In today’s world, sustainability is a key issue in business with 62% of executives agreeing businesses should have a sustainability strategy in place. Operating a sustainable business offers many plus points from reducing operating costs and increasing productivity, to enhancing brand perception and attracting and retaining staff. Sustainability is important across all areas of a business, none less so than IT with this in mind we have pulled together an overview of best IT sustainability strategies.
Data centre best practices help to minimise the damage caused to the environment; these include methods such as harnessing outside air cooling, having automatic controls (for lights, security and outdoor cooling), not overcooling, having power usages effectiveness of 1.2 or lower, and unplugging any servers that are not currently active.
Cloud energy is argued to be more efficient due to the economy of scale against on-premises resource. There is less hardware involved meaning less electricity is used. As well as this it supports hybrid working, which means your staff emissions are reduced. Finally, physical resources such as paper are used a lot less with the Cloud as all resources can be shared online and not physically like in an office space.
You can raise awareness of how to reduce your organisations overall footprint by encouraging your team to turn off devices instead of leaving on standby, deleting unnecessary emails and files from servers, opening windows to keep equipment cool, turning off lights when they’re not in use, reducing your paper usage and sharing lifts or walking to work.
Rather than throwing your old systems away, you can look to recycle parts of your old systems. When you throw computers straight into landfill sites, they pollute the environment as well as waste resources that can be reused with new equipment. Landfill sites bring a whole host of problems from contributing to cause global warming to causing fires and explosions, as well as polluting soil and water. Furthermore, it is good to know that some resources which end up in landfill are often sought after when making new machines.
You can hire an external company to come in and conduct a CO2 audit or you can carry out the process yourself, many argue this is the first step to becoming greener. A CO2 audit will show you the amount of CO2 emissions your organisation is putting out both from your workplace and third parties who worked on building your IT tools. From here you can then look at your audit report to see where you can improve. Address the worst areas and find solutions that are more environmentally friendly, and in the long run your output will be reduced.
By having set days when staff work from home you are reducing your carbon footprint. Setting out different days for different employees to be in the office stops a mass of people commuting into work on the same day. This lowers your total carbon footprint meaning you are a greener workplace. You can even help to limit emissions when staff do have to come into work by encouraging sustainable methods of transport. Public transport such as buses, cycling to work or car sharing are all good ways to keep you carbon footprint down.
Having a sound IT sustainability strategy in place will help your business become a sustainable workplace. The process requires input from everyone in your business, but by having a clear strategy laid out your organisation can all pull together towards the same goal. Sustainability is continuing to grow in importance as an influencer of brand reputation and can also have a very positive effect on the profitability of your business. These reasons alone then should be enough for you to consider implementing an IT sustainability strategy.
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