Sustainability is a growing trend in many industries, with energy consumption and financial savings as top motivating factors, and technology is available to assist with this. Businesses are becoming more aware of their carbon footprint, the impact technology and data storage have on this, and the need to have sustainable systems in place for the future.

A recent study by McKinsey Digital recently revealed that enterprise technology is responsible for emitting about 350 to 400 megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent gases (the equivalent of the total carbon emitted by the UK).

With this in mind, Andy Brown, managing director of digital transformation specialist Propel Tech discusses how businesses can adapt their technology to promote sustainability:

Sustainable technology focuses on mapping, planning and implementing software that assists businesses in moving towards becoming carbon-neutral and reducing their reliance on non-sustainable resources, processes or procedures. Sustainable technology can, therefore, not only support global sustainability goals but can also deliver real business benefits, such as remaining durable in harsh financial climates.

Implementing technology designed to reduce energy, improve infrastructures, and cut out unrequired processes helps to support financial sustainability in the long term, streamlining business spending on infrastructure.

Cloud migration is one way to improve energy efficiency and processes. Further data from McKinsey Digital suggests cloud migration can reduce carbon emissions from business data centres by more than 55%, or around 40 megatons of CO2e worldwide.² As a cloud host can scale infrastructure up or down depending on business needs and offer real-time systems updates and management, it dramatically improves the running of a business and the use of resources.

In turn, cloud scalability helps companies to control costs and allow for financial savings across technology which is beneficial for overall business sustainability.

Tool consolidation is another practical, sustainable use of technology. By combining various aspects of business software, businesses can create better organisations using a centralised data point and remove unnecessary software that uses energy and costs money.

Consolidating and simplifying technology stacks is another essential way to create sustainable technology. Businesses often use various tools built and implemented years ago, which could significantly reduce focus on preferred tools. Simplifying your tech stacks will force the business to ask which aspects of their digital infrastructure are redundant and causing friction while helping to create energy-efficient systems which only consume power in areas most advantageous to the business.

Making a business more sustainable isn’t an overnight process; it comes with challenges.

It can be a complicated process to work out which areas of the business need to be adapted to become more sustainable and streamline business processes. Without an in-house software specialist, companies may become overwhelmed with research into improvements or waste time and money on digital transformation.

Also, like with all digital transformation projects, there is an upfront cost to set up the business in line with sustainable technology. However, consulting a software development expert will help minimise these costs and ensure the maximum return on investment.