Many companies are reducing their emissions, but only 38% rate their efforts to date as very successful, say AWS.

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

December 12, 2022

3 Min Read
2050 Net Zero Emissions

An overwhelming number of European organizations have set emissions reduction targets in an effort to reach net zero by 2050.

Research released Monday shows 96% of firms in energy and utilities, financial services and manufacturing are reducing their emissions. However, the research indicates this is just the beginning of a long journey. Only 38% of business leaders surveyed rated their decarbonisation efforts to date as very successful.

Atos and Amazon Web Services (AWS) surveyed 4,000 businesspeople in France, Germany, Spain and the U.K. The report looks to establish a link between going “cloud first” and benefitting from a reduced carbon footprint. It suggests that three in four business leaders believe cloud technology will accelerate their companies’ journey to net zero by two years or more. However, one-fifth of the organizations were yet to go cloud-first.

Overcoming Obstacles to Net Zero

Obstacles to businesses’ decarbonisation journeys include the impact that rising costs and economic uncertainty are having on their budgets. Firms also cited the fragmentation of their internal data sets and insights.

More than one-half of businesses cite ‘accurate and reliable data’ as one of the top three elements that they would find most helpful in the implementation of their carbon reduction plans.

Just over one-half are measuring emissions scopes 1, covering direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. The same applies to scope 2, covering indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by the reporting company. Less than one in 10 cover scope 3, which includes all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain. Just 14% are setting targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative for all three emissions scopes.

Slightly at odds with these findings was the high level of confidence among business leaders in their ability to control GHG emissions. Three-quarters reported being confident of achieving their carbon reduction targets.

The Role of Technology

Among the countries in scope, businesses in the U.K. and Spain are slightly ahead of the average in their decarbonisation initiatives.

Almost one-third of businesses surveyed said their technology solutions could improve. One in five said they lack the appropriate technology to see through their plans. Three in four (75%) business leaders admitted that an emissions measurement tool would improve their environmental impact reporting.


Coleman Parkes’ Stephen Saw

Stephen Saw is director of Coleman Parkes Research, which conducted the survey. He said a standout finding was the level of commitment to net zero among European businesses leaders. The other is cloud service providers’ role in helping them achieve their targets.

“Around 70% of organisations have invested in cloud solutions to advance their sustainability programs,” he said. “And those that have digitalised all or most of their sustainability initiatives are most confident about hitting their decarbonisation targets.”


AWS’ Christopher Wellise

Chris Wellise, director of sustainability at AWS, said cloud offers “nearly any company or public body a less carbon intensive way of managing their IT. Around three in four business leaders see the cloud as accelerating their journey to net zero emissions by two years or more.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Christine Horton or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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