Survey results from the “Drivers of Change” survey were consistent across all global markets (including the U.S. and U.K.), France, Germany, and France. Highlights of the report include:
- Half the Sustainability Managers are behind on Sustainability Goals: 78% of sustainability managers say that their company’s leadership makes sustainability initiatives a priority. The majority plan to achieve sustainability goals in three to seven years (56%). Only 51 percent of respondents said they were on track to meet their goals.
- Technology plays a critical, growing role in driving sustainability initiatives: A staggering 86% of sustainability program managers agree companies can only reach their sustainability goals if they significantly reduce their energy consumption from technology infrastructure. As 81% of sustainability program managers predict that technology infrastructure will significantly impact companies’ carbon footprints over the next 12 months, this problem will only worsen.
- Inadequate alignment of IT and Sustainability Teams in Purchasing decisions: 59% of respondents believe that vendors’ sustainability will be overlooked. Although this could be reduced by asking sustainability managers to provide their input earlier, nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents believe they are only involved once the technology purchasing process has begun.
- IT Support for Company Sustainability Initiatives is Dire: This function, more than any other (i.e., IT was found to be less supportive than any other function (i.e., leadership, finance, and operations). Fifty-one percent of respondents said their IT department is not considering sustainability when purchasing technology.
Today, data centers account for only 1% of global electricity consumption. According to the World Economic Forum, digitization accounted for 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2020. However, according to their estimates, digital technologies can reduce emissions by 20% if they are scaled up by 2050.
Any corporate strategy for sustainability must include data centers and digitization. Sustainability managers must work towards meeting environmental goals. They can only achieve this with a more sustainable IT infrastructure that is efficient, scalable, and simple.
IT professionals have a tremendous opportunity to assist their organizations in reducing their environmental footprint. IT departments can immediately impact by adopting and building a sustainable technology infrastructure supported by efficient, scalable, and innovative IT vendors. This technology uses significantly less power, cooling, and waste and has the potential to be incredibly cost-effective.