76% of Indian firms to up Gen AI spend for better sustainability: IBM.

  • Indian enterprises embedding sustainability into their operations are 90% more likely to outperform peers on profitability. 
  • 63% of Indian enterprises agree that Gen AI will be important for their sustainability efforts.
  • 44% of executives surveyed cite a need for requisite skills as the top barrier to sustainability progress.

A new global study conducted by the IBM (NYSE: IBM) Institute for Business Value (IBV) has revealed significant insights into the sustainability strategies of Indian enterprises. According to the study “Beyond checking the box,” organizations stand to unlock considerable business value by reshaping the operationalization of sustainability. The study emphasizes the importance of businesses embedding sustainability into all operations rather than treating it as optional. 

Organizations in India that embed sustainability are 41% more likely to attribute great revenue improvement from their sustainability efforts and are 90% more likely to outperform their peers on profitability. The study further found that spending on sustainability reporting exceeds spending on sustainability innovation by 38% in India, indicating demand for solutions that facilitate efficient data management and reporting. Embedding sustainability into all operations will bridge the intent-impact gap for long-term value creation in business.

“In today’s business world, sustainability has evolved from optional to indispensable. With AI reshaping industries, integrating sustainability into core business practices adds to the long-term value creation. The commitment of businesses to invest in Gen AI for sustainability signals a promising move towards a greener, more prosperous future,” stated Sandip Patel, Managing Director, IBM India Private Limited. “This study not only underscores the environmental responsibility of enterprises but also highlights their readiness to leverage cutting-edge technology for lasting impact and competitiveness.”

India Highlights from the study:

Organizations continue to pursue sustainability, but funding, skilling and operationalizing actions remain challenging.

  • In India, 78% of executives surveyed agree that sustainability drives better business results, and 68% agree that sustainability is central to their business strategy.  
  • At the same time, 62% say that sustainability needs to be a higher priority in their organization.
  • 86% of executive respondents agree that high-quality data and transparency are necessary to achieve sustainability outcomes.
  • A lack of requisite skills was identified as the top barrier to sustainability progress by 44% of executives. 

Leaders in India expect generative AI to help supercharge sustainability efforts. 

  • 63% of executives surveyed agree that generative AI will be important for their sustainability efforts.
  • 76% say they plan to increase their investment in generative AI for sustainability.

Organizations that embed sustainability more deeply into their operations see benefits that can convert sustainability efforts into business value.

  • Organizations that embed sustainability spend slightly less on dedicated sustainability efforts as a share of their revenue than those that don’t. 
  • At a global level, these organizations are also 191% more likely to have aligned their data and sustainability strategies to a great extent and 80% more likely to be using AI for sustainability to a great extent. 
  • Only 28% of Indian executives surveyed are incorporating sustainability data and insights into operational improvements to a great extent.
  • Almost half (47%) of Indian organizations still struggle to fund sustainability investments.
  • 53% of these organizations globally say that business benefits are essential for justifying sustainability investments; only 17% say meeting sustainability objectives is sufficient to justify investment.

Image Source: Freepik

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