SustainableIT.org have published the world’s first set of metrics to measure how environmentally sustainable key technology processes are. They focus on four areas – Sourcing, Emissions, Energy, and Waste – which are areas where ITAM teams can contribute to their organization’s ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) scorecards. Regulatory changes in the EU and US mean that organizations need to pay more attention to this area and these metrics will enable them to measure performance against key programs and objectives.
Importantly, these metrics don’t just apply to IT’s own operations. They can be used to measure sustainable technology usage across the organization. As such, for teams and individuals using those metrics, there is a possibility to go beyond focusing on internal IT. This is a fantastic opportunity for ITAM teams to engage with new stakeholders and get renewed or increased focus for their programs. If up to now we’ve been focused on measuring cost and risk, now we have the option to also measure our environmental performance.
For example, ITAM teams have data about hardware lifecycles and warranty information which can be used to inform a refresh cycle, potentially extending the service life of existing assets rather than buying new ones. With most of the total environmental cost of hardware tied up in manufacture and distribution this is the best way we can contribute to meeting environmental goals. Similarly, we can provide data such as power consumption to architects and Cloud teams in order to help them identify power-inefficient on-premises workloads and potentially move them to the cloud. This ties in with the hardware lifecycle as older servers – just like older cars – tend to be less energy efficient.
In addition to using data we already gather we can also leverage our processes. One such example is ensuring we have good hardware and software harvesting processes in place. Every device that’s sat in stock reduces the need for a net new device. ITAM teams often battle with departments when reclaiming assets so perhaps explaining how giving up a device when it’s no longer needed benefits the environment could be a way of changing that conversation.
Expect to see much more on Sustainable IT from LISA. It’s a key topic for everyone and a fantastic opportunity for ITAM teams to make a difference. There’s a module on the subject in our upcoming ITAD course and a full Green IT course is in development.
For more on the new standards see https://sustainableit.org