ESG goals have long been overlooked or considered only a management’s concern with infrastructure optimization sitting at its focal point. With the increased regulatory and market focus on ESG metrics and reporting, it’s time the tech world looks deeper into these issues and finds ways to lead sustainability.
In today’s digital era, software has become a key asset for businesses. However, without a conscious approach, software applications can become vulnerable, socially biased, and massive sources of carbon emissions. Incorporating even minor ESG-focused early-stage interventions into the application engineering team’s culture and strategy can yield surprisingly significant reduction in emissions.
ESG Focused Application Development
Sustainable software engineering refers to development practices that not only focuses on traditional parameters (e.g., functionality, scalability, and accessibility) of development but also consider the impact of the entire software lifecycle by including green practices and focusing on sustainability of the society and the environment.
ESG centric software development principles focus on the following aspects:
- Equal opportunity to people from diverse backgrounds
- Data security and privacy at the core of the entire software lifecycle
- Lower energy consumption and wastage
Some of the major deterrents to being ESG-centric with application development are listed below:
- Running legacy / unoptimized features driving higher power consumption
- Lack of awareness about energy efficient development practices
- Heavy reliance on the on-premise Data centres
- AI models being trained on biased data
- Deployed Applications lacking social inclusion and diversity
- Higher data breaches and leakages
- User privacy exposure risks
- Tracking short term profitability over potential long term sustainability gains
Adding ESG to application development
Studies show that the most sustainable companies are also the most profitable. Here are some of the biggest drivers for the tech industry to pivot towards ESG focused development strategies:
- A report by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative estimates that efficient IT solutions, which we call ‘greening by IT’, can help save nearly 10 times more CO2 than they emit
- 81 per cent of Technology Leaders Want Government Regulation of AI Bias (2022)
- The average total cost of a data breach is $4.35 million, including a range of post incident expenses