• Michael Birkebæk Jensen, Partner |

In today's rapidly evolving landscape, two megatrends have emerged at the forefront of change—digitalisation and sustainability. Yet, these forces are often treated as separate concepts, each with its own set of challenges and advocates, seated in separate silos. However, this should not be the case as leveraging the potential of digitalisation can solve our largest challenges today and take sustainability to the next level.

Digitainability is where digitalisation and sustainability come together to create something extraordinary. It has the potential to transform industries, propel environmental responsibility and redefine the way we do business. It is about using the power and potentials of digitalisation to advance sustainability objectives and make the world a better place and at this year’s TechBBQ, we witnessed how different companies brought this vision to life. In this blog post, we will therefore share insights from some of the key panel discussions featuring organisations that have seamlessly integrated technology and sustainability into their businesses. Let’s dive in and discover insights on how digitalisation can be a driving force for a more sustainable future. 

Insights from TechBBQ 2023

One of the key topics right now is Circular Economy, which has transformed into one of the most powerful tools within sustainability. In an interesting session with Inclusion Lead at Polestar, an electric performance car company, and the Chief External Officer at Circulor, an innovative blockchain technology provider, explored the pressing issue of transparency within supply chains. In the dynamic landscape of 2023, where the transition to electric vehicles and digital technologies heavily relies on batteries, transparency was the central topic during this session.

The panel delved into the challenges and opportunities surrounding supply chain transparency. It became evident how the lack of transparency hindered car manufacturers and tech companies from taking responsibility for their products. As batteries, the fuel of our electrified future, often source materials linked to human rights implications, the importance of safeguarding the entire value chain has become more imminent than ever. Distributed ledger technology has potential to be a key element of the solution.

Another panel discussion we would like to highlight, took a different approach to Circularity through use of recycled plastics and 3D printing in buildings. The emerging 3D-printing is a cutting-edge technology that constructs three-dimensional objects by layering material in a precise and controlled manner. It opens various opportunities in prototyping, production and customisation across different industries.

This panel, consisted of Partner at BIG – Bjarne Ingels Group and Programme Director as well as Head of Products & Portfolio from Danish AM Hub and explored the pivotal role of 3D printing in addressing sustainability challenges within the construction and building industry. This sector is responsible for nearly 40 % of global emissions and has shown limited productivity growth in recent decades, making innovation essential for sustainable urban development.

As the construction industry faces significant challenges, with its massive environmental footprint, 3D printing has emerged as a promising solution, offering a blueprint for sustainable construction. Danish AM Hub demonstrated how materials could be used more efficiently with research-backed solutions to address the industry's challenges. The collaboration between Danish AM Hub and BIG led to the creation of 3D-printed pavilions made from recycled plastic, reducing waste, and enabling customised architecture without the limitations of economies of scale.

Last but not least, another insightful panel discussion focused on small businesses in the fashion industry, being an industry challenged within pollution. This panel consisted of four successful entrepreneurs from the fashion industry focusing on the transition from E-commerce to Recommerce – an exploration of circular business models as a promising tool against climate related issues. The concept of reusing, recycling and sharing goods, offers a way to mitigate the consequences of our climate challenges today. In this session, they shared opportunities for startups to lead the change in embracing circular economies and shed light on the "how" and "why" of adopting circular business models with global implications by e.g. adopting subscription models or take back schemes.

In a world where most businesses are still far from sustainable, the experts emphasised the importance of transparency and honesty. The key message was for businesses to openly acknowledge if their products are not yet sustainable and being clear about their intentions. It is essential to set realistic sustainability goals and communicate these transparently.

As we have gathered insights from TechBBQ 2023, it becomes evident that the combination of digitalisation and sustainability can create a synergy for high impact. It is a call for businesses to not only digitalise but to do so with a commitment to sustainability.

Transparency, innovation, and sustainability are no longer just trending topics; they are the pillars upon which we should build our future, and if we harness the increasing power of AI we are becoming better positioned to do so. Let's embrace change, navigate uncertainty, and together lead a new era where digitalisation and sustainability are inseparable forces in shaping a brighter, more sustainable future. Let's embrace Digitainability.

You are always welcome to reach out if you have any questions on Digitainability and ESG related topics.