The IT sector continues to experience unprecedented growth, making the need for more sustainable operating practices essential. Deloitte’s 2023 CxO Sustainability Report: Accelerating the Green Transition – Australia emphasises this, identifying climate change as a top concern for executives. Significantly, 68 per cent have increased their sustainability investments in the past year, while 63 per cent indicate that employee expectations are driving their organisational sustainability actions.
A paradigm shift is imminent as industry leaders direct the charge towards incorporating eco-friendly strategies into their operations. One path to sustainability that leaders have started to walk is through carbon neutrality. This requires companies to measure and account for their carbon emissions from every aspect of their operations, from energy use to business travel.
Achieving carbon neutral status is a significant milestone in any organisation’s journey. However, it’s not just about carbon offsetting; it’s also about fundamentally rethinking every aspect of business operations, from supply chains to energy consumption. It requires a holistic approach that encompasses innovative strategies, technological advancements, and a company-wide commitment to sustainability. By embracing this mindset, organisations can pave the way for a greener future, fostering positive change and inspiring others to follow suit.
Greenhouse gas assessment and the power of sustainable partnerships
One of the first steps that can be taken on this journey towards sustainability is to conduct a greenhouse gas assessment, which considers the carbon produced across a company’s entire operational value chain. It takes into account electricity use, business kilometres that have been flown or travelled, and transport and freight information. It can even consider less-obvious elements like cleaning services, software, and stationery. The baseline established through this process can inform future sustainability strategies and help an organisation to track its progress. Ongoing assessments can ensure that the company remains carbon neutral beyond a single financial year and encourage continued efforts that are essential for driving long-term, systematic change.
However, this isn’t a journey that businesses need to tackle alone. Investing in partnerships with like-minded organisations can help to reduce emissions across the supply chain and operating ecosystem. This shared responsibility for sustainability will ultimately help businesses reduce their own emissions, too. For example, Blue Connections IT recognises the shared responsibility in achieving sustainability and actively engages with sustainable partners such as Lenovo, HP, Dell Technologies, and Microsoft to help reduce emissions across its supply chain, driving towards a sustainable operating ecosystem.
Operational changes to enhance sustainability
IT companies can make multiple additional operational changes to enhance sustainability. For example, if an organisation has a physical premise, opting for renewable energy sources and using electric vehicles (EVs) for deliveries and transportation can considerably shrink its carbon footprint.
Embracing recycling and using sustainable alternatives wherever possible can also make a significant difference. These changes can come in the form of substituting plastic packaging with recycled cardboard or even harnessing rainwater for sanitation and gardening.
As part of its commitment to sustainability, Blue Connections IT has taken several steps towards its own low carbon future. From installing a 75-kilowatt solar panel array in the warehouse, which is due to double in 2023, to incorporating a fleet of EVs for deliveries and providing employees with the option to lease EVs, the company is diligently working to reduce its carbon footprint.
Moving to cloud services and application modernisation
Shifting to cloud-based services can be a helpful move because these providers are usually better at energy management and cooling. To take it a step further, a business can modernise its applications, which can take more time and effort; however, these have much smaller footprints than traditional applications, which can result in further emissions reductions.
While moving to the cloud can provide numerous benefits, it’s not a magic bullet for sustainability. Responsible consumption of cloud resources is critical, as the ease of access and use can inadvertently lead to waste. Continuous monitoring, measurement, and education about sustainable IT practices are crucial.
Moving to cloud services and application modernisation
Embracing sustainability within the IT sector will undoubtedly be a demanding and complex challenge, requiring a shift in mindset, commitment to accurate measurement, and a willingness to innovate. However, the potential benefits—a healthier planet, improved brand reputation, and a more engaged workforce—make it a journey worth taking. By learning from the experiences and insights of industry leaders well into their sustainability journey, organisations can make significant changes today that let them work towards a more sustainable tomorrow.
Blue Connections IT is dedicated to achieving a sustainable value chain and operating ecosystem. To meet the needs of a more sustainable future, Blue Connections IT partners with likeminded businesses that are equally committed to achieving sustainability. Bolstered by its partnerships with leading vendors, Blue Connections IT is actively engaged with its suppliers to help them reduce their carbon emissions.
If you’re inspired by the work of Blue Connections IT, or are interested in partnering with the team, learn more about the latest initiatives and explore how the company is redefining sustainability in the IT landscape at: www.blueconnections.com.au/esg.
Chief Executive Officer, Blue Connections IT