Across the world, people are demanding greater progress on sustainability and expect businesses to step up their act. The “No Planet B” study conducted by Oracle with Pamela Rucker, CIO advisor, instructor for Harvard Professional Development surveyed over 11,000 consumers and business leaders across 15 countries found that people are fed up with the lack of progress society is making towards sustainability.

While 78% globally and 82% in India are frustrated and fed up with the lack of progress by businesses to-date, 93% in India believe it’s not enough for businesses to say they’re prioritising Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). They need to see action. While 93% of global respondents believe sustainability and social factors are more important than ever, in India that figure stands at 97%. Even within the country, it is the younger generations — millenials and GenZ — that are more focused on ESG.

The greater focus on ESG gained dominance over the past two years. While 80% of global respondents said events over the past two years have caused them to change their actions, in India it is much higher at 95%.

Kaushik Mitra, senior director, Cloud ERP, Oracle India, says: “Creating a sustainable culture does not necessarily require a lot of effort, time or money. Where to start or how to measure success at implementing sustainability measures is something that every sector is discussing.” Businesses have begun to use the cloud, AI, machine learning and data analytics to improve their corporate sustainability activities.

Not surprisingly, in India with a much younger population, there is greater support for technology with 96% believing businesses would make more progress towards sustainability and social goals with the help of AI against 84% globally. Also 83% of Indian respondents believe bots will succeed where humans have failed, while it is 61% at the global level.

Mitra goes on to add that “the combination of human and machine intelligence can create more meaningful change in sustainability and social efforts.” The benefits are already on display. Using the Oracle Transport Management solution, Unilever reduced kilometres driven, improved load optimisation (3%) and cut carbon emissions (9%) which helped the global FMCG major build a more sustainable supply chain.

Says Satish Sharma, President Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Apollo Tyres: “Sustainability is at the core of our business, and we are looking to tackle it in multiple ways. Improving efficiencies in the supply chain can certainly make an impact. We are trying to set up an integrated supply chain and the underlying foundation of this is data which when strategically integrated using automation and transport management applications over cloud, will help us in proper optimisation of transport of our finished goods.”

Says Kapil Mahajan, Group CIO, Safexpress: “We are committed to sustainable growth by reducing the carbon footprint through ‘Go Green’ initiatives. Our adoption of Oracle WMS platform was pivoted around agility and sustainability achieved via paperless operations, increased accuracy and efficiency of our overall logistics operations.”

The survey was conducted across the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, China, India, Japan, Australia, UAE, Brazil, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Singapore and the Netherlands. That included 1,000 respondents from India.

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