Sustainability in IT - Our first remote meetup

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Sustainability in IT - Our first remote meetup

Having celebrated Earth Day last week, we thought it would be a good opportunity to remind everyone that NOW is the time to start taking action on climate change. “This should be a day for us humans to reflect and recognise that the challenges we face are shared, not separate”. (Friends of the Earth)

Although we celebrated the 50th anniversary since 20 million people gathered in the States to demand environmental protection, we haven’t got another 50 years to fix the problem. So, if we want to kickstart the Decade of Action and actually make a change, we have to move fast.

We’ve already started to do so here, at Digital Detox, by making big or small changes wherever possible as a business and as individuals. If you’d like to know what we have been up to, check out our sustainability diary series we started at the beginning of this year to track our journey to living a more sustainable life and hold us accountable. This might help you kickstart your way into taking action for the purpose of being more sustainable.

See our latest diary entry right here. Or simply reach out; we’re here to help.

Digital pollution education

For the past few months, we have been educating businesses on the importance of reducing their digital footprints and even managed to reduce Vodafone’s digital pollution through the Green Report. Without going into too much detail, we saved our client 79,000kg of carbon and nearly $1million in just about 4 weeks. Imagine what could be done next and with more time!

After closely working with Andrew Ferguson, Vodafone’s Head of Digital Services, and his team, we realised how important it is to understand your digital footprint and its impact as a business, so we decided it would be a good idea to share our knowledge and learnings to like-minded people.

Our first Sustainability Meetup

Together with our partner from Posetiv Cloud, Mark Butcher, we organised our first Sustainability in IT meetup, which took place remotely last Thursday. The purpose of the session was to share experiences on the challenges facing enterprise IT, and where organisations should and could be focusing to address the challenge that is ahead of us.

Three main talks filled our agenda for the evening by speakers with different backgrounds, followed by a Q&A, where attendees had the chance to dive deeper into conversations with the presenter that caught their interest.

Digital Detox’s sustainability journey - highs & lows

Our CEO, Donovan, kicked off the session with an overview of digital pollution, why it is important and what we’re doing about it at Digital Detox.

One of the most interesting stats he referred to led us to do more thinking about the whole digital pollution issue. Did you know that only about 6% of all data ever created is in use today? The rest of 94% is sitting in a vast “cyber landfill” that keeps on growing.

Donovan also delved into the approach we have taken as a business to introduce sustainability as a core element, including the changes, challenges and benefits, plus the recommendations and opportunities for other companies to do the same.

Having created a tried-and-tested formula of measurement, his talk addressed the common areas where change is usually needed, from code and cloud through to the underlying culture and customer impact, or using “the four Cs” approach - as we like to call it.

Vodafone’s commitment to reducing their digital footprint

“Climate change remains one of the most critical global challenges facing humanity.” (Vodafone Sustainable Business Report, 2019).

With this statement in mind, Andrew discussed the journey Vodafone Digital Services have embarked on to reduce the environmental impact of their applications and underlying IT services.

From his first-hand experience, he covered the need to engage your wider business, and how they intend to make their IT services more sustainable. The initiatives used to increase employee engagement are at the core of their optimum, critical goal of embedding sustainability within the wider culture of their business. He also gave an overview of our recent collaboration on Green Report, talking through the goals, learnings, challenges and next steps.

Data Centre sustainability

Our third speaker, John Booth, joined us from Carbon3IT to give a more technical overview and covered the often painful subject of data centre sustainability. His talk provided background to climate change and potential energy issues in the UK over the next 5 years.

He also covered some information on global data centre energy use and mitigation actions that data centre owners can adopt to reduce energy consumption.

What next?

Overall, we came to the conclusion that businesses have a vital responsibility to take action on their own carbon footprint and focusing on climate change is not just a box-ticking exercise. As one of the meetup’s guests suggested, sustainability awareness should be embedded in your team’s culture, even from the first step of the recruitment process. This way, businesses can use their voice and influence to encourage team members, customers, and other businesses to do the same.

We hope you enjoyed the meetup if you attended and found it useful. If you didn’t and you have any questions at all, please get in touch. We are aiming to organise another sustainability event soon, hopefully, in-person this time. Stay tuned on our social channels to find out when this will take place.

In the meantime, let’s remind ourselves that we all share one home - Planet Earth - and start taking some action on climate change, no matter how small.

The clock is ticking on the decade of action. How are you going to contribute to our planet’s health? We can’t change everything. But we can all change something.