The Key Sustainability Priorities for Technology Product Managers

June 07, 2022

Contributor: Lori Perri

Prioritize investments in sustainability to drive product and service adoption and growth.

Almost all organizations are increasing investments in sustainability initiatives so technology and service providers must develop and deliver solutions, services and IT/digital infrastructure that enable their organizations to meet sustainability goals.

“Sustainability should be a cooperative effort between technology providers and customers, with each sharing responsibility for enabling sustainability outcomes,” says Ed Anderson, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner.

Download now: The Top 3 Strategic Priorities for Tech Product Managers

Investments in sustainability are on the rise

Organizations are increasingly investing in sustainability to achieve practical outcomes meant to be explicit and measurable, but often less tangible than other types of business outcomes.

According to Gartner survey data, by 2025, top benefits from sustainability programs will include increased company brand/reputation, improved resource efficiency, innovation and new products, higher customer satisfaction/engagement and better risk management/mitigation. 

Gartner research shows top benefits to tech product managers of sustainability programs

Learn more: Your Guide to Building a Sustainable Business Strategy

Sustainability priorities for technology product managers

You play a key role in enabling sustainability outcomes by:

  • Developing and delivering products and services that help your organization achieve its desired sustainability outcomes.
  • Ensuring that customers consume and operate product and service offerings using sustainability best practices.

Some technology providers have been criticized for sourcing technologies from suppliers that do not meet sustainability standards across environmental, social and economic dimensions. When products or services cannot be produced sustainably, other mitigation strategies can help, such as supporting initiatives to offset the impact of production like carbon offsetting.

To ensure your organization meets sustainability goals:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to sustainability principles in your product and service offerings by publicizing goals and progress against metrics.
  • Account for sustainable practices in the delivery of products and services by demonstrating adherence to standards through the supply chain associated with product and service offerings.
  • Capitalize on increasing investments in sustainability by prioritizing and highlighting benefits of specific product and service offerings.
  • Make the sustainability value proposition explicit by documenting and demonstrating economic, environmental and social benefits of the product and service offerings.
  • Highlight sustainability benefits in marketing campaigns to help customers recognize the specific outcomes they can expect from their providers.
  • Enforce sustainability standards through all suppliers associated with your product or service offerings.
  • Deliver a value proposition that customers can use to communicate the benefits of the product or service to meet their needs and requirements.
  • Provide product or service documentation highlighting sustainability benefits with pertinent metrics.

In short: 

  • Sustainability investments increasingly support practical outcomes, such as growth, profitability, improved competitive position, stronger outside investment potential, employee retention, decreased costs and social standing.
  • Leverage increased investments in sustainability by prioritizing the inclusion of benefits during the tech-product development phase.
  • Sustainability ultimately falls to each organization and cannot be outsourced. Technology providers and customers should work together in a shared responsibility model where both contribute to sustainability outcomes. 

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