*Sustainable Digitization in Unlocking Economic Development: Advocating for Green Transition.*By: Professor Ojo Emmanuel Ademola
In today’s economic actualisation, robustness is anchored on creating competitive advantages overall, and strategically by Sustainable Digitalization (SD).
With SD, the facilitation of a robust economy is more of an acceleration to develop global solutions for electronic data interchange (EDI), compliant electronic invoicing and digital value-added tax (VAT) reporting, electronic long-term archiving, and the integration of applications based on efficient SaaS models as envisaged within governance frameworks objectives or organisational frameworks for creating competitive advantage.Noteworthy, a World Bank Group’s support for the African Union’s Digital Transformation for Africa aims for every African person, business, and government to be digitally abled and indeed active by 2030.
In Nigeria, digital economizing remains a key prerogative, as the World Bank report noted that Nigeria has made some strides to intensify the country’s digital transformation space. Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017–2020 (ERGP) identifies the need for a digital-led strategy to make the Nigerian economy more competitive in the 21st century global economy.
In 2015, the Nigeria Communications Commission offered the shift of the economy into a digital economy through assets in digital infrastructure, and more specifically broadband, which is a key driver of digital economy growth. Nigeria’s international connectivity is well-developed, and there are new digital platforms available such as the Central Portal for Government Services, and cloud-driven economy-boosting platforms. Currently, under the current administration of President Tinubu, nearly all the ministries are rejigged with the digital transformation elements for sustainable development.
So, Nigeria is also unhesitating to universal education, including providing digital skills training and development, and it is cottage to several high-growth digital companies.
The trend has been three years since 2020, The upping of digital transformation as a tool to achieve SD speaks to creating competitive advantages across every governance outcome and organisational indication for growth.
Such a transformation approach is indeed gaining exponential traction globally, particularly, in the global southern nations.The making of technological advancement to facilitate every possible action of transition could turn such an approach into the formation of competitive advantages.
Outcomes could then trigger further robustness in economies as well as enable SD to help stimulate, for example, a Green Transition to sustaining development in a more directional procedure. Such a context could reinforce the working definition of SD as governance or organisations’ ability to use digital technology to improve sustainability.
Whatever could make such a definite approach become visible with furthering the tools of digital transformation to achieve competitiveness should be handled by stakeholders’ technique for achieving productive competitiveness.
It is a strategy that involves using digital tools and processes to make sustainability improvements, such as reducing environmental impact or increasing resource efficiency of such creativeness.
With AI and Data Analytics, today’s data could very much be trudged into credible intelligence, and that could revolve around such data unwinding into data creating data with SD. As exemplified by the European DIGITAL SME Alliance, the transformation must be kept up, lasting both ecologically and organically.
The Alliance is the largest network of small and medium-sized ICT companies in Europe, characterizing over 45,000 companies in total, and by extension, expanding the clustering of competitiveness, and as such a proliferation of satisfied solutions even in the delivering of bounties of democracy and sustaining solutions for further economic development.
It is consequently conspicuous that digital sustainability must signify that digital technology is usually sustainable. For example, the Report on Sustainability in Spain 2021 by Fundación Alternativas infers that to fulfil an ecological and just shift of the production system, it is necessary to rethink the model, taking advantage of the development of digital technologies in production techniques.
This conclusion can be figured out to the rest of the economies as well remain portable to impacting governance approach, particularly in the aspiring global south nations working towards creating competitive advantage with the wider application of Sustainable Digitisation of their economies.
With this adoption’s advocacy, the question could then arise of what are some things that a company or government can do to be more sustainable. Life itself has always been strengthened to go around and maintain the ability to be nurtured for further expansive outcomes.
For instance, the impact of paper consumption on the environment and how the paper industry has a significant environmental impact, both in stints of the resources used to produce paper and the trash generated by paper consumption. Taken from such a transformation, per Greenpeace, nearly half of all wood yielded for industrial uses is used to produce paper.
Much of this paper is used for issuing invoices. Precisely, the Billentis report entitled “The e-invoicing journey 2019-2025” evaluates that the global market yields 550 billion invoices per year. This figure is predicted to expand fourfold by 2035. According to a 2019 study, only around 10% of all invoices were exchanged electronically, totalling around 55 billion. Subsequently, the e-invoicing solutions have a direct impact on relieving paper consumption, reducing CO2 emissions, and lowering fossil fuel pollution by eliminating mail transportation.
What is a transformational solution to benefiting robustly from SD if a similar appropriation perpetuates globally? Extensively, considering a similar tendency, there are important benefits for businesses due to boosted system efficiency and reduced costs derived from lessening of errors due to process automation; Reduction of processing times; Increased security and confidentiality of operations.
Essentially, such technology reduces paper and toner consumption, so that digital signatures, digital storage, and digital conservation of records can remain digitally enforceable. The goal is to lessen dependency on paper and facilitate the use of electronic document generation and swap throughout the oversight process.
Without a doubt, these arrangements offer institutions a paperless way of thinking that, past the eco-accommodating name, infers a better approach for carrying on with work. CO2 outflows and emissions are significant issues faced by society today.
They are a main source of environmental change and hurt human well-being and the climate. There is a requirement for deliberate activity to decrease discharges and moderate their belongings. The furthering of this could assuredly afford governance approaches and organizations a paperless philosophy that, beyond the eco-friendly tag, there should exist positive implications of a new way of doing business with the conceding fact that CO2 emissions are significant ongoing concerns globally as they are a leading cause of climate change to spirally hurt human health and the environment.
The advocacy remains on the increase that there is an urgent need for concerted action to reduce emissions and mitigate their respective effects. As per evaluations, digital technologies can add to the decrease of worldwide CO2 outflows by around 15%.
The additional worth option of Cloud computing can assist with diminishing outflows by giving a determined setting, and climate for applications, stages, and programming. The reception of Cloud, distributed computing could assist with keeping away from the discharge of more than one billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) somewhere in the range of 2023 and 2026 simulated, and as per information from the International Data Corporation (IDC).
Generally speaking, Cloud alliance kind of distributed computing could help governance and or organisations in light of its additional highlights of availability to the virtual climate; Refreshing of the arrangements; Versatility of arrangements; Cost reserve funds; and Corporate obligation to supportability.
The utilization of advances in business creation, and applicable reframing in various areas of the executives and creation can address ecological, social, and administration issues.
As mindfulness develops and regulation changes, organizations are being compelled to go to lengths to lessen their environmental impression. Consequently, this could seamlessly combine more moderate utilization of energy, water, and paper, as well as advancing the utilization of reasonable energy sources. In other words, it means that more sensible consumption of energy, water, and paper, as well as the promotion of the use of sustainable energy sources, could help to factor the active indices that may even emerge from quantum computing ten or twenty years down the line exponentially.The requisite for benefiting from SD entails a couple of steps:Firstly, the setting of targets should aim at reducing waste and emissions. Complete elimination of waste should be a constant within the balancing or counterbalancing option.
Such a step will elucidate the various target’s schedules with all expected deliverables. Secondly, there should be a need to measure the amount of waste and emissions produced. For standard, Randstad, a leading human resources enterprise, aims to attain zero emissions by 2050 to lessen its functions and recover them through counterbalancing its environmental actions.
The scaling technique could further boost the processes for a robust competitive advantage overall.Thirdly, every commitment to innovation and creative outcomes could be revved as a decision to speed up decarbonization efforts attained in 2019, which could result in achieving targeted results with a further mark of lowering Scope 1 and 2’s CO2 emissions by 50% and Scope 3 emissions by 30% by 2030 depending on the trending escalation by SD on one hand and adding values exponentially to improve global competitiveness on the other. Whatever happens, it is a win-win strategic outcome.
What’s more? The usefulness of sustainable digitization is multi-dimensional. The environmental benefits include environmental protection, Climate action, Nature conservation and circularity. Centrally, the future of work will dictate the accessible elements for further improvement of business management as this could become increasingly attainable. These include: Cost savings; Efficiency; and Improved competitiveness. The social benefits entail Company transparency; Traceability; Improved production processes and enabled teleworking.In conclusion, Sustainable digitization should begin by involving the appropriate application of digital technology to the governance framework and or the corporation’s sustainability objectives.
Governance and businesses should come up with associated benchmark partners in the development and provision of EDI and associated solutions, that accompany institutions in their digital transformation process. There are diverse solutions to stimulate the integration of the digital ecosystem of business applications in the Cloud as well as formulating relevant blockchain technology as the world awaits the storm of Quantum computing by implication.