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Here’s how digital technology helps insurers achieve sustainability goals


Carriers must use digital technology to drive initiatives that counteract threats to sustainability, while also improving the management of these resources.


Digital technology is one of the strongest forces insurers have available in their quest to create a sustainable future. Nearly 75 percent of CEOs in all industries invest in digital solutions to meet the challenges of sustainability.

This great commitment to digital technology is in our research with the United Nations Global Compact. About 65 percent of CEOs consider the fourth technology for industrial revolution (4IR) as critical to addressing sustainability challenges such as socio-economic inequalities. 4IR technologies include digital advances, such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and quantum computing.

Transporters need to use their digital resources to identify and implement initiatives that can counter threats such as climate change, environmental pollution and social injustice. At the same time, they should improve the management of these resources. Smart resource management can help grow digital businesses, such as insurers, to reduce carbon emissions, conserve energy and reduce waste.

Manufacturers looking to transform themselves into sustainable insurers need to harness the dual potential of digital technologies.

Smart sustainability initiatives deliver impressive results.

Insurers can use their digital resources to promote their own sustainability initiatives. For example, they can use data analytics and geo-maps to help clients manage environmental risks. Alternatively, they can fund sustainability initiatives that rely on digital technologies. Insurers’ opportunities to finance such projects are many. I think the initiatives below are particularly innovative.

  • Banyan Nation in India uses mobile communication technology and cloud platforms to encourage plastic recycling. It connects thousands of waste collectors with plastic recyclers to produce packaging materials.
  • British company Winnow is working on AI and analytical technologies to help chefs in commercial kitchens cut waste. The company’s intelligent solution reduces food costs by up to 8 percent per year. It claims to have helped divert $ 42 million worth of food from landfills and save more than 60,000 tons of carbon emissions.
  • AMP robotics in the US has developed an intelligent robotics system that uses AI to identify and extract recyclable materials from landfills and construction sites. The company’s AI platform, which runs its robotic devices, can recognize colors, textures, shapes, sizes, patterns and product labels to determine if items can be recycled. AMP claims that its systems have recycled a billion recyclable items from waste materials.

Cloud processing improves sustainability.

Insurers who want to better manage digital technology resources to help them achieve their sustainability goals should consider migrating more of their workload into the cloud. In my recent blog series, “Accelerating in the Cloud,” I discussed some benefits that insurers enjoy when they move critical applications into the cloud. Improved sustainability is one of the benefits that is often overlooked.

I’m impressed with the extent to which cloud computing can improve sustainability. We research shows that organizations migrating to the cloud can reduce their energy consumption by 65 percent and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 85 percent. Such sustainability benefits have significant financial benefits. Migrations to the cloud can result in total cost savings of ownership (TCO) of up to as much as 40 percent.

The more a business is committed to cloud computing, the more it improves its sustainability. The illustration below shows the profits that insurers can make by increasing their use of cloud deals. For example, by moving from a conventional enterprise environment to an infrastructure-as-a-service platform, they can reduce their carbon emissions by as much as 84 percent. If they increase their commitment and design their applications specifically for the cloud, they can limit carbon emissions by as much as 98 percent.

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Greater use of cloud computing helps sustainability in another way. Most of the major cloud computing service providers have set aggressive sustainability goals. The more their cloud businesses grow, the greater their contribution to sustainability.

  • Microsoft set its sights on becoming carbon negative within ten years. It is already carbon neutral. By 2050, he hopes that the equivalent of all the carbon it has established since 1975 has been removed. Users of its Azure cloud platform can watch the carbon emissions associated with their own workload.
  • Google plans to ensure that its data centers do not contribute to carbon emissions by 2030. Earlier this year, Google achieved a net carbon footprint. By buying high quality carbon offsets, it has destroyed all the carbon it has produced since its inception in 1998.
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) uses advanced energy management systems at its data centers to improve the sustainability of its cloud infrastructure. He claims that the cloud operations are more than three times more energy efficient than the US data centers.

In my next blog post, I discuss some of the innovative approaches insurers use to address the challenges of sustainability. Until then, check out the links below. You will find a lot of useful information on sustainable business practices. Or send me a message. I would like to hear from you.

The decade to deliver: the study by the CEO of the UNGC Accenture Strategy on Sustainability.

The Green behind the cloud.

Disclaimer: This document is for informational purposes only and does not take into account the reader’s specific circumstances, and may not reflect the latest developments. Accenture disclaims, to the extent permitted by applicable law, any liability for the accuracy and completeness of the information in this presentation and for any acts or omissions based on such information. Accenture does not provide legal, regulatory, audit or tax advice. Readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal advice or other licensed professionals.
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