From using battery technology to store wind and solar electricity to feeding the world’s 1.5 billion cows a seaweed diet, technologists and scientists alike are building a greener future. But can today’s businesses also make a difference while still earning a profit? The two goals aren’t as distant as they might seem. As organizations race toward their sustainability deadlines, innovative technologies are making their operations not only greener but also smarter, safer, and more efficient than ever.
Energy companies are on the front lines of this revolution. So how can they thrive while keeping their promises to the planet? By understanding their stakeholders’ shifting priorities; harnessing the power of new technologies; and tapping into a growing network of energy innovators.
Let’s take a closer look.
Understand how regulators—and regular customers—are prioritizing climate change.
Twenty years ago, ESG reports didn’t exist and “global warming” was a distant threat that businesses could choose to ignore. Those days are long gone.
As our understanding of climate change has evolved, so has pressure on organizations to adopt sustainable practices and be transparent about their progress—creating the need for new technologies to measure, manage, and report on environmental impacts.
Much of the pressure is market-driven. In the U.S., large companies often disclose environmental actions and goals in their financial filings and cite business risks associated with accelerated climate change. The SEC has proposed new regulations that would require even more comprehensive climate change disclosures from all publicly traded companies, making it mandatory to track and report on carbon commitments. Though it’s unclear which specific regulations will pass, the writing is on the wall: tougher rules are coming. Corporate boards, activist investors, regulators, and the public all expect more transparency from energy producers.
That creates a powerful financial incentive (or urgent imperative) to go green. However, even for companies that aren’t traded on Wall Street, the math works in favor of protecting the planet. Globally, 85% of consumers say they’ve already become “greener” in their purchasing habits—even if it comes at a higher price. In the U.S., 42% of consumers are willing to pay an average 37% premium for sustainable products and services. Companies that proactively pursue more planet-friendly operations will be well positioned to lead in this lucrative new market. In fact, addressing climate change may prove quite profitable. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) found that beyond benefitting the planet, climate-related innovations lead to increased efficiency, drive new technology, and lower risk—all of which stimulate investment and create healthier economies.
Use technology to track your climate progress and unlock new value for your business.
With so much scrutiny around climate commitments, it’s critical to have tools and processes that provide insights into operational efficiency, electric and gas consumption, and how you’re performing against your ESG targets. They’re necessary not just for tracking performance but also for proving it, under audit, as required. This can be daunting, though, especially for energy companies struggling with legacy IT platforms, systems that don’t talk to each other, and data that delivers hindsight instead of foresight.
Energy solutions giant Mitsubishi Power wanted to streamline operations and gain better insight when they turned to Launch by NTT Data for help transforming their power plant technology. Our solution, TOMONI Voice, is an expert blend of UX, UI, voice technologies, custom hardware, and mobile and backend development that delivers much more than just an effective way to manage energy consumption. It’s a blueprint for the intelligent energy company, utility, or manufacturing plant of the future.
At its core, TOMONI Voice provides a single point of entry to data needed to manage and report on a plant’s performance—and it lets plant managers and operators access that data through simple voice or touch commands, paired with instant notifications that flag risks before they become reality. Similar to apps that monitor home-energy usage in real-time, TOMONI Voice expands this concept for large and complex industrial environments. With a few words or a simple swipe on a customized, user-friendly dashboard, operators can see how a specific equipment is performing; pull up maintenance materials and instructions; and gain predictive insights that increase power plant efficiency and profitability.
On an even broader scale, Launch by NTT Data created a holistic platform for Aramco, the world’s largest energy company, that provides unprecedented visibility into the carbon footprint of global oil supply chains. Aramco envisioned a user-friendly, web-based experience that makes technically challenging Well-to-Tank emissions data engaging and inviting, and our custom dashboard delivers all that and more. From crude oil extraction and shipping to refinement, disparate data sources are consolidated and visualized globally, identifying carbon intensities and surfacing insights through AI-powered analytics. Individual country operations can even see their CO2 emissions, creating environmental transparency and flagging primary sources of emissions for carbon management. It’s another example of how digital technology improves environmental performance and advances climate policies that recognize differences in crude oil carbon intensity.
Don’t walk alone; tap into the energy ecosystem to reach your carbon goals.
If the examples above make you feel behind the curve, don’t panic. We’re seeing a growing pattern of organizations coming to us saying that they’ve made carbon commitments to be net-zero by 20XX and the solution they first implemented isn’t working. With climate promises coming due, they’re turning to us as experts in the innovation and utility space to help them apply technology to gain insight into their energy consumption—and serve up those insights on clean, customized dashboards that their operators will actually want to use.
Smart external partnerships can also let you focus on running your core business while keeping your carbon commitments. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) keeps a list of locally-based U.S. power and utility green energy programs here; and leading energy companies like DTE offer a turnkey solution for tracking, paying for, and marketing the success of your carbon reduction initiatives.
While new technology can help you efficiently manage your sustainability processes and progress, you must balance innovation with a realistic assessment of your business goals. An ecosystem partner can be an asset as you research, experiment, operationalize, and scale your energy initiatives. A partner like Launch by NTT Data can even run your innovation program alongside your in-house team. We’ve found that smart investments in an innovation strategy—coupled with a disciplined program and proven, disruptive technology—generate value up to 5x faster than maintaining the status quo.
Take action today to gauge your readiness.
As the urgency around climate change intensifies, making a difference and making a profit can go hand in hand. The following questions can help guide your organization’s next step:
- Do we have the people and processes in place to meet our carbon commitments?
- Are we treating sustainability as a one-off initiative or embedding it into our daily operations and digital strategy?
- Are we listening to the voice of the customer to guide our energy efforts?
- Are we harnessing the power of AI to proactively track and manage our energy use?
- What would our “dream dashboard” for energy data and management look like?
At Launch by NTT Data, we’re having conversations like this every day with clients and ecosystem partners. Together, we’re pushing the boundaries of digital innovation and connecting companies with data and tools that turn their carbon commitments into a competitive edge. We’d love to be part of your journey toward planet-friendly profits.