Reducing the environmental impacts from technology systems, devices, and capabilities can help companies reach their emissions goals.
The world is heading toward a more sustainable future and organizations are inspired to be a part of the solution. Many have set net zero and carbon neutral goals, and it’s clear that advancements in technology will help organizations achieve these sustainability goals by improving efficiencies and reducing the processes that create emissions.
But what many organizations do not realize is that these same technology investments and capabilities can also negatively impact the environment. Recent research on sustainable IT from the Capgemini Research Institute found that 57% of companies aren’t aware of their IT carbon footprint — the impact created by their devices, systems, and capabilities. IT is not typically part of the conversation when organizations establish their sustainability plans — only 18% report having a sustainable IT strategy.
This is a vast area of untapped potential as companies progress along their sustainability journeys. However, progress needs to be made now: Research shows that by 2025, enterprise IT will have an equivalent annual footprint to powering 360 million homes and generating the transportation of 460 million passenger vehicles.
A lack of awareness of this problem, and how to solve it, is keeping organizations from tackling their IT sustainability challenges and reducing their overall footprints. Here are four areas of enterprise IT proving that current investments and practices aren’t sustainable:
While the challenges are significant, here are two example solutions:
1. Recyclable, reparable, and sharable tech. Over the years, there has been a lot of focus on reducing physical waste and consumption — decreasing the use of physical paper, reevaluating disposal methods, and expanding recycling requirements being just a few examples. While these practices are nothing new, the translation to digital files and digital architectures has been sparse: our research shows that less than 20% of e-waste is recycled, and only 6% of organizations have auto-deletion policies for old files and data-duplication reduction initiatives.
A shared and reusable approach to technology can be a crucial tool toward achieving sustainable IT. In fact, there’s been an increasing trend toward “as a service” offerings since new recycle programs help promote a “use as much as you need” mindset and cost for these services is based on pay-for-use. As organizations look to tackle their IT footprints, applying these practices that t
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