Partnerships With Environmental Organizations In Smartphone Sustainability Initiatives For A Greener World. – IT is not sustainable or green new In fact, it has been a topic of debate among IT leaders for decades But the broader concept of sustainability, which the United Nations defines as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” is one that people and organizations are prioritizing more than ever — and for good reason. . .
Concerns about the environment and climate change are at the core of world leaders, environmental advocacy groups, and society. Corporate executives and boards are asking their organizations to do their part — or at least appear to be doing their part — to help.
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The drive for better environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives has taken on a high priority in many organizations and includes more efficient use of technology.
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In the broadest sense, sustainable IT refers to efforts to ensure that the production, use, and disposal of technology have a positive impact on the environment. But like many other terms in technology, definitions vary depending on who is paying
“Sustainable IT is a general term that describes an environment-based approach to the design, use, and disposal of computer hardware and software and the design of its business processes,” said Matthew Bradley, director of sustainability at IT services provider Capgemini.
“The term extends to activities such as responsible mining of rare metals for IT hardware, water conservation and circular economy applications,” says Bradley.
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The terms “sustainable IT” and “green IT” may be used interchangeably by many, but experts say they are not exactly the same.
“Words to me are different in what they encompass,” says Bradley. Green IT refers to an approach where an organization tries to reduce the environmental impact of its IT estate operations, he says. This is often through actions that increase energy efficiency, such as increasing server utilization, moving to more efficient corporate IT assets, or trying to use more efficient coding or software.
“My preference is to use the term ‘sustainable IT,’ because it broadens the remit to consider the entire lifecycle of an asset,” says Bradley. The term includes other dimensions, such as the use of raw materials, social justice and human rights, and end-to-end supply chain impacts.
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Amy Cravens, research manager, governance, risk and compliance at research firm IDC, agrees with both terms. “‘Green IT’ is a term that has been around for a long time and probably focused on carbon emissions and energy use,” he says.
Sustainable IT also includes “social pillar” issues related to waste reduction, life-management for products and sustainable procurement, such as the protection of human rights.
For example, sustainable IT practices can look at data center energy consumption as well as enable technology such as software that enables more sustainable business practices through the operations and vision it provides.
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“I think ‘green IT’ is seen as a pretty good thing, and the whole movement these days has moved towards ESG. “IT buyers are increasingly looking to work with an IT vendor based on its ability to help them on their sustainable transformation journey,” says Cravens.
Sustainable IT is something that organizations need to adopt for a variety of reasons, including the ability to meet government regulations
It is clear that some of the main motivations are related to financial implications “The two areas of impact are business value and shareholder value,” says Cravens “From a business cost perspective, organizations are looking for sustainable solutions to create benefits. Those benefits come from lower energy costs and increased durability,” he says.
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Stakeholder influence refers to meeting the expectations of internal and external stakeholders, including customers, [management organizations], employees, boards, and employee-investors, says Cravens.
Technology “has the potential to positively impact many environmental issues; However, it also has an unintended effect, Bradley said. IT is about 3% of global CO
Emissions – more than Spain, Italy, France and Portugal combined – according to the Capgemini Environmental Sustainability Performance Report 2021/2022.
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This footprint is currently growing, says Bradley, contributed by increased demand for computing power and data storage as well as the manufacturing and distribution of electronic equipment. As organizations around the world seek to balance their growth goals with the need to build sustainable business, it is important to consider the impact of IT.
Businesses need to consider a sustainable IT approach to help deliver on carbon reduction commitments, particularly as many continue to invest in digital technologies, says Bradley. This must include the provision of sustainable IT and the use of sustainable IT services
Digital technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) systems and cloud computing infrastructure, have significantly increased power consumption, which requires more computing power and storage, says Niklas Sundberg, senior vice president and CEO of Swedish Technology Leadership for Global Sustainability. Sustainable IR, board member of SustainableIT.org, a non-profit organization on progress.
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Electronic waste has become the world’s largest source of waste, with 57 million tonnes generated annually. “Only stand-alone data centers match the airline industry in terms of carbon emissions,” Sunderberg says. IT hardware requires rare earth minerals, which are limited, he said.
Almost every aspect of IT falls under the umbrella of sustainability For example, consider all the components that make up an IT infrastructure It consists of data center equipment including services, storage systems, networking and power systems.
For many organizations, fairs are a growing part of the infrastructure And although the move to cloud services is often discussed as a way to reduce data center energy consumption, the large infrastructure of large public cloud service providers must be powered, as are private cloud and cloud-hybrid groups.
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Networks and communications systems, including all networks that allow remote users to access physical systems, are also part of the sustainability picture. The advent of edge computing and the Internet of Things has greatly increased the demand for connectivity
Then there are all the end-user devices, desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc., and the applications they run to support the business—not to mention monitors, keyboards, printers, and other peripherals.
Implementing sustainable IT practices can bring significant benefits to organizations, says Bradley. A study of 1,000 organizations worldwide by the Capgemini Research Institute found that enterprises achieved better ESG scores and improved brand image, customer satisfaction and financial savings.
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“The biggest opportunity for businesses is that once an organization has a sustainable IT estate, it can be used to unlock greater sustainability outcomes,” says Bradley. “For example, it may be possible to achieve positive sustainability results within a company’s operations, such as by using technology-based solutions to reduce fuel consumption through better design logistics.”
With sustainable IT, enterprises can address ESG risks and create more sustainable businesses, Cravens said. In particular, from an operational perspective, they can offset energy, weather, supply chain and other potential impacts, he says.
Another potential benefit is a better reputation, says Cravens Having a sustainable IT strategy can improve a company’s standing with customers, employees and business partners
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And then there are the cost savings that can come from switching to energy-efficient solutions, which in turn improve financial performance, Cravens says.
A key challenge facing organizations implementing sustainable IT practices is the need to better understand the environmental impact of the digital world, says Bradley. For example, less than half (43%) of global organizations surveyed by the Capgemini Research Institute say they are aware of their organization’s IT footprint.
Other challenges include identifying which solutions have the greatest impact on sustainability and metrics to track the impact of sustainability investments, says Cravens.
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The best thing a company can do when starting or renewing a sustainable IT initiative is to assess what it has in terms of IT infrastructure and decide where to improve.
Part of this assessment includes deciding which new sustainability tools to invest in Assess relevance and invest first in solutions that will have the greatest impact on the organization, says Cravens.
Then, track the impact of the investment using a data management platform to collect and analyze sustainability-related data, such as energy management.
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Looking to accelerate a sustainable IT approach, Capgemini recommends a three-tiered effort that looks beyond technology and operations to embrace the need to consider spending practices and approaches, says Bradley.
“First, companies need to assess their environmental footprint and create a sustainable IT strategy to lay a foundation for sustainable IT,” said Bradley. First, they must create effective management systems that support the strategy, and third, they must implement their plans. would, for example, by instilling stability in software architecture and development
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