How the Technology Industry Is Tackling Carbon
Emissions and Combating Climate Change
Mark Robison, Board Director at BJSS, discusses the role of technology in combating climate change. We currently face the critical challenge of reducing carbon emissions in an effort to reach net zero targets. This is the challenge of our lifetime and for many more generations to come. Fortunately, this challenge has ushered in a new era of innovation, where technology plays a leading role in creating a sustainable future.
TECH FOR GOOD
Green software development an approach to software engineering that prioritises energy-efficient patterns and processes – should be a focus for all tech organisations. Alongside green tech innovation, there is a multitude of tech solutions that can help organisations achieve their sustainability goals. Efficient data storage is one such solution. The environmental impact of data infrastructure is growing as data demand increases. This is largely due to increasing mobile and cloud-computing traffic, as well as the expanding development and adoption of compute-intensive applications. Building a sustainable model for the future requires data storage that uses less energy, requires less cooling and generates less waste. Many organisations (such as Dell, Seagate and Toshiba) are designing storage with low-power components, for example. The technology industry, and specifically IoT, also plays a critical role in creating “smart cities” that are more sustainable. The use of IoT sensors can help to optimise resource usage, reduce energy consumption and improve transportation efficiency. For instance, the city of Barcelona has installed smart street lighting that automatically adjusts brightness levels based on real-time data, thereby reducing energy consumption.
SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND OPERATIONS
Tech companies should be designing all products with sustainability in mind. Dell and HP are using recycle plastics in their products, and Apple has developed a robot that can disassemble iPhones to recover valuable materials, for example. Embedding green data handling and code is another lever organisations can pull to incorporate sustainability into their operations. By producing, writing and manipulating code that reduces energy consumption, organisations can minimise their environmental impact.
TECH-ENHANCED SUPPLY CHAINS
To reach net zero, companies must examine their supply chains. The Carbon Disclosure Project has shown that supply chain emissions are, on average, 11.4 times greater than direct operational emissions. Tech companies must, therefore, track their Scope 3 emissions to identify areas where they can decrease energy use. Monitoring, reporting and verification systems can be utilised to track not only Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions but also Scope 3 emissions to better understand the carbon impact across all areas of the supply chain.
However, mitigating the emissions of every entity in a supply chain can be a challenge due to multiple supplier tiers and the higher cost of sustainably produced materials. In a global environment of rising costs and increasing geopolitical tensions disrupting supply chains, it is the responsibility of tech giants to lead the charge, hopefully creating a “trickle-down” effect. BJSS’ Net Zero 2025 goal is supported by our companywide Carbon Reduction Plan, which is targeted at a regional and local level and includes an agreed set of Local Carbon Reduction Plans (LCRP). One way in which we’re working towards reducing our Scope 3 emissions is by ensuring our suppliers are committed to promoting long-term environmental sustainability. All technology companies should encourage collaborative partnerships with their suppliers to help them become more sustainable. This could involve providing training on sustainable practices; helping them to access financing for sustainable technologies; or collaborating on research and development.
The role of the consumer
This “trickle-down” effect can also incentivise consumers to act more sustainably. Currys, for example, offers a “cash for trash” scheme, where consumers are encouraged to trade in old technology in return for a discount on the next in-store purchase. With technology becoming increasingly intertwined with our daily lives, it is the responsibility of the tech industry to be transparent about a product’s manufacturing journey. This will lead to greater awareness of how our digital lives impact the planet and educate people on how they can reduce their digital carbon footprint.
BJSS is an award-winning technology and engineering consultancy for business.
For almost three decades they’ve delivered high quality, world-class technology solutions to the world’s leading companies. They deliver complex enterprise software by aligning engineering, advanced technology, user-focused design and a collaborative delivery approach.
They focus on relationships where their customers trust them because they are open and honest. The quality of their work and the culture and resilience of their people make them the obvious alternative for their clients. They seek the simple path forward: they are straightforward in all they do.
Engaging as a sole delivery partner or operating as part of a mixed client, supplier or partner team, their flexibility, adaptability and commitment to delivery excellence helps them succeed in the most demanding and complex environments. Their flexibility, commitment to technical excellence and absolute focus on outcomes, mean that they routinely succeed where others have failed.
Their mission is to be the number one partner their customers trust to deliver the complex technology solutions they need to transform and thrive. They achieve this by nurturing talented people and being straightforward to work with.
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