We used this assessment tool to benchmark survey participants and identify EcoDigital champions, as well as laggards. But for individual companies, the E-DAI can be a powerful diagnostic: a pulse check on how they are leveraging digital to advance sustainability. It reveals what businesses are doing well and what they could be doing better.
PLAN. With a baseline in hand, companies can start developing a roadmap for becoming EcoDigital champions. While routes will vary, the most effective have a common bearing: developing capabilities—and value—steadily, through use cases. These are the new products, applications, or processes that help optimize the company’s environmental footprint (or that of the broader ecosystem). Two examples are analytics that forecast energy use and a platform that collects sustainability data from suppliers.
It is essential to get the sequence right—the order in which to implement use cases. Quick successes that are relatively easy to launch and generate clear value can create momentum (and funding) for more ambitious use cases. The right sequence also helps companies build capabilities in a steady, savvy way. EcoDigital champions consider feasibility and value-creation potential when prioritizing use cases, but they also emphasize: "What can I build today that helps me build what I need tomorrow?"
A cross-functional approach, where business and technology leaders come together to align on strategic goals, sustainability opportunities, and technology enablers (including emerging and deep tech) helps ensure that businesses develop the right use cases in the right order.
DELIVER Avoid putting use cases on hold while deploying green IT. The faster companies launch products, even in an early form, the sooner they can create both economic and environmental value. That’s why we recommend a parallel approach: greening the foundation while developing use cases, instead of before.
For many companies, green IT has been a weak spot. While champions, on average, achieved a score of 76 (out of a possible 100) for sustainable technology, laggards came in at just 21. And across participants, we see a broad mandate for improvement: a 42-point gap between where companies were in 2022 and where they hope to be in 2025. A parallel approach—creating value while greening the foundation—can generate the momentum needed to meet that ambitious target.
IMPROVE. Transformations are dynamic. Companies that succeed continually measure performance and adjust as necessary, using fast, frequent cycles of feedback, analysis, and recalibration. EcoDigital champions look to raise their ecosystem as well as themselves, participating in (and even launching) initiatives to set standards and share best practices. This kind of wide-scale cooperation can foster sustainable supply chains, circularity, and other paradigms for mitigating environmental impact—sparking wins for company and society alike.
Now is the time to make sustainability and digital a joint priority. The sooner companies embrace this new approach to digital transformation, the faster they can close the gap between where they are on sustainability and where they want to be. It’s a goal worth reaching. EcoDigital champions can create an advantage for themselves—and an even bigger one for the planet.