How can you decrease your IT stack’s carbon footprint?
In a time of increasing focus on sustainable business practices, companies are rightfully looking to improve their technology suite’s energy efficiency. “Green IT” refers to environmentally friendly processes for building and maintaining an IT stack. Here, we will talk through this concept and the benefits it can deliver to your entire organization.
Devise a green IT strategy
As we’ve discussed before on this blog, making significant changes to your IT setup and infrastructure requires planning ahead of time. Green IT initiatives are no different. Begin by establishing a baseline for your energy usage and consumption. You will gain clear data that you can then use to establish green IT goals. Next, create a project plan that lists out each step you will take to achieve your objectives. A green IT project plan could include points like:
- Upgrading hardware with more energy efficient models or versions. Pay close attention to where you are sourcing your IT equipment. Look for energy star-certified devices. Try to build a stack that includes upgradable design components, which will allow you to extend its total lifecycle. You can also look into buying hardware certified exclusively under the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) program.
- Collaborating with hosting providers that adhere to green principles. When searching for a provider, look at things like PUE ratings, carbon offsets and more. This article offers other helpful pointers.
- Ensuring your devices manage power usage effectively. The first step to maximizing how your devices use power is to create a universal policy for your agency. Then, implement it by configuring systems and enabling power-saving processes like device sleep and hibernation modes.
- Considering cloud migration. Moving your IT ecosystems to the cloud offers some energy advantages over on-prem setups. These are on top of a host of other benefits cloud can bring to your business.
- Creating a comprehensive e-waste disposal program for your agency that adheres to best practices for responsible data disposal.
With any organizational initiative, your strategy and project plan should be organized around a timeline and have a clear budget attached. This will ensure that your green IT efforts continue to move forward and that your resources remain properly allocated.
Going green brings the benefits
Embracing green IT is not just about being environmentally conscious; there are other tangible benefits for businesses as well. For one thing, green IT can potentially lower your energy bills, reduce server needs and even enhance cyber resilience – lowering costly downtime in the process.
But that’s not all. Green IT usually enhances a business’s brand reputation. Customers increasingly desire to support green businesses over less environmentally friendly competitors. Data shows this is particularly true with younger consumers, as 80 percent of young U.S. adults say that they are willing to pay more for sustainable products.[i]
What’s more, green IT can help your agency become nimbler and more future-ready. Cloud computing is often part of green IT and a key technology driver behind the rise of remote work. With workers now ranking flexibility as one of their top considerations when choosing a workplace, offering telecommuting can dramatically improve recruitment and retention efforts.
Employee experience and overall satisfaction can also be impacted by creating an environmentally friendly IT suite. Green IT solutions are typically more modern and deliver a smoother working experience to employees as an auxiliary benefit. Also, being more environmentally conscious may boost employee morale. Workers often rank sustainability highly, and 80 percent claim they want to help their company reach climate or ESG goals.[ii]
Toward a greener future
Businesses are always wrestling with competing priorities – one being the need to embrace sustainability while growing productivity and profitability. The good news? With your IT suite, you can do both simultaneously. Taking a sustainable approach to your technology solutions, systems and setups will bring you tangible benefits. That makes it a goal well worth pursuing.