Organisations are transforming how they operate as evidence grows that sustainable operations drive business growth.
All the key corporate stakeholders necessary for success are contributing to the shift — including consumers, employees, partners and investors.
- Further reading: Discover the fastest route to carbon neutral IT operations
And while for many leaders is a sufficient good in itself, they are also benefiting at the bottom line.
Consider the evidence:
- Accenture found that European enterprises leading in both digital adoption and sustainable practices are nearly three times more likely than other companies to be among “tomorrow’s leaders,” thereby recovering faster and emerging stronger after the pandemic.
- Capgemini has said that more than six in ten organisations have driven an increase in revenue from sustainable operations. Moreover, nearly 80 per cent of executives pointed to an increase in customer loyalty as a key benefit from sustainability initiatives.
- McKinsey and Company says environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) positively links to cash flow in important ways — such as facilitating top-line growth, increasing employee productivity, and optimising investment and capital expenditures.
- A Bain and Company study revealed that incumbent brands with a sustainable core experience five- to six-times higher growth rates.
One of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions — and therefore an area of increasing focus by the boards, the C-Suite and risk managers — is the data centre.
According to Craig Scroggie, NEXTDC CEO, “As digital transformation accelerates, data centres are consuming an increasing amount of the world’s energy.”
Analysts estimate that every two years, the entire volume of information that exists since the beginning of time is created again, he says.
“We are seeing exponential growth in the rate of information being created, stored and shared. All of that information needs data centres to store it securely. But the amount of power required to drive these data centres continues to grow exponentially as well. When it comes to ESG policies and reporting, an organisation’s carbon footprint is a big area of focus — and that focus is only going to increase as business looks to meet carbon neutrality objectives.”
“The primary role we play in helping our clients meet those goals is to run the most efficient data centres.”
NEXTDC recently released a white paper: “Discover the fastest route to carbon neutral IT operations” to help organisations better understand the issue. Importantly it outlines how they can contribute to putting their organisation on a more sustainable footing, and capture the commercial benefits identified by companies like Accenture, McKinsey and Company, Capgemini and Bain and Company.
“IT Leaders are going to face growing calls to embed sustainable business principles at the heart of their decision-making process,” says Scroggie.
“To succeed they will need partners like NEXTDC who are committed to building world class, energy-efficient data centres that are designed, engineered and operated to the highest of standards including a regime of continual improvement around energy efficiency.”
Indeed, they will need more than that.
Auditing carbon emissions can be a difficult and complex task. Organisations will need a clear and auditable measure of carbon emissions, along with programs to offset those emissions to avoid adding cost and complexity to the business.
Under NEXTneutral, any carbon debt generated by organisations from within their NEXTDC data centre can be negated through the purchase of carbon offsets under NEXTDC’s corporate offset partnership.
“Credits purchased under NEXTneutral are used to fund critical sustainability and ecological projects in Australia. For example, one of the major projects is focused on restoring wetlands and natural environments such as the Great Barrier Reef, impacted by commercial development.
“They are also being used to support Indigenous culture and traditional sustainable land management practice.”
According to Scroggie, NEXTneutral is a powerful sustainability strategy for NEXTDC’s customers.
“It calculates and offsets their carbon footprint in our data centres, all for the same price as a cup of coffee. This zero fuss, zero complexity, zero fine-print solution saves them the time, cost and complexity of determining that for themselves and empowers them to focus on their core business comfortable in the knowledge their I.T operations are certified carbon neutral.”
Paid content: This article was written by the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit for NEXTDC.