How can technology help businesses reach their sustainability goals?

How can technology help businesses reach their sustainability goals?

Becoming more sustainable helps the bottom line as well as the environment, adding brand value and a competitive advantage whilst reducing operational costs. If, like many other businesses, you plan to join the large corporates in their pledges to become carbon neutral, here’s how technology can help you reach your business sustainability goals.

Migrate On-Premises Infrastructure to the Azure Cloud

Migrating on-premises infrastructure to the Azure Cloud can benefit your business in several ways. Firstly, you only have to pay for the resources you use. Legacy on-premises infrastructure presents a significant upfront investment for the technology and installation, as well as the costs incurred through maintenance, electricity, and sufficient cooling. Furthermore, any necessary upgrade would mean upgrading all the hardware, in a process that could take months. Similarly, there’s no easy way for your business to downgrade if your needs change over time.

The carbon impact of on-premises infrastructure begins at the manufacturing stage, continuing as the hardware operates. Running workloads in Azure reduces the embodied carbon impact as resources can be upgraded without the need to build new infrastructure. Operating carbon is also reduced, thanks to Microsoft’s next-generation server cooling methods that reduce energy use. Similarly, because the Azure cloud has been carbon neutral since 2012 any workloads run on it are also carbon neutral. Microsoft has pledged to be carbon negative by 2030, meaning it will remove more carbon each year than it emits.

Go Paperless with an E-Signature Solution

In 2019, on average each employee printed approximately 8,000 A4 pages per year* spread across many job functions, which has a significant environmental impact through the production of printers, paper, and ink. Whilst, encouragingly, throughout the pandemic this number has decreased there’s no reason why most businesses can’t be completely paperless. With Microsoft 365, you can easily share documents electronically, so that they don’t need to be printed. Perhaps you still print documents and contracts for signing by new employees, vendors, and other key stakeholders? With an e-signature solution, such as DocuSign, even these papers can be eliminated to reduce your carbon emissions and overall costs. Going paperless with an e-signature solution also increases productivity and gives your business better control and visibility over processes.

Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability

In 2021, Microsoft announced the preview release of Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability – an extensible software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that allows businesses to record, report and reduce their environmental impact through automated data connections and actionable insights. The solution connects real-time data sources to provide accurate carbon accounting, measure performance against goals, and enable intelligent insights to take more effective action. This could aid your business with accurate and transparent reporting on carbon emissions from the cloud, devices, applications, and other emission sources. It will also enable you to track your emissions to help you meet your business sustainability goals.

What’s Next?

Over the next decade it will become increasingly important for all businesses to have a sustainability strategy. This will help the environment and increase profitability as consumers, employees and potential employees place more importance on a business’s sustainability ethos. If you want to find out more about how technology can help you reach your business sustainability goals, get in touch today.


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