Sustainability should be a priority in any business. Not only can sustainability initiatives support a reduced carbon footprint for your company’s operations, but they can also garner a positive brand image among investors and consumers. Many business decisions can be made with sustainability in mind, and procuring new IT assets is a perfect example. Here, we’ll share how to develop a sustainable IT procurement strategy for your business.
Consider you current IT infrastructure
Before any procurement decisions are made, start by conducting an audit of your current IT assets and infrastructure. Assess the life cycle of your IT assets and consider the environmental impact of your devices through each stage, including energy consumption during manufacturing and use, as well as recyclability and e-waste. As you go through this exercise, identify areas where sustainability efforts could be improved.
Once you’ve mapped out the life cycles of your current IT devices, develop sustainability goals to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. Consider objectives such as reducing waste, improving energy efficiency, and ensuring ethical sourcing. Be sure to engage key stakeholders when developing a procurement strategy, and gather input from IT, procurement, and sustainability teams.
Evaluate and select vendors
When you’re ready to begin seeking vendors for your IT equipment, look exclusively for suppliers with a verified commitment to sustainability. Establish evaluation criteria to prioritize environmental sustainability. Below are a few key qualities to consider.
- Energy efficiency: Look for vendors with Energy Star certification or similar to prioritize energy-efficient equipment.
- Packaging and shipping: Select eco-friendly shipping and packaging options. Consider suppliers who minimize the use of single-use plastics and excess packaging.
- Ethical sourcing: Verify that IT components are sourced from ethical suppliers.
- Cost-benefit analysis: Assess the long-term savings of sustainable procurement, which could help to offset a larger initial investment required from more reputable vendors.
Establish and implement green IT policies
Vetting suppliers is an important starting point, but sustainable IT procurement doesn’t end there. Next, you’ll need to develop and implement policies to promote sustainability and provide training to ensure they’re applied consistently.
Start by training your employees on responsible IT usage and disposal to ensure your sustainability efforts have the greatest possible impact. This could include strategies such as using power save modes or other energy-saving practices. Additionally, create a plan for e-waste management, which should incorporate responsible disposal and recycling of end-of-life IT equipment. Ensure compliance with any applicable e-waste regulations.
Once you’ve implemented your IT procurement strategy, perform monitoring and reporting by setting up metrics and measuring progress towards your sustainability objectives. Report on achievements and share them with key stakeholders. Finally, revisit your sustainable IT procurement strategy periodically and make changes as needed. Stay up-to-date with evolving technologies and industry best practices.
While each company should develop an IT procurement strategy that works best for their needs, Quantum can prioritize sustainability at the final step in your business’s IT asset lifecycle through options like e-waste recycling and refurbishment. Find out more about the steps we take to ensure a sustainable approach to e-waste here.