According to Forrester, IT equipment is currently responsible for about 1.4% of total global carbon emissions. Despite IT’s contribution to climate change, sustainability and technology don’t have to be at odds. In fact, by using technology strategically, your organization can harness the power of tech for good and become more sustainable. Doing this not only makes sense from an ethical standpoint, but it can be attractive to customers, stakeholders and investors - helping your business to grow in the long term. In line with this, research conducted by Unilever shows that a third of customers prefer to buy from brands that they believe are having a positive impact on the environment or society.
What is sustainability? Before we dive into the how of sustainability, let’s first cover the what. Despite what you may think, sustainability extends far beyond environmental concerns. This is important to know. A holistic sustainability strategy is about more than the environment. It takes into account three pillars: Societal sustainability: Ensuring that everyone can access your products and services and that your services do not harm people. Environmental sustainability: Ensuring your business does not harm the environment. Consider factors like carbon emissions, water pollution, waste generation and ecosystem protection. Economic sustainability: Ensuring your business boosts the wider economy through means like job creation. In today’s world, every company is a technology company. We all use laptops, mobile phones, applications and the cloud as part of day-to-day business. How we use this technology can either promote or hinder sustainable outcomes. Here are some examples of what that looks like in practice:
A retailer shifts from on-premises storage to the cloud to reduce its carbon footprint
A law firm designs its website with accessibility in mind, ensuring it can be used by people with disabilities
A recruitment firm works with an IT provider to ensure that its recruitment algorithms do not promote candidate basis