Sustainable IT | Technology

18 Jul

Saving Energy on Sustainable IT

Sustainability and IT are not always two concepts that go together, but they’re closely connected. The tech industry relies heavily on electricity for data storage and hardware is manufactured using raw materials that must be sustainably sourced to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.

In this article, we’d like to highlight some of the reasons why the IT industry should be focused on sustainability and place environment, social and governance (ESGs) at the heart of what it does.

The link between tech and sustainability

It’s tempting to think of the IT industry as something that exists in the cloud or purely online, but in reality, it’s a huge sector of the economy that employs real people in large buildings using physical hardware produced in massive factories. All of these structures have the potential to harm the environment if they aren’t managed sustainably.

Even the virtual data that may seem to be invisible needs to be stored somewhere – and the facilities we use to keep it safe all rely on storage equipment and ultimately electricity to stay up and running.

  • Hardware components are made from metals, plastics and other industrial materials that can have a polluting effect if they’re not properly recycled.
  • Data storage is a burden on the world’s electricity supply, with activities like virtual currency mining Blockchain using up a particularly large amount of electricity.

Despite the stress that our industry places on the world’s energy supply, and the footprint that it can have due to its reliance on physical hardware, many tech executives either don’t have a clearly defined sustainability policy or don’t consider it a major management priority.

In order to keep the tech industry running at high levels of efficiency, while ensuring the future of our planet, we need to ensure that we take ownership of the role the industry plays in environmental matters and work to reduce our footprint accordingly.

  • Hardware should be recycled and sourced from approved partners who demonstrate sustainable manufacturing practices
  • Unnecessary data should be deleted so that it doesn’t place a burden on the electricity supply, especially in countries like South Africa which produce most of their power through burning fossil fuels. Solar energy solutions for data centres should be implemented wherever possible.
  • Tech companies should strive to educate their clients about the benefits of going paperless, and also managing the amount of data they produce and store.

Practices like these are essential for the future of the planet as well as the tech sector as a whole. What’s more, they can help improve corporate clients’ ESG scores, attracting investment and serving as an excellent public relations tool.

Select your essential data and keep it safe with us 

Once you’ve rationalised the amount of data that your organisation produces, it’s still essential to keep it safe in the cloud in case of a cyber attack. Soteria’s range of secure cloud storage packages for businesses of all sizes ensures that you have a virtual vault for your valuable business data.

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