A Microsoft study developed together with The European House • Ambrosetti positively evaluates the impact of digital in Italian sustainable development: according to research, digital will contribute to reducing up to 10% of emissions compared to 2019 levels between 2020 and 2030. The impact is equal to the incremental impact of renewable energy.

The…Digitalization and sustainability study for the recovery of Italy has set itself the objective of investigating the contribution of digital to sustainable development, identifying its scope and quantifying its impacts on its different components for Italy in the context of the post-Covid-19 recovery

A change of pace on the decarbonisation of our society is also needed in the light of the renewed target of reducing CO2 emissions of 55% to 2030 recently adopted by the European Commission. In parallel with the social impact, the trend of inequality is to be reversed: since 2008, the value for Italy of the Gini coefficient, which measures wealth inequalities, has increased by 12% (4 basis points in absolute terms) and 2020 is

From a survey conducted by the working group of The European House • Ambrosetti on a sample of more than 200 companies, the new forms of distance work (64% of the sample) and collaboration (59% of the sample) are perceived as the main

Synergies between digital and sustainability

The study identifies synergies between digital transformation and the different components of sustainable development.

On the economic sustainability side, the study shows that digitised companies gain an important benefit on labour productivity compared to companies that have not yet implemented digital transformation paths (+64% for Italian companies, compared to +49% for European companies).

As regards environmental sustainability, the Working Group of The European House • Ambrosetti has built a proprietary model to estimate the contribution of digital to decarbonisation. The model shows how digital will be one of the most important weapons for the green transition, with an impact by 2030 equal to the incremental one of renewable energies. Overall, it is estimated that between 2020 and 2030 digital will contribute to reducing up to 10% of emissions compared to 2019 levels (37 million tonnes of CO2 annually).

In terms of social sustainability, the study clearly highlights that the adoption of new models of collaboration is the main lever of action through which companies can contribute to the well-being of people, social inclusion and inclusion of territories. In the survey conducted on more than 200 Italian companies, the new forms of distance work (63.7% of the sample) and collaboration (59% of the sample) have been indicated as the main levers through which digital can contribute to social sustainability.

The survey data

64% of the companies interviewed consider environmental sustainability as one of the pillars of their vision. Environmental sustainability that is declined according to different meanings: for 59% of companies environmental sustainability means efficiency of internal processes, for 39,6% implies renewal of their products and services in a sustainable perspective, 5% of the sample also indicated the need for expertise and

The small and medium-sized enterprises are reduced: only 47% of SMEs consider sustainability to be a cornerstone of their mission (67% of large companies alone). 50% are redesigning their internal processes in order to make resource consumption more efficient (69% of the large ones). The main efforts of small enterprises to implement sustainable development dynamics are mainly concentrated in the selection of supply chain (50%) and, surprisingly, in the creation of professional figures ready to act change. Small businesses, in essence, bet on people and capabilities \\green \\ throughout the chain.

Enabling change in a sustainable way is the presence of a digital-oriented business culture. To support this is 42% of the companies of the sample; to follow, the presence of processes that allow to fully exploit the digital (24%) and the right skills to create value from the digital assets in the company (21.5%).

Factors, these three, which look together refer to the maturity of the digital business and new technologies. A digital corporate culture, which integrates technology into its value chain and strategy, is therefore prepared to exploit its value beyond simple efficiency, but also, for example, to innovate products and services and record positive impacts on the territories of activity

Research also shows that more than 86% of companies have implemented or programmed digitally enabled sustainability measures. The remaining 14%, which has not yet implemented or planned sustainable implementations, reflect on the still disabling need for funding to support green transition and digitisation, sustainability-oriented governance and more streamlined procedures to which the PNRR,

Again, however, the size of the company is a significant variable: the share of small companies that leverage digital to increase their level of environmental sustainability is halved compared to large companies (38% versus 69%), respectively.

Reduction of movements (71.2%), process dematerialisation (68.4%), more efficient operations management (50.9%) and increased monitoring activities (49.1%) are the main factors that the companies interviewed contribute to improving the level of environmental sustainability.

Microsoft and Ambrosetti’s proposals

In light of the evidence, the study contains three concrete proposals developed by The European House • Ambrosetti together with Microsoft Italia and addressed to policymakers and companies.

Enabling the right/duty to digital training through a new Deal of skills: a plurality of indicators indicates the lack of digital skills as the key weakness of the Italian industrial system.

Sancircular rights to digital as a lever for social inclusion and reduction of inequalities. Post Covid, the United Nations reports a cross-cutting deterioration in indicators related to Sustainable Development Goals, with impacts on three fronts: economy, health and education. As the data on poverty trends in our country for 2020 confirm, the number of people in absolute poverty has increased from 4.6 to 5.6 million individuals, with an increase of 22.8%. This reflects the severity of employment developments, which means that between January and December 2020 there was a fall of -1.1% for men and -2.7% for women. But perhaps even more significant is the increase in the number of inactive: people without work but who, discouraged by the crisis, renounce to seek employment: +2.6% for men and +3.7% for women.

To identify shared standards to measure the impact of companies among the many existing ones: to also channel private world energies towards the construction of sustainable production and consumption models, we need to develop shared methodologies for the quantification of the environmental and social impacts of all business activities.

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