environmental, social and governance goals and enabling organizations to be sustainable through continual change. We’re excited about the opportunity to help leaders leverage the power of people and technology to take practical sustainability actions that make a genuine human impact,”said Pam Maynard, chief executive officer, Avanade.
Through the expanded strategic partnership, the companies will work together to build on what they already do well and come up with new services that they can offer together in four areas:
Digital Manufacturing Transition – Organizations that make things need to quickly set up and grow the digital foundation of each production site and network of factories. Joint offerings will help people get more use out of their assets and put in place business models that make circularity possible. They will also use digital twin technology to cut down on emissions, waste, and the amount of materials, water, and other resources used in production and operations, as well as to make the whole value chain more transparent. In a study by Accenture and the UN Global Compact, 44 percent of CEOs around the world said that digital twins will have a big effect on sustainability in their industry in the next five years.
Low Carbon Energy Transition – Seventy-three percent of CEOs told Accenture and the UN Global Compact that they feel more pressure over the next three years to act on sustainability. To do this, businesses have to change how they work all along the energy value chain. By connecting and integrating energy infrastructure to develop carbon intelligence and change customer offers and business models to support low-carbon energy experiences, joint offerings will help companies make the move to a net-zero economy.
Green Software Engineering and Microsoft Azure: Two Ways to Make IT More Eco-Friendly -Organizations want infrastructure that uses less energy and gives them more control over their workloads and business agility. Accenture research shows that moving from on-premise data centres to the public cloud can cut an enterprise’s energy use by 65 percent and its carbon emissions by more than 84 percent. New solutions on Microsoft Azure include developing strategies and evaluating current IT infrastructure, designing and testing solutions, taking a carbon-aware approach to migration and green software engineering, and making continuous improvements and transforming businesses with a low-carbon cloud as their base.
Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability: ESG Measurement, Analytics, and Performance – Faced with more regulations and demands from stakeholders, organisations need to be able to act quickly on new ideas and build sustainability into the design of new products and services. The focus of joint solutions will be to provide sustainability intelligence for value chains. This will be done by helping to break down silos and provide data-driven insights so that clients can not only track and report sustainability metrics, but also take action. Accenture research shows that companies with consistently high ESG performance score 2.6 times higher on total shareholder return than other companies.
“Sustainability technologies and services need ecosystems of partners to refine and scale solutions. They must quickly set the benchmark for others to follow given how far behind most organizations, industries, and governments are in aligning under the global sustainability context of decarbonization and addressing all 17 UN Goals. Ecosystem collaboration, like this one between Accenture, Microsoft and Avanade, will not only help to refine and scale solutions, but also help to solve the data and transparency challenges which organizations frequently cite to us as major barriers to their sustainability journeys,”Josh Matthews, industry analyst from HFS Research, added.
This new strategic partnership builds on what Accenture, Microsoft, and Avanade are already doing together to help the environment. For example, they are pioneers in the Green Software Foundation, which is building a trusted ecosystem of people, standards, tools, and practises for green software development. Accenture and Microsoft have also worked together on a project called Project Amplify, which has helped dozens of start-ups with a focus on social impact and sustainability by giving them access to new technology and expertise to help scale their solutions.
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