At DAIN Studios we’re pleased to announce that we’ve signed the UN Global Compact. We have a shared responsibility to create a better world, and joining the network reinforces our commitment to sustainability.
As a data and AI consultancy, we believe in designing new solutions for our customers that’ll not only help us reach the GHG net zero targets but also bridge the gap to a brighter, smarter, and greener planet of the future.
The AI industry can contribute to global sustainability in two ways. Firstly, we can focus on energy consumption—optimizing our processes and lowering our carbon footprint. Secondly, we can redouble our efforts to discover next-level innovations which will fine-tune the production process and reduce energy consumption in the economy more broadly.
Delivering a better planet for today and tomorrow
To reach CO2 net zero and other sustainability targets we must commit to high-impact solutions. But the context is challenging. Agenda 2030 goals are further away now than at the beginning of this decade.
Climate change has contributed to natural disasters, extreme weather conditions, and increasingly scarce access to water and arable land—problems which have been a factor in a number of conflicts.
In addition, the outbreak of war in Europe has had a devastating human cost, and the continuing geo-political uncertainty has accelerated an energy crisis which has challenged both the global economy and the green transition. In many industries the strategic priority of companies has been to recognize the scarcity of resources—finding the resilience to quickly adapt to unexpected events.
In the Convention on Climate Change (COP27) UN Secretary-General António Guterres spoke for many when he remarked that drastic action must take place now. “The world still needs a giant leap on climate ambition,” he said.
At DAIN Studios our desire for a better world goes beyond climate change. We believe in the protection of human rights, the provision of proper working conditions, and the battle against corruption.
For the business community, this commitment is enshrined in The Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact.
The framework is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.
Here is the list of principles:
Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and
Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation
Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
Chasing the green transition
The Capgemini Research Institute found that 45% of companies with net zero targets use emissions data only for mandatory reporting without embedding it in wider decision making. In 2022, the study showed that just 43% of organizations had set short term targets to support their net zero ambitions.
Particularly in light of the current energy crisis and unstable global prices, we anticipate that the trend towards sustainability will gather pace as businesses take urgent action to modernize their production and logistics capabilities. AI and data analytics will prove vital—offering important gains in the search for the optimal use of resources and net zero emissions.
Some have said that the current energy crisis means we need to delay the transition to a green economy. On the contrary, it’s precisely because of the energy crisis and the scarcity and rising price of energy that sustainable solutions should be prioritized. Already many companies have taken important steps towards carbon neutrality, and this should be applauded.
In order to meet climate standards, ESG commitments and carbon accounting requirements—fluctuating energy prices and challenges in the supply chain make it increasingly crucial to monitor the sustainability of goods production and distribution.
Moving from fossil fuels to green energy is an example of the changes required, but resource efficiency goes beyond energy efficiency. We not only need to use raw materials carefully, but also invest in recycling and explore new business opportunities that exist in the waste and side-streams of production. Also, in some instances, there are opportunities to create completely new types of products that lead to further improvements still in resource optimization. AI and analytics will empower companies with informed decisions that have higher impact for reaching the goals.
In all sectors, the decision to go green requires re-thinking business plans. This is especially true when—as is the case now—there are challenging economic headwinds.
Innovations require a flourishing society
We shouldn’t just see the push for a greener future in terms of the traditional parameters of cost, performance risk, and economic profitability.
Sustainability is also about new technology. At all stages, we need to make sure that we maximize the potential of AI—creating the conditions for the most intelligent business process solutions. To this end, we need to nurture the data literacy and data fluency skills that make it all happen.
That’s why it’s important to remember that innovation and learning will only flourish when society is flourishing. We must cherish human values such as an equal right to education and equality in both education and employment. In short, labor rights and good social conditions for employees goes hand-in-hand with the objectives and responsibilities of businesses.
The World Economic Forum recently indicated the need for, “using the unique power of cross-sector partnerships to solve complex and interconnected barriers to economic, racial, and environmental justice.”
As we look ahead to a better world, anti-corruption measures are also essential. National and international laws need to include clear, focused guidelines for organizations so that we meet the principles of best practice.
AI as a tool for optimal good
AI requires ethical oversight so that the technology is fair, transparent, objective, and neutral. Once secured by the proper foundations, the technology can work to guide decision making in corporate social responsibility. This includes fraud prevention and auditing best practice.
At DAIN Studios we know the value of data maturity for companies. We also know the importance of AI in the promotion of sustainability. New technologies improve business processes and help to create the scenario for more profitable and efficient use of resources. In this search, our trained models can give objective guidance in even the most delicate decisions.
As we chase data impact for our clients—our commitment to integrity, transparency, and compliance is total, and we sign up to the United Nations Global Social Responsibility program.
Learning through the EcoVadis certification scheme
In pursuit of a more sustainable future, DAIN Studios has also participated in the EcoVadis assessment and certification process for the second year.
The EcoVadis ESG assessment has a similar focus to the UNGC, but it’s designed specifically for business operations. Areas covered include general social responsibility, labor and human rights, the environment, ethics, and sustainable procurement.
In the first EcoVadis analysis, DAIN Studios Berlin achieved a bronze medal. The second assessment was enlarged to cover other DAIN sites in Münich, Helsinki and Vienna. During this evaluation we obtained a score of 60/100. This meant we won a silver medal—a result which places us among the top 25 percent of companies assessed by EcoVadis.
The EcoVadis certification scheme has helped us improve how we work. In general, the evaluations have helped our teams come together—sharing inspiration and focusing minds on best practice.
Here are a few specific examples of learning:
1. After talking about it, we understood the need to have a written code of conduct that reflected how we should go about business.
2. Another area of focus has been the recycling of electronic waste. As a young growth AI consultancy the amount of electronic or other waste we produce is small, but our teams realized that developing guidance on recycling was still an important issue for our employees.