Pure Storage, the data storage technology and services company, in partnership with Wakefield Research, has released a new report identifying the critical impact of IT on environmental sustainability and the challenges present in addressing the urgent and growing demands for IT to be accountable drivers of change.
The new report, 'Drivers of Change: Pure Storage IT Sustainability Impact Survey 2022', examines the opportunities for IT professionals to collaborate with enterprise sustainability directors to navigate reductions in the environmental footprint of their organisations.
The “Drivers of Change” survey, fielded among 1,000 sustainability program directors, saw consistent results across global markets.
It found that half of sustainability managers are behind on sustainability goals. According to the report, most sustainability managers (78%) say their company’s leadership is treating sustainability initiatives as a priority, with the majority planning to meet sustainability goals within three to seven years (56%). However, only about half (51%) of those surveyed say they are on track with their goals.
The report also found that an overwhelming 86% of sustainability program managers agree that companies cannot reach their sustainability goals without significantly reducing their technology infrastructure energy usage. This problem will grow more dire as 81% predict the impact of technology infrastructure on a company’s carbon footprint will increase in the next 12 months.
The report also found that even as tech’s carbon footprint grows, 59% of respondents say vendors’ sustainability is likely to be overlooked during the vendor selection process. This could be allayed by getting sustainability managers’ input earlier, but nearly 2 in 3 (64%) say they only become involved after the technology purchasing process has already begun.
According to Pure Storage, more than any other function (i.e. finance, leadership, operations), IT was identified as not taking the necessary steps to support their company’s sustainability goals (34%). Only about half (51%) say their IT team is taking proper considerations about sustainability when making decisions about technology purchases.
Data centres currently account for 1% of global electricity consumption today. The World Economic Forum estimates that digitisation generated 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 alone, however, if brought to scale digital technologies could reduce emissions by 20% by 2050. Data centres and digitisation play an undeniably important part in any corporate sustainability strategy.
While sustainability managers are working towards meeting critical environmental goals, they can’t do so without more sustainable IT infrastructure marked by high efficiency, scalability, and simplicity, the report found.
As a result, there is a tremendous opportunity for IT professionals to help their organisations make strides in reducing their environmental footprint. By building and adopting sustainable technology infrastructure, supported by innovative, efficient, and scalable IT vendors, IT teams have the potential to make a significant and immediate impact through technology engineered to use significantly lower power, lower cooling, and far less waste.
Ajay Singh, Chief Product Officer, Pure Storage, says, “As data workloads increase, mitigating the environmental impact of data infrastructure is critical. This inaugural report on the central role that IT can play in overall sustainability can be an important tool to help IT leaders improve their data storage strategies and decrease their organisation’s carbon footprint as they advance their digital transformation.”