Corporate Responsibility

September 2023 Sustainability Reflections: Investments, AI, and Partnerships Will Lead to Progress

Headshot of blog author Julie Kae wearing a black blouse and sporting blonde shoulder-length hair.

Julie Kae

4 min read

Group photo of attendees around a conference table

Every September, world leaders, business executives, investors, NGOs, and global citizens descend upon New York City to learn and discuss progress towards building a sustainable future for all. Although there was much excitement and energy surrounding the UN General Assembly and Climate Week this year, there was very sobering news that more must be done if we expect to achieve the goals set out by the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Climate Accords. Coming off the hottest summer on record that has extended through September, there is great concern surrounding our collective will to act fast enough.

Though these concerns are valid, throughout the week I was struck again and again by the hopeful tone in the meetings that I attended and our own events with partners. My reason for optimism is tied to what I see as great energy and progress in three key areas: growth in sustainable investment, the power of AI, and great collaboration through partnership.

Qlik was proud to attend and host multiple events in our New York office with key partners in September. Alongside our partners Climate Vault, SustainChain and the United Nations, we explored the realities of meeting the UN 17 SDGs and Paris Climate Accords. In these meetings we discussed the vital role financial investment will play in accelerating change, how AI can be a catalyst to fuel needed solutions, and the importance of expanding partner ecosystems to spur action towards achieving the necessary targets.

Increased Sustainable Investment

I was fortunate enough to attend sessions hosted by HSBC, where the organization stressed the vital role of the financial industry in accelerating climate action through investment. Funding for new and innovative sustainable solutions is must, since no one technology or approach (e.g., carbon capture or renewable energy) will be enough to meet our global climate goals. Significant investment is vital to getting new solutions to market faster, and I applaud HSBC for their $1 billion financing commitment to supporting early stage climate tech companies.

Driving Change With AI

Qlik hosted a number of business leaders alongside our partner Climate Vault for an event, “Take on the Global Energy Challenge: Leveraging AI and Data to Achieve your Climate Goals.” Dr. Michael Greenstone, Co-founder of Climate Vault and former White House Economic Advisor for President Obama, joined us to showcase real world examples of how organizations can make meaningful progress through measuring their own data, sharing that data with other organizations, and leveraging AI to model how their programs can evolve to achieve faster progress towards carbon reduction. It was so inspiring to hear attendees discuss at length how they can apply AI to their efforts and how they can better collaborate through data for collective action.

Growing Sustainable Partnerships

It’s crucial that we can more easily connect and build solutions with communities and existing alliances to achieve the UN SDGs. That’s what is so exciting about Qlik’s partnership with SustainChain! Leveraging AI capabilities from Qlik, SustainChain launched their Davinci Mission control platform that “dynamically identifies the missing resources, partnerships and funding needed to make critical progress on sustainability and climate change projects — all in real time.” Our hope is this type of solution will bring organizations together so their sustainability efforts will result in 1+1=3.

In addition to the efforts listed above, we are committed to our continued support of the UN Secretariat and agencies like the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and World Health Organization (WHO) as the entire ecosystem looks to move forward their use of data, analytics, and AI to identify gaps and direct action.

Although the headlines may seem alarming, the events in September showed there is urgency and commitment by leaders across all sectors to achieving targets for a sustainable future. We should remain optimistic and stay focused on creating a positive impact both individually and through our own organizations.

Despite global challenges, we must remain optimistic and build commitment from all corners to realize significant progress towards sustainability goals.

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