Sustainability isn’t just some fancy buzzword… If you’re paying any attention to the news, you’ll be hearing about the impacts of climate change on *literally* the entire world.
And if environmentalism conjures up images of a hippy hugging a tree, think again! These days, it’s the responsibility of ALL of us to make good decisions for the planet, and that goes double for businesses.
Fortunately, lots of companies are now incorporating sustainability goals into their business strategy, which will go a long way towards achieving a carbon-neutral future.
The words “technology” and “sustainability” might not seem to go together (at least, not if you’re a tree-hugging hippy), but actually, digital technologies have become critical to enabling and scaling sustainability across an organization.
And the good news is, companies that take the lead on sustainability also reap financial rewards – generating up to 2.6 times more value for shareholders than their peers. So if you aren’t already using tech to drive sustainability in your business, what are you waiting for?
Creating a sustainable tech strategy
To develop your sustainability strategy, you need to start by looking at the tech you have through a sustainability lens – assessing the impacts and long-term implications. The goal here is to reduce or reuse the resources your business needs, instead of letting things go to waste.
That means analyzing your business for inefficiencies, and identifying where you can improve your systems and processes in terms of sustainability. This will help you find the right tech solutions that drive growth, while also delivering on your sustainability targets.
Your company’s sustainability goals might include:
- reducing energy consumption
- transitioning to net zero emissions
- offering sustainable products or services
- measuring and reporting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activity
- creating responsible value chains.
How you can use digital technology
Here are just some of the ways that you can put digital technologies to work, to help create a more sustainable business:
Assess and mitigate environmental issues
AI can collect data about the impacts of climate change, leveraging machine learning to predict different scenarios and possible outcomes. You can use these insights to adjust your business systems to respond to changes in the environment.
Ensure responsible waste management
AI technology can be used to map the movement of waste materials across your organization, enabling you to create better processes for waste management and recycling – with less shipping and greater reuse of materials.
Automatically reduce energy consumption
The Internet of Things (IoT) has created “smart buildings” with the ability to adapt to the number of people working inside, the times they work, and different types of office environments. They can make automatic adjustments to lighting, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning based on needs – reducing energy usage.
Measure and track carbon credits
New technologies use blockchain to effectively measure, track, and account for carbon credits. This can help your business make more informed decisions around green financing and other initiatives for sustainability.
But wait! One thing to be aware of when adopting a new technology (there’s always a catch, isn’t there?) is that it will also come with its own footprint in terms of emissions, water, and waste. So you really need to take these into consideration when assessing sustainability outcomes.
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Last but not least… don’t forget sustainable printing
There is a simple place to start if you want to reduce your workplace’s carbon footprint – and that is your humble printer. While the dream of a paperless office is still a long way off, you CAN make a few easy changes to reduce your paper, ink, and power usage.
Here are some steps you can take to make your printing more sustainable… and as a bonus, your organization will reduce costs and run more efficiently. Win-win!
- Get real-time print data so you can track how much paper you’re using and where it’s being used.
- ·Use the Find Me printing feature which prevents unwanted printouts from being released, reducing wastage.
- Configure double-sided printing as the default option on all devices to halve the amount of paper used per job.
- Restrict colour printing to those who have a specific business need, as it uses more toners and inks.
- Implement printing quotas or charge printing back to each user, encouraging them to think before they print.
- Choose deforestation-free sources of printing paper, that is 100% recycled or FSC certified.
- Turn off printers and photocopiers when they’re not being used, to save on energy consumption.
To really make your printing sustainable *and great again*, PaperCut offers a range of print management solutions – with software to suit every organization, whether you’re a small business or a large corporation.