Sustainability in IT business. What you can do to decarbonise
Most of us are onboard with the fact that humans have been overconsuming the earth's resources at an unsustainable rate. Action from a global, government, and local government level is still unsatisfactory. Everyone needs to start doing their bit, and hopefully each little bit adds up and makes a big difference.
What can you do to be a sustainable business? And what are we doing?
Below is some of the low hanging fruit and other initiatives which we have been able to bring into practice as a Wellington IT Services and Product Company and play a part in New Zealand’s sustainable business network.
Remote meetings and working remotely cuts down on travel. One positive thing that has come out of the Covid era, is the adoption of remote work. Our clients, from small businesses to large corporates to government, are all now comfortable with online meetings, and 9/10 of these function as productively as in-person meetings.
Our office includes a bike room, and with showers at work there aren't many excuses not to ride to work. Encourage commuting by bike or ebike. Encourage your team to use public transportation where possible!
Server / cloud hosting
One of the larger controllable carbon contributors is our server hosting. Consider your data centre's region and where the power is coming from. New Zealand for instance uses up to 82% renewable energy sources (in 2021), whereas our friendly neighbours over the ditch use only 24% renewables. You can also consider the hardware/processors that run your software. The new AMD chips are more efficient than Intel for instance and adopting efficient silicon will be a win for the planet.
Design your software to limit its footprint. Adopting shared services and on demand features of cloud computing can drastically reduce your carbon footprint. The advent of Function as a Service (FaaS) means you move from having servers sitting idle, consuming resources, to an on demand shared model, reducing your hosting costs and carbon footprint.
Build efficient algorithms
Lowering the cost of your compute time adds up when that function is executed millions of times. Reduce internet traffic, think about image size, CSS and JS size and compression, and how those bundles are transferred and consumed across the globe - all resulting in a little bit less carbon. This can add up!
Waste / Recycle
Waste is where you will find ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Ensure you have, and encourage the use of, recycling facilities. Use reusable/recyclable bowls when bringing in food. Choose suppliers who also respect the environment, who also use recyclables and don’t over package their supplies.
Sustainable Business Network
We joined the Sustainable Business Network to learn from and collaborate with other like minded businesses.
Carbon Reporting / Measuring
We monitor and report on our carbon emissions at the board level. Graphs visualise the carbon footprint of our activities and anomalies or bad trends can be picked up and discussed. If you are interested in how we are doing this, please do get in touch!
Generally, when you are spending money, you are creating carbon. Review your laptop refresh policies and other discretionary spending budgets to see if there are any opportunities to consume less.
Offsetting your carbon
Once you are recording your carbon, it becomes much more real and you can identify ways to reduce your footprint. It is unlikely that you are Carbon Zero. You can look at offsetting the remainder of your footprint using carbon sink projects such as Project Crimson, and Toitū. Declare a goal to be Carbon Zero by 2025!
Participate in initiatives
Get the team involved in activities that raise awareness and help the planet. We have been involved in yearly tree planting initiatives which help get the team involved in living and breathing our sustainability values (as well as being a great team building event).
This year we supported the amazing 2022 Climate Response Accelerator held by our partners at Creative HQ. The Climate Response Accelerator is a 12-week programme designed to help impact-focused entrepreneurs solve some of our planet’s most urgent challenges! Pretty cool stuff if you ask us!
You use a bunch of services in the day-to-day running of your business. Apply your sustainability check to your clients and suppliers. We switched to a carbon zero electricity supplier for example, which encourages our network to be doing the right thing. Sustainable business is efficient business. Wherever you apply sustainability thinking, savings can be found.
We are in this together
Abletech’s values include doing the right thing and being sustainable. We are part of the Sustainable Business Network for guidance and working towards a more sustainable world that will hopefully be in a better position to serve the generations to come.
What else can we do??
Please make sure to comment on our Linkedin post about ways you are reducing your carbon footprint so we can move forward, learn and improve together.