#TechTalks: Sustainable technology – Green IT tips to reduce your carbon footprint

Published: 7 August 2023
Published: 7 August 2023

In the next instalment of our #TechTalks series, we look at sustainable technology and how you can use IT to reduce your carbon footprint. Read on for some green IT tips for your business that are kind to the planet and your balance sheets too.

Sustainability has become one of the biggest talking points in recent years, with businesses and people alike looking to do their part to help attain a greener and healthier planet. But how can your business ‘green up its act’?

Technology is a powerful tool that many businesses overlook in their fight against climate change. In this article, our IT experts tackle the topic of sustainable technology and explain how you can use IT to create a planet-friendly business.

What is sustainable technology?

The advancement of tech is often blamed for the damage done to the planet. While some of the burden does fall on the digital age, the good news is sustainability and technology can live together in harmony.

Sustainable technology is the sweet spot between innovation and environmental responsibility. It’s the use of technological solutions that support rather than hinder our planet’s well-being. Sustainable technology, like energy-efficient IT equipment and eco-friendly software practices, could be a game-changer in reducing your carbon footprint.

Why is sustainability important for your business?

Most people are mindful that their personal choices can have an impact on the planet, however, businesses are often more concerned about their bottom lines and what’s best for your profit margins might not be good for mother nature.

But a shift towards sustainability could be a wise business move. Let’s explore how.

1. Your people

In the competitive recruitment battleground that employers currently face, landing good hires isn’t always easy. Becoming a greener business could keep your crucial team members from leaving and also attract new talent.

More people than ever want to work for a business that is seen to be doing the right thing. A clear sustainability plan could be a deciding factor for prospective recruits.

A recent survey found 70% of British Millennials say they are more likely to stay at a company where sustainability is a priority.

Find out more about how you can use IT to enhance your employee retention in our previous #TechTalks.

2. Your brand image

The age-old phrase ‘all publicity is good publicity’ is no longer true today. We have all seen big-name companies making their way into the headlines for unethical business practices. While some of these global businesses can afford losses from controversy, the same can’t be said for smaller businesses.

Businesses that actively promote sustainable approaches are generally better received by consumers, resulting in a more loyal client base.

3. Your competitive edge

Competition in most sectors is fierce, especially for SMEs, so any advantage you can have over your competitors is vital. When a business makes a commitment to sustainability, it creates a new USP (unique selling point) that attracts eco-minded customers.

A study found 4 out of 5 people are more likely to choose a brand with a positive approach to environmental sustainability. Results from a 2023 survey also suggest that two-thirds of Brits would be happy to pay more for sustainable products. By making a conscious effort to be greener, your business could gain more sales even at a higher price.

What is ESG and why is it important?

A commitment to ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) is no longer an optional good deed but a matter of compliance for businesses. In its basic form, ESG is a checklist that measures a company’s performance in several areas, stretching from leadership practices and their impact on society.

By following ESG principles and embracing initiatives like sustainable technology, your business can show that it cares about the planet.

Green IT solutions to reduce your carbon footprint:

1. Go virtual with your meetings

Think of the time and potential cost involved in face-to-face meetings. Since the pandemic, remote working and virtual meetings have become the norm for many businesses. Ditch the travel costs of meetings and instead take advantage of video conferencing tools like Microsoft Teams, which allow participants to connect remotely from different locations.

Virtual meetings are not only cheaper but can also reduce your carbon footprint by lowering your fuel consumption, vehicle emissions, and travel costs.

2. Recycle your old tech

Does your business have a stash of old tech? Before sending those retired electronic devices off to the landfill sit, you should check if you can recycle them.

Many manufacturers offer programmes to properly recycle electronic waste and charities like Computer 4 Charity specialise in bridging the digital divide by providing donated tech to schools in Africa.

Recycling old tech can prevent harmful chemicals from leaching into the environment as well as help those in need.

3. Say goodbye to paper

It’s time to bring your office into the paperless age, one page at a time! Companies should encourage employees to use electronic files, email communications and digital workflows.

Implementing document management systems and collaboration tools like Microsoft SharePoint facilitates easy sharing, editing and storing of digital files. This reduces paper consumption, saves trees and reduces the energy and resources needed for printing.

4. Invest in energy-saving hardware

With skyrocketing energy prices, it is more important than ever for businesses to explore cost-saving opportunities. Investing in energy-efficient hardware is one way you can claw back some much-needed funds. This includes computers, servers and any devices that use less power. Not only will this help the environment by reducing your energy consumption, but it will do wonders for your long-term costs. Happy planet and happy pockets!

5. Embrace cloud computing

Cloud computing enables businesses to store and access data and software through the Internet instead of relying on physical servers. Acting as a virtual warehouse, cloud-based services like Microsoft Azure can reduce the number of on-site servers you need. This lowers your energy consumption and can free up physical office space.

Learn everything you need to know about the cloud in our byte-sized article on cloud computing.

Let’s transform your IT operations today

Whether you’re already a committed eco-activist or simply looking for opportunities to be more eco-friendly, small changes to your IT systems can have an impact on both the planet and your business.

For more information on how IT can reduce your carbon footprint, get in touch with us today. Our Derby based team of IT specialists has extensive experience in helping companies like yours modernise their IT infrastructure.

Request your free consultation call today

Talk through your IT needs with one of our friendly technicians – no commitment, no cost!

Complete our contact form and one of our experts will be in touch, or call our team on 01332 374444.

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