Prioritising sustainability for business resilience and staff retention By Bob Bailkoski, CEO, Logicalis Group

Sustainability or de-carbonisation is a key area for businesses in 2022. It’s been a talking point for many years and the world needs true dedication from businesses to create a positive global impact. As a result, businesses that are looking to digitally transform will also be considering how plans can be sustainable and brought in line with modern responsible business practices.

Compounding this is a push from younger generations, top talent, and even customers themselves, who highly value businesses that take an open, proactive approach to creating more sustainable practices. Businesses that take a sustainable approach for which they can be held accountable are quickly gaining competitive advantage.

Technology can create a positive impact

With 98% of global CIOs accelerating digital transformation plans, there is a clear opportunity to create radical transformation if sustainable practices are considered at the same time.

Our role as a partner to those digitally transforming, is to not only help them reach the most efficient solutions, but to demonstrate ways to reduce carbon footprint or offset overall environmental impact. Sharing this expertise with customers across the globe and fostering better attitudes to emission reduction can cause a knock-on effect for change.

Whilst there are plenty of existing technologies such as data centres and other infrastructure solutions that typically push up carbon footprints, when combined with a sustainable approach it can also help to reduce these impacts. For instance, Cisco recently made their biggest pledge yet to bring greenhouse gas emissions for their whole value chain down to net zero by 2040 and reach net zero for their own emissions by 2025. As part of this they are developing more efficient technologies and recently condensed 2,300 elements into a single computer chip, using 96% less electricity than its predecessor. From sending a nearly a ton of equipment to customers, they are now able to ship something closer to the size of a pizza box, massively offsetting carbon impacts.

Attracting top talent with sustainability

An additional attraction to the clear environmental benefits of a sustainable approach is the ability to attract and retain top talent. More than ever before, candidates look for the ethical, more modern policies operated by businesses – for example on sustainability, diversity and inclusion and hybrid working.

The skills that many organisations need today are very different to what they needed 10 years ago, and this will continue to evolve. Businesses need Coders, DevOps Engineers and App Developers - all skills that are predominantly coming from millennials and Gen Z. As digital natives, they look for businesses that can provide them with the benefits of improved work-life balance, that comes with hybrid working (a sustainable practice in itself). Furthermore, research from Gallup highlights that they also looking for ethical leaders and businesses who match their own internal values.

Employers must be aware of this and act. Current and future employees want visibility into employers’ actions when it comes to sustainability. If businesses can’t showcase how they are deploying sustainable initiatives, they risk losing valuable talent with candidates looking elsewhere for organisations that better align with their values.

Action is needed and it is needed now

Sustainability must be made a priority for businesses in 2022. The planet is not going to wait for us to find the perfect political solution to lower emissions, so businesses must act now to build strategies that include sustainability at their heart. From digital transformation that includes carbon footprint reduction, to leaning into hybrid working patterns to create more sustainable workspaces, together we can make a difference. But we must all act and we must all act now.

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