The second BNP Paribas Sustainable Future Forum (SFF) was held in Paris on 17 October, gathering over 70 speakers and 151 organisations, as well as over 400 participants from 24 countries around multiple interactive panels and keynote speeches.
The BNP Paribas Sustainable Future Forum's panellists discussed how they rely on new technologies and data to manage their sustainable roadmap.
The "Digital, Data and Sustainability" panel focused on the positive impact of tech innovation when channelled to build a fairer future as envisioned by the UN SDGs.
Moderated by CIB's Head of Change Management, Constance Chalchat, the panel discussed the importance of drawing on digital technologies – especially in the field of data analytics – to create the conditions necessary for corporates, governments and society to achieve their sustainable goals. Experts participating in the discussion included:
- John Revess, Head of Sustainability at ABB
- Janet Ranganathan, VP Science & Research at the World Institute Forum
- Esther Hougee De Vet, Executive Director of Research at Sustainalytics
- Karin Halliday, Senior Manager Corporate Governance at AMP Capital
The importance of accurate reporting and measurements as a core driver of change was illustrated by the panellists, drawing from both their professional and personal experiences. As an increasing amount of data is gathered and analysed, insights can be derived with ever more accuracy, driving better decisions and faster transition. The participants stressed the intrinsic link between data and sustainability. As Constance Chalchat, Head of Change Management at BNP Paribas, remarked, "What gets accurately measured gets accurately managed."
Better reporting and greater transparency, coupled with better insights, help keep corporates accountable for their actions and their decisions. As sustainability reporting becomes increasingly pervasive, civil society can increase pressure on companies to accelerate the sustainability transition and the underlying required changes in business models.
Digitalisation and sustainability are two faces of the world of tomorrow. The importance of data analytics also served as a wedge to introduce the debate about how technological innovations – often led by data-centric mindsets – will play a key role to fuel the sustainability transformation. Digital-driven disruptions of old business models and improvements of productivity and efficiency will help smooth the transition and therefore enable bolder and stronger initiatives.
The panellists closed the discussion by reiterating their view that changes were well in motion, driving behaviours of individuals, governments and corporations, and that better data and enhanced transparency and reporting will be one of the key drivers of this transformation.
Watch the panel highlights: