Making Growth Greener: Could you scale your business more sustainably?

As we look to the future, we are increasingly understanding the huge shift towards green transformation on all levels, to create a more inclusive, responsible and sustainable world for all.

We have all seen a massive shift in attitude towards a greener future. To achieve this, it’s a case of challenging the leaders to ensure sustainability is an essential part of their businesses model.

As a collective, we know more needs to be done to be more sustainable, but it can also be argued that’s easier said than done when implementing it into your business strategy, with 65% of businesses in the northeast either unsure of how to reduce their carbon emissions or simply don’t intend to.

When it comes to scaling your business, can you do it more sustainably to reduce your carbon footprint – in essence, making growth greener?

Sustainable technology

From a combination of the media, COP26 and the focus brought on by the pandemic, the emphasis is shifting and is getting the attention of every industry with a high street retail and e-commerce business recently pledging to be carbon neutral by 2030.

The benefit of green technology is to migrate or reverse the effects of human activity on the environment. It is a concept still in its infancy, but its power to impact others should not be underestimated and the importance it is gaining, dissolving the line between what’s good and what’s profitable. The two should fit together, but it’s argued that there is increasing investment in green tech companies, but the data isn’t there to back it up.

Today, the technology revolution is evolving in every way as we know it. Tech businesses are in a unique position to reduce their impact on the environment and develop solutions that will help their customers and end-users deliver their sustainability targets and improve their impact on ESG. The growing trend is giving tech businesses opportunities to capitalise on the emerging ESG market with business revenues estimated to be generated through their pledge to de-carbonise in the next few years.

Scaling for success?

When an opportunity arises, businesses will look to scale, whether through funding, investments, acquisition or reacting to market change. Scaling with technology is a positive strategy in order to successfully scale your business, but with the growing importance as outlined, it must be considered if your business is scaling sustainably?

The shift to cloud technologies has been an emerging tech trend with more than 85% of organisations saying they will embrace a cloud-first principle by 2025. Though arguably it isn’t the cheapest option, moving to the cloud brings a host of benefits to businesses including a reduction in IT costs, increased flexibility and the potential for businesses looking to scale.

Growing greener in the cloud

It’s no hidden secret, the data industry by knowledge has a serious environmental footprint so there is an increase in focus on people finding the greenest way to store data and cut emissions, so how do the big data giants react to growing greener in the cloud?

To access the ‘greenness’ of different clouds, Jonathan Koomey highlights 3 key areas: The efficiency of a data centre’s infrastructure (lights, cooling, and so on), the efficiency of its servers, and the source of its electricity. The top 3 providers, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure have all worked to reduce their impact on the environment, meaning as businesses move their data from in-house servers to the cloud.

By 2025, Microsoft Azure pledges to move to a 100% supply of renewable energy. This will mean that they will have power purchase agreements (PPA) for the green energy contracted for 100% of carbon-emitting electricity consumed by all their data centres, buildings, and campuses.

A greener future ahead?

Implementing cloud technologies to achieve sustainability isn’t enough, we need to look at the bigger picture for businesses to pave the way for a greener future as they grow.

The government recently announced a £10m funding round via its Industrial Energy Transformation Fund to help SMEs that help drive the UK towards “clean energy independence”. The bricks are starting to be laid, and tech leaders are building the foundations, with conversations had that CTOs are looking to try and deliver “tech for good” initiatives by creating their own applications to help people and businesses. This is an interest for like-minded IT leaders and maybe something we will begin seeing more of in the future?