Sustainability goals cannot be achieved without significantly reducing the energy usage of technology infrastructure, a study from Pure Storage reveals.
Pure Storage, an American technology company which develops all-flash data storage hardware and software products, partnered with Wakefield Research to survey over 1,000 sustainability managers in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany.
The Drivers of Change: Pure Storage IT Sustainability Impact Survey 2022 found that 86 per cent of sustainability program managers feel that companies cannot reach their sustainability goals without reducing energy usage within the tech in organizations.
In fact, this problem may deepen, with 81 per cent predicting the impact of the technology infrastructure on a company’s carbon footprint will increase over the next 12 months.
Respondents reported that their company’s leadership is treating sustainability initiatives as a priority, with the majority planning to meet sustainability goals within three to seven years. However, only half of those surveyed say they are on track with their goals.
The survey found that even though organizations do have sustainability initiatives and are making it a priority, most investments in this area fail to include environmental inefficiencies found in IT.
Just under 35 per cent of organizations said their IT departments are not taking the necessary steps to support their sustainability initiatives, compared to other groups within the company.
The report also found that digital transformation has encouraged IT professionals to prioritize the reduction of their carbon footprint, however, they aren’t choosing the correct solutions that support data storage capacity and minimize environmental impact simultaneously. According to the World Economic Forum, it’s estimated that digitization generated four per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2020. By 2025, it’s predicted that data generation could double globally from today’s 97 zettabytes (97 trillion gigabytes).
Fixing this problem starts with addressing the unsustainable environmental impact of inefficient technology. But almost 60 per cent say IT infrastructure sustainability is likely to be overlooked during the vendor selection process, and 64 per cent of sustainability managers have noted that they’ve only become involved in an organization’s IT strategy after the technology purchasing process has already started.
Pure Storage’s report does suggest some solutions to this problem to create a sustainable tech infrastructure. To begin with, sustainability initiatives should be at the forefront of IT decisions makers’ supply chain decisions and operations, respondents said.
Respondents added that this practice would be beneficial in the following ways:
50 per cent say it would facilitate more communication between IT and sustainability program teams
47 per cent agree it would create easier reporting
46 per cent agree it would prevent the use of potentially harmful technology or practices
46 per cent saying that it would ensure IT is aligned with sustainability goals
Lastly, all respondents surveyed said that there are many benefits from garnering input from sustainability managers earlier in the IT planning process.
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