When we consider our environmental footprint as technology-reliant business owners, it appears from the outset that IT and sustainability seem to be at odds.
The tech industry is fast-paced and ever-evolving. No sooner has a new product been introduced to the market when there is a newer, better version fast on its heels. The life span of devices and software is short, and therein lies the issue.
Did you know that 81% of the energy a computer requires in its lifetime is used during production? If we think about how often we update our devices, it also poses some serious questions.
For instance, where do our obsolete laptops or hardware go when we opt to upgrade? How much of these products are actually recycled and reused?
Additionally, we have to face the reality that this isn’t where energy consumption ends. In an office environment, the devices and servers we use will generate heat – additional energy is then required to cool this equipment.
Overall, IT is not a friend to the environment, especially when used irresponsibly.
Why should IT go green?
In the current climate landscape, every industry needs to consider its environmental footprint, not least IT.
Tech firms, in particular, have a unique opportunity to be leaders in this area as they will be more in tune with new cutting-edge, sustainable technology that is more efficient, less wasteful and ultimately cost-saving.
Companies must prove to all stakeholders that they are taking the climate crisis seriously by incorporating more sustainable methods into their business practices and processes and not merely paying lip service.
Consumers are no longer fooled by meaningless words and empty promises. They want to see action. They want to do business with organisations and brands that want to do better.
In fact, according to a survey, one-third of consumers are willing to pay a premium for sustainable products.
Another strong motive to enhance green activities is the fact that the future of so many jobs is digital. If the global pandemic has taught us anything, it has taught us that businesses are adaptable.
Remote workforces have proven that they can operate as efficiently and maintain business processes in the majority of industries. While many companies have embraced remote working or adopted a hybrid version, post-pandemic, more can be done to promote and encourage remote working.
Remote working significantly reduces the number of people commuting, therefore, cutting down the carbon footprint of many. Advocating for remote working not only strengthens the green campaign of a company but the sooner this model is adapted the more ready the business will be for the future.
How can a company reduce its environmental footprint?
There are several steps any company can take to go a little greener, including:
Reducing environmental footprint by introducing green practices, such as:
- Use automatic sensors for lights, automate controls for security and outdoor cooling
- Harness outside air cooling
- Cool to the minimum required, do not over-cool
- Unplug and remove unused tech, for example, servers that are plugged in but not performing any function
It is reported that relocating servers to colder climates can result in an 8% reduction in GHG emissions.
This won’t be an option for everyone but simply optimising the space within the data centre to minimise cooling can help.
Considering migrating to the cloud
Cloud migration tends to be more economical as cloud energy tends to be more efficient because of the economy of scale.
Adopting the latest technology
Larger and older tech uses more power and has a larger heat output – resulting in additional cooling required. Newer tech with higher efficiency may result in using less power.
Purchasing energy-efficient tech
Endorse the purchase and use of computers that are rated for their energy efficiency.
TCO Certified is the world-leading sustainability certification for IT. They verify and guarantee that computer products purchased by employers maintain ecological standards and adhere to sustainable practices.
Reducing the commuting burden of their employees
Transport was responsible for about a quarter of the EU’s total CO2 emissions in 2019, of which 71.7% came from road transportation, according to a report from the European Environment Agency.
Encouraging flexible working or initiatives like the Bike to Work Scheme are just some of the ways to combat this shocking statistic.
How can employees improve the green agenda?
Unfortunately reducing GHG doesn’t have a one size fits all solution. It needs to be bought into by all departments, and employees have a massive role in that.
Employees can help with the reduction in energy spending by incorporating some simple best practices, such as:
As stated above, fewer people commuting to and from a central workplace can significantly reduce GHG emissions. Employees can cooperate with employers by agreeing to work remotely or considering a hybrid role.
Where working remotely isn’t an option perhaps the other methods of commuting to work could be considered.
The sharing of hardware and resources, such as printers can have a significant impact on energy saving.
Using Sleep Mode
Powering off and unplugging every time an employee leaves their desk for a few minutes is not a practical solution to reducing energy during the working day.
However, the next lowest use of energy is Sleep Mode. Monitors should be set to turn off after ten or fifteen minutes of inactivity.
Reducing sources of energy drain
Individuals know their workstations best and should be on the lookout for vampirical drains on energy that computers, TVs and smart devices all consume.
Reduce your environmental footprint with a green IT solutions partner
Calnet IT Solutions are a Microsoft Gold certified partner and a leading voice in the IT industry today.
We consider ourselves a driving force both in efforts to go greener and as a reliable and authoritative source for all your IT needs.