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Real-time sustainability data for real-time action

Ulrika Lagerqvist von Unge

Senior Sustainability Manager

Our new Sustainability Data Hub helps customers monitor and report on their sustainability performance in real time. Swedish alcohol retailer Systembolaget is now using the hub to track a common set of metrics for its strategic IT suppliers.

Many companies now set sustainability targets and monitor their performance towards achieving them. This is typically a quarterly or annual exercise that involves gathering, analysing and reporting historical data.

The problem with this approach is that there is often a time lag between intent and impact. When a company only assesses its sustainability performance with historical data, then it may not spot early opportunities for course correction when targets are not being met.

This is the challenge Tietoevry is now addressing through our new Sustainability Data Hub – a methodology that shows our customers their sustainability performance in near real time.

Better data, smarter decisions

“A lot of companies are struggling with getting access to quality sustainability data. They may spend a lot of time collecting it, but by the time they’ve done so the data is often outdated,” says Tietoevry Senior Sustainability Manager, Ulrika Lagerqvist von Unge.

“We saw this is a problem for companies wanting to set ambitious targets. If you can’t track progress, it’s tough to build a good roadmap. So our technology and business consultants came together to create the Sustainability Data Hub,” she says.

Taking the hub into use starts with a strategic scoping exercise where Tietoevry works with a customer to identify the relevant parameters, metrics and data-collection intervals. Then comes a technical phase that focuses on automating the data collection. This is followed by visualising the collected data against the agreed metrics and targets. Analytics and scenario modelling can be added too.

“In addition to reducing the time spent on manual data collection and improving decision-making, the hub is also aimed at easing compliance with both current and upcoming sustainability legislation and frameworks. It enables more frequent sustainability reporting too, meeting stakeholder demands for improved transparency,” says Lagerqvist von Unge. 

Building a culture of sustainability

One of Tietoevry’s early customers for the hub is Sweden’s state-run alcohol retailer Systembolaget. The project began with Tietoevry illustrating its own carbon footprint for the IT services it provides to the company. But it soon mushroomed to include Systembolaget’s eight other strategic IT suppliers too.

Now the Swedish retailer is using the hub as a way to build a common culture of sustainability among these suppliers, setting up carbon-emission KPIs in three areas: servers, office hardware, and consultancy services.

Systembolaget IT Strategist Harald Fragner says the project is part of the company’s broader aim of building a culture of supplier cooperation.

“Our long-term goal is to get our suppliers to work well together, as we believe a strategy of cooperation is a better approach than one of competition,” says Fragner. “So we went into this thinking about how we can start creating an atmosphere of common goals for all suppliers. As sustainability is equally important to everyone, we were delighted when Tietoevry offered us this platform. It encourages just the kind of cooperation we were looking for.”

Systembolaget’s IT suppliers range from a global cloud- services provider to a small app and front-end UX developer. Recognizing that each supplier has different approaches towards sustainability, the company is taking a soft approach to introducing the hub.

“We’re not yet setting hard targets for any of the suppliers, as they each have different starting points. This initial introduction of the Sustainability Data Hub is about creating awareness and action. Then we will continuously improve and refine the approach,” says Fragner.

Read more about our sustainability work here.

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