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Sustainability is a science not an art; everyone can play a part

9 Feb 2021

Working in partnership with Centrica’s Digital Community to amplify and accelerate their sustainability movement

At Capgemini, we are focused on a sustainable future. We have an aim to achieve carbon neutrality no later than 2025 and to become a net zero business by 2030.  This means accelerating our approach to carbon reduction across our key impact areas.

We also want to amplify the efforts our client organisations are putting in to achieve their own sustainability ambitions. But, a common misconception with sustainability is that it means having to sacrifice scope or quality. When, in reality, working more sustainably enables us to do more with less. For example, scaling down digital assets that are irrelevant, unused or superseded not only decreases digital carbon footprint, but enables a better user experience for customers who can more easily access the relevant information.

In December 2020, our Accelerated Solutions Environment (ASE) hosted over 100 of Centrica’s ‘Digital Solvers’ for their annual internal HelloWorld event, helping them to debunk that exact misconception.  Centrica’s digital technology community of Software Engineers, Designers and Testers came together online to celebrate the successes of the year and to form the movement to help accelerate Centrica’s ability to deliver on its sustainability agenda. As a leading energy and services business, Centrica is committed to playing a meaningful role in tackling climate change and supporting national and international climate reduction targets. Centrica will do this by helping their customers, the energy system and their business to manage energy more sustainably.

Becoming the largest HelloWorld event in its history, the two-day remote engagement enabled team members based in the UK and India, to generate a sense of community and to reflect, learn and ideate around the topic of sustainability. Paul Roberts, Centrica’s CTO added “We want to create some new ‘sustainability nerds’ and a positive momentum for change.”

During day one of the event, we were given the space to learn; we engaged with a whole host of content and heard from experts in the field, across Centrica’s business and our partner community. This included: Tom Lyman Smith, Centrica Strategic Sales Manager, setting the context for the importance of sustainability to Centrica’s future and Gunnar Menzel, Capgemini’s Chief Technology & Innovation Officer Europe, detailing the shift that is occurring with sustainability in technology and the move to a purpose economy. Exploring the art of the possible enabled the Centrica team to enhance their understanding of sustainability and how it applies to their ways of working.

Armed with a wealth of new knowledge and insights, and using the ASE’s crowd innovation expertise, we asynchronously identified bold ideas and opportunities that would make their roles more sustainable and support Centrica’s wider sustainability agenda.

We came back together on day two, to start driving Centrica’s sustainability movement. Together, we developed the ideas to maximise their impact, focusing on recognising gaps in the market and addressing problems that need solutions. Over 50 ideas were generated and reviewed, including: different or better application of available technologies to decrease unnecessary face-to-face visits; rationalisation of marketing campaigns; and customer reward programmes for ‘green’ behaviours. Each group presented their top idea to Centrica Senior Leaders in a “Dragons Tank” style (a Dragons Den and Shark Tank combo!). Centrica’s CSO, Global Data Lead and CTO judged each pitch and committed to investing in the winning “turning point” idea, to create an automated energy efficiency model to enable targeted data-based interventions on low efficiency homes.

“What a great way to finish the year, with the enthusiasm of the people we have in this organisation.” added Paul Roberts, Centrica CTO.

Working collaboratively with Centrica and our account team, Capgemini’s ASE designed and facilitated an event to spark real change. The Digital Solvers came away with momentum for their movement (and a bonus chant), tangible ideas with leadership buy-in and some real ‘sustainability nerds’.

Centrica CTO and Co- Event Sponsor, Paul Roberts said: “An amazing virtual event that will set the bar for future meetings for a very long time. I am confident that we’ve achieved our ambition of creating a new generation of “sustainability nerds” that will serve to help improve not only Centrica’s sustainability credentials but create influence and momentum outside of the organisation as well.”

Satish Kumarasamy, Capgemini Group Account Executive added: “It was great to finish the year with the positive momentum created by a highly passionate and enthusiastic team from Centrica. It is no mean feat collaborating remotely to generate more than 50 tangible ideas to help accelerate Centrica’s sustainability performance goals. Kudos to the ASE team who have once again pushed boundaries and set a new benchmark in conducting a virtual event at scale”

Image source : Capgemini
Image source : Capgemini

About the ASE

The Accelerated Solutions Environment (ASE) work collaboratively with organisations to solve complex challenges at pace. The ASE ignite the change needed to fuel transformation and deliver business outcomes to get the future that organisations want. Their 25 years of experience and unique capability enables the ASE to harness diversity of thought to co-create sustainable solutions; generate momentum, accelerate decision making and reduce risk; and lead organisations through adversity. As well as their event service, the ASE are able to solve strategic business challenges through their Visualisation and Crowd Innovation services