Roadmap to I&O sustainability – A look at Gartner®’s recommendations

Roadmap to I&O sustainability Q&A with Elise Crunel

Roadmap to I&O sustainability-QA-Elise-Crunel

Roadmap to I&O sustainability with our experts answer important questions. Like “How important is the current footprint of the IT organization?” Read answers to such questions in our Q&A Roadmap to I&O sustainability.

In the short-term, Gartner® recommends to baseline current IT organization’s footprint. Following the circular economy and GHG protocol principles. How important is this first step?

Humanity’s digital footprint grows faster than any other indicator. Therefore, it’s urgent to accelerate the convergence between ecological awareness and digital growth.

A more sustainable and responsible use of digital technology is possible. Yet “We can only improve what we can measure.” To understand the hardware lifecycle’s impact, we need to look at emissions, data center energy consumption, and e-waste. All this is essential to calculate the carbon footprint.

Gartner® recommends assessing all scope emissions. Including scope 3, which reveals machinery’s impact in raw material sourcing, manufacturing, and transportation. Companies gain insight in in potential reductions and how to achieve them, with an established baseline.

In the mid-term, Gartner® highlights setting targets and committing to measure progress. What key targets did they identify for the roadmap to I&O sustainability?

The first key target is energy consumption. Companies assess energy consumption via:

  • data center cooling systems.
  • raw material supply.
  • material production.
  • transport emissions throughout the entire supply chain.
  • energy efficiency.
  • compliance of buildings and infrastructure.

The second key target is carbon emission reduction. Companies help clients reduce carbon emissions, via:

  • products and services evaluation.
  • to address customer needs.
  • to contribute to IT asset lifecycle extension.

The third key target is IT equipment use. Companies should determine how long IT equipment has been in use. This helps I&O leaders to:

  • set goals to prolong the lifespan of assets.

Following new legislations for the roadmap to I&O sustainability

Companies can implement these targets, by following new legislation:

  • “Right to Repair”. This new legislation in Europe and the USA is a step in the right direction!
  • WEEE standards. These standards help organizations calculate how much second-hand equipment and IT hardware is recycled and disposed.

‘Kickstarting a sustainable I&O strategy is often challenging due to a lack of guidance.  No universally accepted framework for IT sustainability’ reporting yet exists. Any recommendations on where to start or what metrics to measure?

There are a few to mention:
Firstly, the Soft laws. They highlight issues surrounding waste, pollution, and labor conditions. Including:

  • the Basel Convention.
  • the Stockholm Convention.
  • the ILO conventions.

Secondly, EU directives on battery use are also making an impact. As well as:

  • EcoDesign.
  • RoHS.
  • WEEE.

Thirdly, the Environmental Footprint has a general methodology. It uses Lifecycle Analysis standards to quantify environmental impacts alongside standardized environmental indicators.

  • Product Environmental Footprint (PEF).
  • Organization Environmental Footprint (OEF).

Not all IT sustainability is covered

There are still improvements to make. Firstly, regulations and directives do cover reuse and reconditioning. Unfortunately, the following about IT sustainability is still missing:

  • product passports.
  • mandatory technical inspections.

To ensure it is possible, we need to:

  • scale the availability of spares and repair services locally.

Right to Repair laws: a game changer

Secondly, the Right to Repair laws are a game changer.
For example, in France the AGEC law is imposing all public structures to purchase at least 20% of their IT equipment second-hand. The private sector is moving into this direction.

Advanced applications

Thirdly, the use of advanced applications. They help organizations to understand it is not necessary to replace IT hardware every 3 to 5 years.

Preventive maintenance and good care

Fourthly, preventive maintenance and good care can make hardware last many years after the manufacturer End-of-Service-Life date. This is definitely something that both CFOs and CIOs should reconcile!

Extra charges on new purchases

Fifthly, regulations could impose extra charges on the purchase of new electronic equipment. To:

  • encourage greater reuse rates
  • strengthen consumer control over software updates
  • extend legal guarantees for digital equipment.

In France alone, many sustainable IT organizations are voicing their concerns. Including Evernex partners GreenIT and Planet Techcare. They offer expertise and are lobbying with the local government and the EU regarding sustainable IT issues.

How can companies improve employee engagement in I&O sustainability initiatives? And why is this important?

Companies conduct maturity assessments within business units and across the entire organization, to show where organizations stand on the sustainable IT agenda. This gives them valuable insight of the required critical actions. These assessments must include both quantitative and qualitative aspects:

  • quantitative: potential cost or carbon savings.
  • qualitative: employee behavioural impact and vendor assessments.

Employee engagement is critical. Sustainability is only achieved if everyone works together. So, many aspects need a collective and organizational level to handle or decide upon.

What are Evernex’s sustainability goals, targets and roadmap?

Implement a low-carbon strategy

Firstly, Evernex’s sustainability goal is to implement a low-carbon strategy. In 2021, we calculated our carbon footprint and found out that 96% of our emissions originate in our supply chain. Ranging from sourcing and delivering materials and shipping products to businesses. Therefore we’ve committed to this strategy.

Roadmap to I&O sustainability

Secondly, Evernex’s targets and roadmap are related to our sustainability goals. We’ve joined Assessing Low Carbon Transition (ACT). This Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) initiative uses a 3-year long methodology to support the development of a low-carbon strategy. It helps us to set GHG reduction targets. And to establish a decarbonization transition roadmap plan.

In short, this approach is based on the following international standards: CDP, SBTi, GRI, TCFD and ISO 14001. Our Environment ISO certifications also ensure all departments are taking the necessary steps to align our everyday business operations with a sustainable, circular IT future.

What would the long-term future of I&O look like when companies choose Evernex as their Evernex now?

Maximize the value of existing IT assets

Evernex’s goal is to help companies maximize the value of existing IT assets. We do this through:

  • cost-effective solutions.
  • to extend IT budgets.
  • to channel extra revenue into investments.
  • to drive business performance.
  • to become part of a circular IT economy.
  • to reduce CO2 emissions caused by manufacturing.
  • to cut down on harmful e-waste.

Acting now helps I&O leaders to stay ahead of future environmental regulations, stand out amongst their competitors and take crucial steps towards a greener planet.

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