Digital Sustainability - The Start

2018-02-16, 16:09 Posted by: Andreas Carlberg

My journey around the topic sustainability started over 20 years ago where I took a class in Environmental Engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology. It was certainly only a basic course, but the content included the theory that human behavior creates the global warming but we also discussed different dilemmas and back then there were researches who claimed that the theory that humanity contributes to the warming was a major scam. While many of my classmates chose to dive deep in the subject of environmental engineering and sustainability, I chose to immerse myself in IT and Management. I landed like many others at the end of the 90´ in an American Management firm. For the last 20 years I have been working as an IT & Management consultant leading and participating in various digitalization transformation program in industries like Automotive, Professional Services, Retail and Constructions.

Today I work as a senior advisor and sales manager. I am skilled within IT, Leadership and Sales. In IT, I started as developer coding different websites, ecommerce solutions and integration platforms. I continued my journey as project manager and have been leading transformation programs in everything from CRM, ERP-solutions to Innovation apps. I have had different leadership roles over many years and I truly believe in walking the talk and leading by example. Luckily, I have been part of so many high performing teams and have learned that tools like feedback and reflection can make the difference that really counts and creates leverage. Last but not the least, in Sales I have proven to be an energic marathoner with a high ambition to really help others.

One saying is “Polletten har trillat ner” meaning “The counter trickled down” and it basically means that I finally got it. Until now it has been hard for me to articulate a value proposition to clients helping them become more sustainable and to become net positive.  Why is that? I suppose one thing is that the offerings my previous jobs have had didn´t really address this topic. A second is knowledge of course. Today I can see myself skilled with a value proposition for digital sustainability.

One saying I often use is ”...There is no digital business anymore. Any business must be digital...” and I really believe the same is true for Sustainability. My point is that I don´t see that you can treat sustainability as an isolated topic and report your work in a sustainability report anymore. This is not enough and want fly. You need to integrate in your overall strategy and operations. For me that is Digital Sustainability!

I would like to share learnings from a leading company in the travel industry I met the other week. The executive management team has decided that sustainability is one of 4 pillars that should carry the company in the future. They have just started to set a firm and long-term framework for sustainability. They call it the new brand promise and the person I met was very clear that they need to be very selective in the investment they make so they don´t end up in a situation that they are more sustainable today than yesterday but it doesn´t last until next week. Good insight I think. In general, for consumers in the travel industry, the personal impact is expected to be significant as travel becomes a seamless frictionless, higher-quality experience. The opportunity is huge of course and if you want to make a real footprint you better formulate a clear strategy, invest in key individuals and groups both from a bottom-up and top-down perspective because like in all other change program the biggest obstacle is people reluctance to change.

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About this blog

Every day we can read stories about digitalization and that we are in the early stages of the 4th Industrial revolution which is bringing together digital, physical and biological systems. The 4th Industrial revolution is about Digitalization and Sustainability and it´s on all worlds and corporate´s leaders’ agenda.

It is happening, it is a fact. There is an increasing understanding that we all need to act to create a future for us and for the generations to come, a future for tomorrow. The great thing is that we all are part of this.

In this Digital Sustainability blog, I would like to share my personal experience and reflections from meetings I have with clients discussing opportunities and their pains in general and digital sustainability.

Andreas Carlberg

Key Account Manager

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