The Benefits of Sustainable IT

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword for today’s companies, it’s crucial to the ongoing success of your brand. In an environment where energy prices continue to rise, climate change is accelerating at an incredible pace, and pollution is at an all-time high, every brand must do their part.

For many organizations, the key to success isn’t just recycling more materials. Business leaders need to make significant changes to processes throughout the entire company to ensure long-term success.

Sustainable IT, or “Green IT”, is one of the primary concepts in sustainability gaining increasing attention in a changing world. As digital transformation initiatives continue to grow, companies need to ensure their IT investments aren’t having a negative impact on the planet.

The X Advantages of Sustainable IT

The switch to a more sustainable set of IT processes is a necessity for many companies – but it’s not without it’s challenges. Altering workflows, replacing certain materials, and committing to a more eco-conscious method of operation can be time-consuming and costly.

However, the advantages of sustainable IT far outweigh the potential costs.

Let’s look at the biggest benefits of a sustainable IT initiative.

1.    Reduced Environmental Impact

Clearly the most significant benefit of switching to sustainable IT, is a reduced negative impact on the planet. Currently, electronic waste or “E-waste”, accounts for around 2% of global emissions (The same average carbon footprint as the aviation industry). What’s more, the toxic waste materials from electronics and IT take up a significant amount of landfill space.

Only around 12.5% of electronic waste is recycled or reused. Additionally, it’s estimated around 40% of the heavy metals in landfills throughout the US comes from discarded electronics. A sustainable IT strategy can reduce the impact on the environment in 2 ways:

  • Reuse: Reuse strategies involve selling or donating equipment you no longer need. Rather than simply dumping products with life left in them, you give them a new opportunity for use. You can also look into refurbished IT equipment on the other side of the coin, reducing your outgoing expenses, and participating in “reuse” culture.
  • Recycle: When your electronic equipment does reach a point where you can no longer use it, recycling is the bet way to get rid of it. This process involves converting materials back into raw commodities so they can be used for other purposes. Many manufacturers give discounts to companies who recycle old equipment, or offer free recycling services for electronics.

2.    Cost and Energy Savings

Outside of reducing your impact on the environment with lower global emissions, and a reduced dependence on landfill space, sustainable IT practices can also help you reduce the amount of energy you use and minimize costs. A sustainable IT strategy asks you to consider your needs more carefully before you begin purchasing new equipment. This means you’re less likely to over-spend on technology you don’t need.

With a sustainable approach to IT, you can also reduce your costs by purchasing refurbished items, which means you don’t pay full ticket prices. What’s more, because you’ll be focusing on purchasing products with low energy usage, you won’t be paying extra-high energy bills.

A sustainable IT strategy will also involve implementing best-practice efforts to keep energy usage low. For instance, you could reduce your energy consumption by an average of 9% just by turning printers and desktops off at the end of each day in the workplace.

3.    Boosted Brand Reputation

Adopting green practices doesn’t just save you money, and have a positive impact on the planet, it’s also an excellent way to attract more customers to your company, and improve your overall brand reputation. Today, customers say they’re more likely to make sustainable or ethical purchases, and they’re also willing to pay more for a sustainable service.

Adopting green or sustainable practices can make your company more marketable, and help to differentiate you from the competition. It shows your customers you’re invested in more than just “making a profit”, and that you care about giving something back to the planet.

As customers become increasingly aware of the negative impact humanity is having on the planet at large, they’ll be more focused than ever on researching the sustainable practices of the organizations they buy from. The right “green” approach to your IT efforts will appeal to both B2B and B2C customers alike.

4.    Better Talent Acquisition

More than just a tool for attracting customers, sustainable IT is a powerful way to make your business more appealing to potential employees too. Increasingly, today’s top-tier talent in industries all around the world is made up of people looking to work for companies who share their values.

Your sustainable strategy could mean you stay one step ahead of the competition when trying to appeal to potential customers in a skills-short marketplace. As companies from all backgrounds continue to struggle with talent acquisition and retention in the age of the “Great Resignation”, there’s never been a better time to invest in your employer brand.

Time to Invest in Sustainable IT?

Sustainability isn’t just a trending topic for today’s companies, it’s an essential part of keeping up with the competition and appealing to your target audience. A sustainable IT strategy allows you to build a stronger business, invest in a cleaner future for your business, and give something back to the planet, without compromising on performance.