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In 2019, the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) published an important report on Digital Sustainability “Digital with Purpose: Delivering a SMARTer 2030.” According to the study, 103 of the 169 Targets set by the UN Sustainable Development Agenda are directly influenced by technology and there is already evidence of its potential positive impact.

In particular, an analysis of 20 Targets and their indicators shows that the implementation of existing digital technologies will help accelerate progress toward sustainability by 22% and mitigate negative trends by 23 percent on average.

The study also highlights that carbon emissions are still growing around the world, inequalities in society and lack of access to basic services persist, and the economy continues to consume natural resources at unsustainable rates. At this rate, the world will not be able to achieve the sustainable development goals, so urgent action needs to be taken at all levels.

Truly integrated and innovative solutions are needed to tackle the climate crisis, and digital technologies can and must contribute more to sustainable development. Overall, to maximise the opportunities that digital technologies offer for our future, we need to renew our commitment to Agenda 2030 and the digital sector has to be more inclusive, in terms of access to technology, and more responsible and ambitious in reducing the impact of its activities. There is a need for a better understanding of how digital technologies can be used with positive effects while minimising negative external factors.

Already in the previous report “#SystemTransformation,” published in 2016 in partnership con Accenture, GeSI revealed that every country in the world had significant gaps in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and that “business as usual” will not be anywhere near enough to achieve them in 15 years. The study highlighted that ICT solutions can have a positive impact on sustainable development for their diffusion speed and reach, which are 23 times greater than conventional approaches.

In Italy

The 2019 report by the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS) calls for a significant change in public policies, both in Italy and Europe, corporate strategies and individual behaviours. Just 11 years away from the deadline set by the United Nations Action Plan – signed by 193 countries, including Italy – the sense of urgency is also down to the fact that 21 of the 169 Targets set out in the Sustainable Development Goals include commitments referring to 2020 – and Italy is lagging heavily behind in many of these.

In presenting the report, Enrico Giovannini, ASviS spokesman, stressed “the growing commitment of civil society, business and the world of finance, in Italy too.” “In particular, sustainable development is increasingly emerging as a paradigm to guide companies in turning risks into opportunities.

For over twenty years, TIM has been a reference company for responsible and sustainable development and also in 2019 it updated its analysis on its contribution to achieving the SDGs. A thorough comparison between the 169 targets and the topics that emerged in 2019 from the materiality analysis led to the identification of 10 Goals where the Company can contribute more through its own behaviours, activities and ICT solutions:

No. 4: Quality education
No. 5: Gender equality
No. 7: Affordable and clean energy
No. 8: Decent work and economic growth
No. 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
No. 10: Reduced inequalities
No. 11: Sustainable cities and communities
No. 12: Responsible consumption and production
No. 13: Climate action
No. 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions