Are sustainability and commercial success mutually exclusive?
Currently, there is a misunderstanding, or lack of knowledge whereby many organisations believe that sustainability and commercial success are mutually exclusive. Unfortunately, sustainability targets and objectives are still often perceived as an overhead; albeit a more necessary one. However, I believe that the channel is seeing a rapid awakening to the fact that this is not the case and over the next 3-5 years, I predict that we'll witness a substantial shift in the way that businesses find further success through concerted commitment to sustainability. For Greensafe, sustainability and profitability are at the heart of our business model and the two have worked hand-in-hand to make Greensafe as successful as we are today.
What is the most ambitious goal your company has set around environmental or social sustainability?
Our goals for environmental sustainability continue to develop in line with business growth. What we do as a business each and every day is extremely environmentally sustainable and contributing to improving the environment and the world we live in and the problems we have created. Our Social projects are becoming more and more part of our everyday activity and engagement with our customers. They vary greatly but we, as a business, support every customer we engage with on social programs. Our biggest goal is to champion positive change towards the attitude and understanding of sustainability, the issues we all face and how we can work together to tackle them.
What's the most shocking sustainability-related stat you've heard?
If Earth's history is compared to a calendar year, modern humans have been around for 37 minutes and managed to use up one third of Earth's natural resources in the last 0.2 seconds.
Now, that's a stat that really makes you stop and think (and hopefully, take action)!
Looking at your company's products, solutions, and services, how often is sustainability now part of the conversation at an end-user level?
Every day. It's what we do and what we sell as a service. The sales teams are talking about sustainability, circular economy and our green approach on every call and engagement in the subject spans from the CEO right through to the onsite team and the warehouse staff.
Are there any quick wins for MSPs and resellers that are looking to become more sustainable?
There are plenty of quick wins; changing to a green energy provider and aborting the use of single use plastics is a massive and easy start. Promoting and supporting the circular economy is another and not necessarily one that springs to the forefront of everyone's minds. The latter can also have economic benefits as well as environmental.
Which IT company do you most admire for its sustainability credentials?
I would have to say Softcat have been an inspiration in terms of their long-term sustainability goals, in particular, the drive to work with a net zero supply chain by 2040. Rather than focussing only on their own journey, they are looking at the bigger picture and driving widespread change; something we all need to champion.
How would you assess the IT channel's record on sustainability overall?
Poor to date, but it is changing. We hear some truly wonderful stories and there are many businesses doing a lot of good, however it's still not widespread enough and many are just paying lip service to the issue.
Have you or your company's outlook towards environmental and social sustainability changed in the last year?
In terms of our day-to-day activities, our outlook hasn't changed, however we are learning to focus our marketing efforts more on all the good we have been doing over years. It's what we do, so nothing new to the business, but we continually strive to achieve bigger goals.
This year, Greensafe have set-up a CSR Steering Group, to drive improvement and awareness of environmental and sustainability issues, both internally, amongst our local community and across the channel.
Is the government doing enough to shape sustainable behaviour in the IT sector and among UK business more generally?
No, the government needs to take rapid control. More focus is needed, as well as legislation in place and incentives to drive the right behaviour.
What does the term ‘sustainability' encompass for you and your organisation?
To me, sustainability within our organisation, encompasses everything that we do; from economic strategy and compliance to the way we operate and our social and ecological environments.
I'm a firm believer that businesses should strive to align strategy and sustainability, in order to ensure that every decision made takes into account the direct/indirect environmental impact, as well as how changes now will affect future generations.