Build a sustainable business by turning to green technology

March 5, 20184 Minute Read

In a country known for its pristine lakes, clean air, and lush forests, it’s no wonder Canada and its cities consistently place high on sustainability rankings. As a tech executive, you may even feel a touch of extra pride knowing green technology has—and continues to be—a critical driver of sustainable efforts in Canada and other areas across the world.

For instance, smart grids that integrate clean power sources into the energy supply of many Canadian cities are built on green technology, namely sophisticated power distribution and energy automation systems. Homeowners are also increasingly switching to smart systems to monitor and control their homes remotely. What’s not to love about being able to use your mobile phone to turn up the thermostat on a cold winter’s day?

From startups to global giants, innovative companies are pitching in

Speaking of mobile phones, check out this innovation from Fairphone. Over the last few years, this Amsterdam-based manufacturer of green technology has been making smartphones with parts that can be easily repaired or replaced, allowing users to hang onto their beloved device from much longer. As a sustainable business, Fairphone has also committed to sourcing its product parts from conflict-free zones and fair-trade suppliers.

You may be thinking: Okay, that’s one small company trying to make a difference in a world obsessed with the newest, thinnest, and shiniest devices. But take a moment to consider the “circular economy” technology giant HP is building as part of its mission to reinvent how products are designed, manufactured, used, and recovered. Through programs that recover and reuse products and materials, and extend product lifecycles through managed subscription services and modular product designs, HP continues to reduce its impact on the environment.

What are you doing to build a sustainable business?

It’s clear businesses of any size can hop on the sustainability bandwagon and do their part to better the world. And as part of the IT team, you’re well positioned to drive change that will help the environment while boosting your company’s bottom line—truly a win-win. Chances are, your company already has a number of initiatives to promote a sustainable business, but what more can you be doing? Let’s take a look at how your company’s tech department, big or small, can make a significant difference to the planet by turning to green technology.

1. Boost your efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle

From paper and printer toner to computers and phones, diverting waste from the landfill should be as much of an IT goal as keeping the company’s network running smoothly. With this in mind, you should make sure you’re working with suppliers who have a buy-back and recycling program for used electronics. If you do, you can organize events where employees and members of the community can drop off their old phones, computers, and other devices to keep sustainability top of mind for everyone.

For an extra feel-good factor, you could even donate the whole lot to a recycling company working with charitable organizations, like Call2Recycle, which supports Kids Help Phone, a counselling and information service for children and young adults. You can also consider donating directly to community organizations, such as Goodwill and reBOOT Canada.

2. Head to the cloud for sustainability

On-site servers consume a lot of power and can eventually end up in your company’s electronics graveyard. By comparison, cloud-based data storage uses fewer servers and is designed for large-scale energy efficiency. In addition to these green technology benefits, cloud-based data storage and computing generally come packaged with hardware and software maintenance and repair. For you and your team, this means you’ll have more time to focus on optimizing IT operations to advance your company’s business strategy.

3. Green your supply chain

You can’t just chuck everything and immediately green your supply chain and transform overnight into a sustainable business. But you can start making choices now that will allow you to build, layer by layer, a more socially and environmentally friendly supply chain. For instance, you can look for companies that make modular products for easier repair and parts replacement or find partners who offer care services to prolong the life of your equipment and devices. With every new addition to your supply chain, you’ll improve sustainability in your company, which in turn, will contribute to a more sustainable city and country.

By turning to green tech, you can start making a difference and increase your business’s bottom line at the same time. Going green isn’t just about saving the planet—it’s about working smarter and streamlining processes to generate less waste, both from a physical and operational standpoint. Your company will prove more efficient and leaner if you start following these steps today.

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