Newsletter July - August 2019
This is the new term in vogue in the Tech industry. Whether you are a large company, a startup or a GAFA, you must be able to demonstrate that your business, beyond its economic performance, contributes positively to the common good. In the background, it is the redefinition of the company's place and role within our societies that is at stake.
If we hear so much about Tech for Good today, it is first and foremost because the incredible development of the sector in recent years has raised important issues for our companies:
The advent of the Tech for Good concept therefore sounds, in this context, like an awareness. If Tech has been an accelerator of the effects of globalization, can it be the lever to achieve the Sustainable Development Objectives (ODD) of the UN? "For some companies, it is a question of pivoting their model, for others of making it their core business or putting their tools at the service of social and environmental objectives," says Pierre-Marie Lehucher, President, TECH IN France, who participated in a PwC study on the phenomenon in France. Proof of its growing importance: on May 15, the second Tech for Good Summit was held at the Élysée. It brought together 80 leaders of major companies, start-ups, associations and actors in the global digital ecosystem to reflect on how technological innovation can work for the common good, on themes such as: access to education, diversity, work, social inclusion and environmental protection. In France, the sector is particularly dynamic and is structured around a convergence of technology and the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE), which already represents 10% of the national GDP.
In the same way that the wave of sustainable development has known greenwashing, Tech for Good is not immune to a form of social washing, from companies that have understood the importance of appearing more virtuous but do not really give themselves the means. If the development of social and environmental rating agencies or the increased requirement for non-financial corporate transparency is a favourable ground, it will probably be necessary to go further by defining clear criteria and benchmarks. The UN SDSs appear, in this, as a draft framework.
But those who do not take the train on the move will be at risk of disappearing. As Pierre Marty, PwC Partner in charge of the Technology sector, points out: "Today, questioning its raison d'être, assessing its social or environmental impact is no longer an option and goes beyond the realm of morality: it has become a necessary condition for the sustainability of the business and the creation of value. »
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