What is IT Sustainability?
While there are numerous large-scale tech climate solutions in development, there are many tools and strategies that your organization can adopt right now to reduce your carbon footprint, reduce energy usage, increase energy security, save money by managing energy more efficiently, and demonstrate your commitment to improved energy performance, all while still keeping cybersecurity front of mind. Examples of tools that can help you in this endeavor include:
Carbon offsetting tools. Carbon offsetting is the process of compensating for carbon dioxide that is emitted as a result of organizational or individual activities. An example of a carbon offsetting tool is the technology that calculates the carbon impact of a flight and integrates that fee into the travel booking system.
Carbon calculators. Many software measurement tools can be integrated into supply chains and production processes to calculate the carbon footprint of individual products or entire organizations. An example of a carbon calculator is technology that allows cloud computing users to see how much CO2 their cloud services are producing.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). AI and ML tools can complete the long and complicated task of data collection and analysis in order to report on emissions and management, providing organizations with information that can help them to make more informed decisions about the most sustainable products and suppliers to select.
Smart procurement tools. Sustainable Procurement is the incorporation of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles into procurement processes and policies, assisting organizations in their efforts to engage with suppliers in a manner that aligns with their corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies.
Sensors and IoT. Sensors and Internet of Things (IoT) devices can help track energy consumption, monitor water quality, and monitor air pollution. Sensors and IoT devices can be paired with analytics tools that can issue alerts that point to areas of concern, such as points of excessive energy consumption, opportunities for increased energy efficiency, and areas of potential cost savings. Sensors and IoT devices can also be used to improve supply chain efficiency and enhance resource management.
Cloud computing. Many cloud providers advertise sustainable and efficient cloud environments, and commitments to sustainability practices and transparency.
Cybersecurity plays an important role in sustainability as well, as cyberattacks can negatively impact sustainability efforts through:
- Financial losses
- Reputational damage
- Legal consequences
- Regulatory consequences