The Hidden Cost of IT Emissions: Why Companies Must Act Now

The Hidden Cost of IT Emissions: Why Companies Must Act Now

At re:cinq, our mission as Green Software consultants is to empower businesses to slash their IT-related carbon emissions. The ICT sector is exploding, with emissions predicted to soar to 14% of global CO2e by 2040. The urgency is clear – to meet the Paris Agreement goals, we must drastically cut emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050.

The good news: Companies are spending heavily on ESG reporting to demonstrate their commitment. The bad news: Many Sustainability initiatives are driven by marketing, not meaningful change. Greenwashing is rampant, with offsets and storytelling taking precedence over actual emissions reductions.

A Turning Tide

Thankfully, we’re seeing a shift. Sustainability teams are moving under Finance departments, singling a focus on accurate carbon accounting. However, reliable data collection remains a challenge – manual processes are time-consuming, expensive, and create unreliable, static data. This makes it impossible to quickly measure the impact of reduction efforts.

Worse still, most product and operations teams lack dedicated budgets or targets for emissions reduction. While cost-cutting often has an environmental benefit, few can even quantify their systems’ carbon footprint.

The Inevitable Shift

This situation is unsustainable. Driven by regulation and potential carbon taxes, sustainability will soon become a core business metric for every company. Those who fail to act risk hefty fines and a chaotic scramble to catch up.

Get Ahead of the Curve

So, will you wait and risk falling behind, or start setting ambitious reduction targets now? The choice is clear. Proactive companies have a unique opportunity:

Avoid regulatory chaos: Prepare well in advance of stricter regulations. Save money: Invest in automation and optimisation to reduce emissions (and costs). Attract talent and customers: Build a reputation as a responsible, forward-thinking business. We Must Act, and Act Now

The time for action is yesterday. We need to go beyond storytelling and into the heart of product and operations. By educating staff, investing in real-time environmental reporting tools, and redesigning systems with sustainability in mind, we can pave the way for a more responsible future. Here’s how to get started:

  • Conduct an initial carbon audit of key systems
  • Set up a Sustainability working group with representation from Product, IT, and Finance
  • Research existing Green Software resources, such as the principles outlined by the Green Software Foundation

Real-World Examples

Here is a good compilations of famous Greenwashing Examples:

Success Stories always start with Patagonia and Sustainability driven business:

The Employee and Customer Angle

Studies show that a growing number of today’s employees, especially younger generations, prioritise working for companies with strong sustainability values. Similarly, consumers are increasingly making purchasing decisions based on a brand’s environmental impact. Embracing genuine IT sustainability isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s becoming a smart business strategy.

re:cinq is here to help. Contact us to find out how we can help you build responsible and sustainable IT systems.