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4 Ways to Incorporate Sustainability Into Your Technology Strategy

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:

  1. A retailer shifts from on-premises storage to the cloud to reduce its carbon footprint 

  2. A law firm designs its website with accessibility in mind, ensuring it can be used by people with disabilities 

  3. A recruitment firm works with an IT provider to ensure that its recruitment algorithms do not promote candidate basis 

How can my company start with a sustainable technology strategy?When it comes to improving your company’s sustainability output, the opportunities are endless. Don’t be afraid to think creatively, try new things and overhaul traditional processes.  After all, to move towards a sustainable business model, you’ll need to make some long-term changes.  Tackling all three pillars of sustainability at once can seem overwhelming. For many companies, starting with environmental sustainability makes sense and is a natural part of digital transformation. Here are some things to consider. 

1. Go paperless Reducing your reliance on paper-based material is a straightforward way to reduce your environmental footprint and help make your employees more conscious of the planet. With the rise of collaboration tools like Teams and Slack, there’s often no need to use printers anymore. So, why not switch all your workloads to these tools and save some paper! 

2. Empower your people to work from home Transport, office electricity bills and on-premises storage are all huge contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. The pandemic highlighted that many businesses can operate at 100% with employees in their own homes.  Implementing a hybrid or remote working strategy is a simple way to reduce carbon emissions - and can even save you money on operations costs! To ensure your employees feel happy working from home, you’ll need to make use of cloud-based collaboration tools like Microsoft Office 365 or Google Workspace. Chat to us if you’d like help deploying and managing remote working software. Our expert team is happy to help! 

3. Harness the power of data analytics When you set out to improve your company’s sustainability impact, you’ll need a way to monitor your initiatives and track positive change. This is where data analytics comes in. You can commit to, for example, annual carbon accounting, which demonstrates your carbon emissions year on year, so you can see positive trends.  You’ll need specialist software to do this - but it’s well worth the investment if you want to commit to improving your environmental impact as a business. 

4. Get creative with tech! There are a host of technologies out there - like digital twins, automation and robotics - that can reduce your carbon footprint when used creatively. For example, farmers are increasingly using AI and data analytics to make smarter decisions about watering and fertilizing their crops, leading to less waste and lower carbon emissions.  No matter what sector you operate in, innovative tools can help you to improve the sustainability of your operations. 

Unlock the power of technology to improve sustainable outcomes today! If you’re interested in learning more about how technology can improve your approach to sustainability, get in touch!  Texas I.T. Pros can work with your Denton or Wise County business to help you find new efficiencies through technology that have a positive impact on the world around you.  Contact us today to learn more! Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.