Would you consider your business as sustainable? Sustainable IT is an umbrella term that specifies an environmentally focused approach to the design, usage, and disposal of computer hardware and software applications as well as the design of additional business processes.
How can IT effect the environment?
Did you know that almost all SME’s carbon emissions are generated from consuming energy within company buildings whether this is use of desktops, laptops or servers, these all heavily rely on energy sources and contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. The energy consumed by devices can be mostly found at the beginning of its life – 81% of the energy a computer requires over the course of its lifetime is expended during the production phase but only 34% of businesses are aware of this.
Why is IT sustainability important?
Sustainability has become a way of life and businesses must consider the environment when making any decisions within your company based around the ethics and responsibility of your business from your carbon footprint to general business practices… Then there’s the business cost to consider too: the energy you pay for that runs your IT infrastructure alone is a substantial percent of your overall expenses. Despite depending on technology, companies that are in non-tech sectors tend to be more wasteful than technology companies. This could be because non-tech firms may be less aware of the sustainability that smarter, cutting-edge tech can offer. Importantly, promoting your company for its sustainable efforts might not result in cheaper business processes, but doing the right thing is increasingly important for customers and can be the difference between securing a client / losing one.
What are best practices for implementing sustainable IT in your business?
First things first – implementing these tips can be extremely useful for your business but it is equally valuable to make sure you are training your team on sustainability and the best practices within your company.
Invest in new equipment and appliances -Using appliances which have the ‘Energy Star’ service mark will help to reduce the amount of energy your business uses as well as your annual costs. Older equipment is often far more inefficient than modern alternatives.
Recycle! your old IT equipment, plastic and paper - According to Capgemini research – 9 out of 10 organisations recycle less than 10% of their IT hardware…
Still not convinced? Read these stats!
Recycling a ton of paper saves about 17 trees and 7,000 gallons of water.
For every ton of plastic recycled, around 680 gallons of oil and 5,774 kWh of energy are saved.
Recycling one million cell phones saves 35,000 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium.
Moreover, recycling one million laptops saves energy that can power over 3,500 homes in the United States.
Set computers to sleep. Sleep is the lowest use of energy (besides powering down and unplugging). So, make sure to set your monitors to turn off after 15 inactive minutes and hard disks even sooner: max. 5 minutes of inactivity. Your computer shouldn’t be awake after more than 30 minutes of inactivity.
Switching to a green cloud architecture and framework has delivered a 19% cost savings among businesses that have been able to scale the solution organisation-wide.
Relocate (and collocate) servers. Maximize your data center space as much as possible to minimize your cooling and energy costs. If realistic, relocate your servers to colder climates for 8% reduction in GHG emissions.
Work remotely. Unless your daily commute is by foot (walking or biking), working from home can help to reduce GHG emissions associated with commuting—with approval from your boss, of course.
Use greener supply chains... When analysing your purchases, look at your suppliers! Are they eco-friendly? Partnering with businesses with strong green policies can be highly beneficial for the environment and your business. The initial cost of changing may be daunting but well worth it in the long haul.
What's in it for you?
Besides the obvious facts of considerably improving your carbon footprint and helping to preserve the environment, there are some amazing benefits to your business that you can leverage by putting some of these sustainable tips in place…
Organisations that have scaled sustainable IT use cases have achieved, on average, a 12% cost reduction. (Capgemini research)
56% have improved customer satisfaction
It can help bring you a competitive edge & 61% of businesses have an improved brand image
Improvements in employee retention and recruitment rates – Employees want to work with organisations that support and operate eco-friendly processes and policies
At Total IT we are determined to continue making sustainability a priority, not only within our business but helping other businesses like yours with our WEEE disposal services – send us your old IT recyclables and for a small fee we will recycle your old devices.