When we think of Information Technology (IT), we usually think of the technologies that help us do our job, that run our factories, or that connect us with our customers. But what if those same technologies have the power to do greater good and enable sustainability?
It’s not wishful thinking. Information and digital technologies like artificial intelligence and Internet of Things can provide data and insights to help address sustainability challenges around the world.
For several years, the Avery Dennison IT team has made a positive impact by reducing energy usage with more efficient computers and servers, enrolling in e-waste recycling programs, and reducing printing across sites with shared printers. In the last two years, however, IT has stepped up its commitment to sustainability by creating a strategic plan with clear goals and measures aligned to Avery Dennison’s enterprise sustainability goals.
“We were making incremental sustainability improvements, particularly in IT infrastructure, but I knew IT could contribute more. We have now established an IT sustainability program to set and measure goals on how information technologies can accelerate the company’s sustainability progress,” said Nick Colisto, CIO, on the shift within IT.
Thanks to this dedicated focus, IT has been working to create IT-enabled capabilities that advance the circular economy, and to identify new technologies and data-driven intelligence to reduce environmental impact in our operations and supply chain. Here are some highlights of recents achievements, enabled through information technologies:
- Enabling Circular Economy: Label liner waste recycling is a major opportunity. IT partnered with LGM-EU to deliver AD Circular — a platform that enables customers to recycle their label and liner waste. Knowing that speed and simplicity were primary objectives, IT identified a technology solution that allowed the development and launch of the Phase 1 portal within just two months.
- Reducing Impact of Operations and Supply Chain: Understanding energy consumption can uncover savings opportunities. IT helped implement a proof-of-concept energy management system at a manufacturing site in India Now, using a variety of sensors, the on-site team gets realtime information on energy and resource consumption, and uncover anomalies and identify reduction opportunities. Based on the success of the tool in driving energy consumption reductions, IT will roll it out to other sites across Asia.
- Transparency and Ease in Metrics Reporting: Aggregating and reporting sustainability data for a company of our size and global reach is not an easy feat. And to date, most of the data has been captured in a complex system of manually updated spreadsheets. To simplify and streamline data capture, IT is partnering with the Environment, Health, and Safety team to introduce a new global system to support environmental data capture and reporting.
This progress is just the beginning. Commenting on the journey ahead, Matthias Knaak, senior IT applications director, and IT Sustainability lead said, “I’m excited to see how information and digital technologies are contributing to Avery Dennison meeting our 2030 Sustainability Goals.”
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