Today, the scrutiny of business behaviour is greater than ever. Reputations are no longer made solely by the services you offer to customers, but by the values a company lives by and the actions it takes. It’s no surprise that people are drawn to companies who do good things, but what is surprising is that many businesses continue to operate in ways that can cause significant reputational damage.
An area of business behaviour that has been a hot topic for many years is how green a company is. The public has shifted in its awareness of how business operations impact the environment, and this is having a greater influence over buying decisions.
Many consumers want to ensure their money is aligned with their values and desires for a more sustainable planet. In fact, in its latest annual report the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE), showed strong evidence that there is a correlation between comprehensive sustainability reporting and a transparent culture, with increased business revenue.
However, it can be difficult for companies to have a true understanding of their overall environmental impact, particularly when you consider the amount of outsourced services that are employed. Therefore, it is easy to overlook important areas, such as IT, when compiling a sustainability report. IT is an area that can have a huge impact on a company’s green credentials, particularly as data storage facilities emit and consume huge amounts of energy.
Today, the data center industry emits more CO2 than the entire airline industry. The cost of electricity accounts for a significant share of the total cost of operations, and 70% of the electricity produced derives from non-renewable resources – oil, gas and coal.
Many data centers are now offering solutions with more efficient services and a climate positive output. While many might think this comes at a premium, it can in fact be much cheaper than a less sustainable operation. Through initiatives such as the use of renewable energy, efficient energy consumption and re-using the heat that is created by the data center, operations are not only greener and more efficient, but the cost of using its services can also be slashed.
Companies can’t ignore the need to focus on sustainability, and those that do are often exposed for their failings. As more engaged younger generations grow up this will continue to have greater importance.
If a company does not have the internal expertise to be a leader in sustainability, it is still possible to keep it as a key focus and ensure employees, stakeholders and customers are aware of your efforts. Ensuring that your suppliers have the necessary expertise to enhance your green credentials gives a boost to your reputation and helps attract a wider customer base.
To find out if your data center operations could be greener read our new sustainability whitepaper: