Digitalization and sustainability are the megatrends of our time. However, companies have considered them together far too seldom. Yet strategic interaction promises great potential for companies. We asked ISM alumnus Santosh Wadwa, who holds the position of Head of Product Channel Sales at Fujitsu, how digitalization affects corporate sustainability management, what digital sustainability can look like and what approach Fujitsu is taking.
Santosh, what do you think is the importance of sustainability for companies?
Sustainability is the topic of the present and the future - both for the end consumer and for companies. The days when sustainability was just a marketing slogan are over. Sustainability ensures the growth of companies, as awareness of marine pollution, waste of resources, global warming - to name just a few - becomes increasingly important and conscious. Companies that jump on this bandwagon in time will continue to operate successfully on the market in the future. However, ecological awareness - both in Germany and worldwide - must become much stronger in this area. Topics such as environmentally conscious action, sustainability and intelligent resource consumption must be pushed much more strongly in order to reduce global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius and thus shape a future worth living.
Currently, digitalization is accompanied by a considerable consumption of resources and causes environmental and climate damage due to short product cycles and high energy use. In your opinion, is sustainable development slowed down by digitalization or do new technologies actually promote it?
Digitalization is the key to a sustainable world. Detailed, coordinated data analyses uncover optimization potential in companies and expose wasteful processes and activities. And, incidentally, the company saves money in the process.
How does digitalization affect corporate sustainability management?
Digitalization and sustainability management are not contradictions. Rather, these topics should go hand in hand. For example, data-driven production cycles can conserve resources, sophisticated office and data center solutions can save energy, efficient logistics analyses can minimize CO2 emissions, optimized raw material searches can reduce transport routes, and so on. This is good for the environment and at the same time easy on the entrepreneur's wallet.
What do you see as the biggest challenge for companies in terms of digital sustainability?
As often, the biggest barrier in companies is the fear of change. After all, new processes, changed procedures, detailed analyses and much more certainly mean that the usual, daily activities change. In addition, a higher initial investment is often necessary, which makes the topic of digitalization questionable. However, relying on the right IT specialists, such as Fujitsu, a high level of digitalization pays off not only in terms of sustainability, environmental protection and cost reduction, but also in the increased value of the brand name. The future belongs to companies that make the difference in the market through digitalization and sustainability.
Recently, Fujitsu in DACH received an award for its corporate social responsibility measures. What are the key approaches at Fujitsu for digital sustainability?
The Fujitsu Group has always been seen by society as a trustworthy and responsible company through its products and services. We live in a time when we are all facing major changes. That is why we at Fujitsu established a new Sustainability Management Committee in April 2020 to drive a sustainability-oriented management approach.
Fujitsu is respected worldwide for its social, ethical and environmental initiatives. For example, we have been recognized and highly rated for years by various European and global organizations and committees such as EcoVadis, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, the SRI Index of FTSE4Good Index Series and many more. For us, sustainability, social justice, diversity and corporate responsible business go hand in hand and are core to the company's DNA.
Santosh Wadwa graduated from ISM in 2005 with a degree in International Business. In the last semester of his studies, he got the opportunity for a scholarship from Fujitsu Siemens as well as an offer to work as an executive assistant. Since starting his career, he has held various positions at Fujitsu, including Account Manager and Sales Director. In his current position as Head of Product Channel Sales at Fujitsu Central, he is responsible for a sales division with around 200 employees in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, who generate revenue with Fujitsu solutions in both the key account and midmarket segments.
How companies can strategically combine the two megatrends of digitalization and sustainability will be discussed by ISM professor Ulrich Lichtenthaler and the speakers at the Campus Symposium on November 18, 2021. For more information on the Campus Symposium and how to get one of the last tickets, click here.