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What IT leaders should do now to prepare for ESG Standards

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What IT leaders should do now to prepare for ESG Standards

Corporate Investors are applying increasingly non-financial criteria such as governance, environmental, and social to evaluate companies. These elements are likely to be included in future IT audits.

Although companies are not legally required to disclose ESG results and initiatives in financial reports, more companies are doing so because investors ask for it. This new ESG focus is partly driven by climate change concerns, but investors are also interested in corporate workforce diversity initiatives, how companies treat their employees, customers, and data.

Depending on the investor, it could be important to know if the company has a diverse workforce and board, whether there are employment opportunities for foreign labor force, how the company reduces its carbon footprint or what it does to reduce carbon emissions, or how secure the company keeps customers’ confidential information safe.

IT’s Role in ESG

IT is a key component in achieving ESG for companies, as data centers, information handling processes and employee hiring practices all form part of IT.

When sustainability became more important, large enterprise buyers asked their suppliers to submit annual sustainability reports.

To show the greatest gains in sustainability suppliers immediately targeted their IT data centers. They realized that they could reduce data center floor space as well as power consumption by quickly virtualizing storage and servers. They would be able to satisfy large enterprise customers and keep their revenues and contracts intact by virtualizing their IT data centers.

Since then, the role of corporate IT in sustainability and ESG has expanded.

E-commerce is facilitated by more automated systems. These include the return and exchange of products, as well as the communication with company personnel regarding billing issues or product problems. Although corporate functions such as sales, warehouse, billing, and other related areas may technically be in charge of these processes, the actual processing (and sometimes glitches!) often involves systems. IT is responsible for them. Many problems that are linked to ESG will eventually end up in IT. This is why IT leaders and CIOs need to be involved.

What IT can do now about ESG

If the CEO, board, major investor, investment company or IT auditor have not yet knocked at IT’s door, it’s coming.

Here are four steps IT can take in preparation for ESG:

1. Integrated IT sustainability

Most companies have already virtualized storage and optimized data centers for energy efficiency. But with IoT and edge technologies expanding into business processes, there are new IT sustainable options.
Transportation and logistics companies must track the driving habits and mileage of their trucks. IT uses IoT devices and sensors to do this. These assets can communicate with an IT network to track, monitor, and act on driving statistics. While they are being transported, sensors also monitor the environment (e.g. temperature, humidity) for meats, produce and computer components. All of these systems are important for sustainability. IT should be able to track, quantify and measure them and provide reports.

2. Digitalization

A major and easily quantifiable sustainability goal in digitalization is the elimination of paper documents, as well as the reduction of floor space for paper document storage. Both of these contribute to energy savings.

Digital automation has reduced the risk of injury in the field for workers in industries like mining and oil and gas exploration. Drones and automated assembly lines can perform much of what humans used to do.

The more IT can reduce employee exposures to safety hazards, then the better it can contribute to ESG. These safety hazard reduction successes should be tracked by CIOs and reported to the CEO, board and investors regularly.

3. Diversity in hiring

Most of us remember Amazon’s failed AI hiring algorithm that discriminated against female job candidates because the algorithm was trained by looking at past Amazon hires who had mostly been male.

If your company uses AI in hiring, it is important to consult HR to check for bias in AI hiring software and to make sure that biased training data is not introduced into rules and algorithms.

The other area of diversity in IT is itself. Is your IT staff and IT management team diverse?

4. Governance

In April 2021, the personal data of 533 million Facebook users was made public on a Facebook online forum. Customers are alarming and data breaches like these can lead to major damage to a company’s brand and value.

A data breach is inevitable. The CIO is often called upon to answer questions from investors, the board and the CEO. This is a difficult and potentially dangerous position for any CIO. It is also a risky one. Every CIO should ensure customer data security and privacy is a top priority.

What’s Next?

New Tools Measure Green IT, Sustainability Success

Quick Study: Sustainability and ESG

8 Real Ways CIOs Can Drive Sustainability, Fight Climate Change

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

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According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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