The UNEP Digital Transformation (DT) subprogramme focuses on accelerating and scaling environmental sustainability by applying data, digital technologies and solutions to UNEP’s key activities, products and services and ultimately delivers on it’s key action areas – climate, nature and pollution.
Watch this provoking curtain raiser video on the role of digital technology in accelerating environmental sustainability and join Coalition for Digital Environmental Sustainability (CODES).
Globally, digital technologies are increasing productivity, disrupting business models and enabling innovations with profound implications for the present and the future of humanity. This digital transformation brings new possibilities; allowing us to measure and track sustainability progress, optimize the use of resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enable a more circular economy.
Early analyses suggest the benefits from digital transformation are significant, potentially reducing:
- Carbon dioxide emissions by at least 20%;
- The use of natural resources in products by 90%;
- Waste and detoxifying supply chains by a factor of 10-100X.
However, achieving global sustainability is not an inevitable outcome of digital transformation. In terms of material demands, globally, the world produces as much as 50 million tons of electronic e-waste a year, and only 20% of this e-waste is recycled. To meet the high demand for hardware, extraction of rare earth elements and other precious metals like cobalt and lithium is increasing steadily. Accelerating sustainability through digital transformation will not happen without deliberate decisions and actions.
Digital Transformation Subprogramme
UNEP has adopted the Digital Transformation subprogramme as a core part of its Medium Term Strategy 2022 - 2025. The goal is to harness the power of digital transformation to enable and shape the required information, incentives, behaviors and governance frameworks necessary for achieving environmental sustainability while mitigating the potential harms.
UNEP has identified three strategic actions to realize the Digital Transformation subprogramme. Learn more about three strategic actions that guide UNEP’s process of transformation and explore some pilots and early successes.