How 25 UK channel partners are tackling their carbon emissions

From Proact and Apogee to market giants Softcat and Computacenter, what actions are top IT solutions providers taking to curb their carbon footprints?

Doug Woodburn
clock • 22 min read
How 25 UK channel partners are tackling their carbon emissions

Computacenter

Revenue: £6.73bn

tCO2e: 5,210 (vs 13,856)

The world's largest UK-headquartered IT solutions and services outfit last month unveiled a new target of being net zero across scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2040 - trumping its previous aim by ten years.

Helped by a recent record-breaking solar roll out at its Hatfield HQ, Computacenter now generates 73 per cent of its electricity usage from renewables (according to its recent annual sustainability report) and this month announced it has brought forward its goal of being carbon neutral across scope 1 and 2 from 2027 to 2022.

It stressed that the new targets come on the back of "years of carbon reduction efforts across the business".

Having cut its scope 1 and 2 emissions by 74 per cent between 2021 and 2019 (with its estimated total falling from nearly 14,000 to just over 5,000 tonnes last year), Computacenter is confident of becoming carbon neutral this year with "minimal" usage of carbon offsets.

The reduction was fuelled partly by its installation of solar panels at its Hatfield HQ in 2020 and German head office last October, with plans now afoot to repeat the feat at its US integration centre in Livermore, California. This would potentially generate a further 0.75m kWh of renewable electricity annually, on top of the 1.8m and 1.5m kWh already generated by Hatfield and Kerpen.

Partly in a bid to ensure this figure does not rebound to pre-Covid levels, Computacenter introduced a travel levy for all staff on 1 October 2021, as revealed by CRN. The £10/€12/$14 levy raised around €50,000 during Q4 (according to its recent annual sustainability report). It will be used to offset the travel element of Computacenter's scope 3 emissions.

The 2040 net zero target also encompasses ‘indirect' scope 3 emissions, including business travel and transportation and the supply chain and product of its technology vendors, however.

Talking to CRN, Computacenter's UK sustainability lead, Clare Parry-Jones, said Computacenter had taken a "pragmatic" approach to net zero.

"Other organisations - predominantly private ones - and not necessarily in the IT sector, have been very bold in terms of going out, and are almost giving investors and employees happy ears. But they haven't thought about the impacts in detail," she said.

"We wanted to make sure we fully understood it, and that we understood scope 3. We signed up to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in March, and are submitting for validation. They will come back with timelines and areas we can work on, but if you look at the advances we've made on scope 1 and 2, we know we can get there in that period we're talking about.

"We've not put 2040 closing our eyes and crossing our fingers and toes. We've put 2040 because we have confidence we can get there. And it may be that we could bring that even further forwards."

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