Highlight Report

Atos launches COEs, converges decarbonization technology and services

June 22, 2021

Atos makes it clear: it wants to be the leading provider when it comes to decarbonization solutions. Seven new centers of excellence (COEs) for decarbonization solutions are opening, with two more on the horizon, continuing to bring together technology, services, and knowledge from the Atos ecosystem.

Throughout the sustainability services ecosystem, technology and services of all kinds are rapidly converging into holistic enterprise propositions; HFS is mapping this ecosystem as it rapidly develops – and it becomes clear that service providers hold many of the keys to sustainability whether its via strategy, technology, their implementation, or ongoing managed services.

The Atos acquisition of EcoAct, which we highlighted in October 2020, marked the beginning of the accelerated development of the sustainability services ecosystem, alongside Atos’s own decarbonization advisory, technology, and service capability. Alongside launching seven new COEs, Atos will aim to build its talent pool of climate experts from 230 dedicated professionals to 500 by 2022. Currently, it has over 500 decarbonization clients, of which 45 include contractual obligations for Atos to reduce the emissions footprint of its own services (thereby helping to decarbonize its clients’ indirect emissions).

Sharing knowledge, best practice, and innovation is critical for all forms of sustainability – including decarbonization

A core function of Atos’s new COEs will be transferring knowledge globally. The seven COEs are located in New York, Montreal, London, Munich, Paris, Lyon, and Barcelona, with COEs in India and Singapore planned to be opened by the end of 2021. In addition, new partnerships with universities, energy and utilities firms, factories, and regional climate advisory groups will further expand expertise and offerings.

The COEs combine business advisory (decarbonization strategies aligned with industry and business-specific challenges), and platforms facilitating the reduction of emissions and environmental impacts through digital technologies. In addition, “nature-based solutions” involve Atos working with partners and customers on their trajectory to net zero through worldwide carbon offsetting projects; Atos is very much taking an ecosystem approach.

Atos’s combination of technology and services into holistic sustainability solutions mirrors an accelerating demand in the market. As enterprises aim to collect, present, and analyze data in one place to improve their environmental impact analysis and decision making, Atos is offering tools, advisory services, and frameworks allowing enterprises to measure, monitor, report, and improve their overall sustainability performance. By using common frameworks, Atos can help multiple customers with benchmarking, improvements, and best practices.

The Atos approach to decarbonization starts with the advisory capability acquired through EcoAct to set strategy and ambitious targets at upper management levels; Atos stresses it treats sustainability as a business, not a technology, conversation.

Atos’s decarbonization platforms incorporate automation and personalized services to track emissions and enterprises’ overall trajectories, as well as aiding the selection and managing of offsetting activities. Atos will combine automation, IoT, AI, and analytics into its new platforms and wrap its solutions with the right frameworks, policies, and climate knowledge. For example, hybrid cloud services will aim to reduce the footprint of storage and computing workloads. Additionally, automation of data capture, analysis, and reporting can eliminate the currently manual sustainability data access, collection, and reporting across different regions, forms of emissions, and including the process of validation. Employees benefit as this frees up their time to focus on higher-value decarbonization work.

Industry-specific decarbonization solutions are emerging at pace

Atos is outlining the industry-specific applications of its sustainability portfolio – and promises its portfolio will only expand. Atos plans to keep developing the pool of horizontal solutions its customers can leverage for their decarbonization efforts.

For Innocent Drinks, Atos built a carbon-neutral factory (the aptly named “Blender”) by incorporating sustainable computing and storage, data gathering and analytics, energy and resource monitoring, and integration with the manufacturing process and supply chain. Other examples across a variety of sectors include increasing employee engagement in sustainability, smart meter rollout for energy efficiency improvements, digital twins for manufacturing process improvement, and decarbonizing a firm’s services portfolios.

Siemens is another showcase example, outlining how sustainability services are converging into holistic enterprise propositions:

Our goal is to build a sustainability cloud for all our operations to bring our KPIs into one space – with automated data collection and broader process transformation.

Rainer Karcher, Global IT Sustainability Director, Siemens

An Atos and Siemens roadmap from January 2021 through September 2022 looks at greening IT but also, along with the expanding sustainability services ecosystem, using “IT for green”:

  • Greening IT: Carbon dashboard, IT services emissions measurement, equipment carbon labeling in ordering portal, IT refurbishment efficiency, carbon data collection, digital decarbonization assessments for all sites, strategy and best practice definition and communication.
  • IT for green: Sustainability reporting support, KPI/sustainability data cloud, digital twin support, carbon data collection support for businesses, sustainability app implementation, employee engagement and IT sustainability ambassador circle, product carbon and environmental footprint declaration dashboard.
The Bottom Line: Digital and sustainability transformation is converging

The environmental impacts of digital are being increasingly scrutinized and mitigated, and digital is being used to get enterprises onto a roadmap to decarbonizing their entire operation.

Many sustainability services providers are aiming to create one-stop-shop approaches for their enterprise clients… but at varying levels of maturity. Atos is within the leading pack – and others are or will follow – in creating holistic sustainability solutions from consulting through to execution, incorporating technologies and managed services.

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