Local company and green IT computing specialists, sustainableIT have announced their carbon neutral status. The company is believed to be the first local IT organisation to achieve carbon neutrality within its business operations and encourages other IT companies to follow suit.
Teresa Legg, director of sustainableIT, says that offsetting their emissions to achieve a carbon neutral status marks a logical progression in terms of the way the business is managed and operated. “sustainableIT is a blip on the radar screen in terms of overall emissions but everybody can do their bit,” explains Legg.
Leading technology companies, like Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft, use massive amounts of energy, electricity and power. Greenpeace estimates that some individual data centers consume as much electricity as 180,000 households per annum. In terms of emissions, the IT industry is estimated to contribute between two and three percent to global emissions and continues to increase as more mobile devices get online. Facebook recently disclosed their carbon footprint, and many other companies have been working to become more efficient and reduce emissions, which not only cuts down on environmental costs but also reduces overheads.
“For us, it’s the right thing to do. And it’s also an opportunity for us to promote positive change in the local IT industry,” Legg continues. “It’s the main reason why we have taken this significant step to become carbon neutral across our operations.”
The company says that every organisation can make a positive change by implementing small changes. “We encourage teleworking amongst staff and employ technology to power manage office equipment, desktops and server infrastructure. Energy consumption is kept to a minimum through natural lighting and recycling is a company policy.”
Legg believes that the first step should be determining the carbon footprint of your organisation, which can be simply done using online tools such as The Carbon Report, a cloud based offering delivering an audit report based on the globally recognised Greenhouse Gas Protocol. “Understanding your carbon profile not only reveals opportunities for reduction but will also become invaluable should an emissions tax or cap be introduced in the future.”
Once emissions are identified, they can be offset. sustainableIT chose a reforestation project in Mozambique called the Sofala Community Carbon Project which was chosen as the source of the offset purchased. This project achieves a CCBA triple Gold status which effectively means it demonstrates exceptional benefits in areas of climate, community and biodiversity.
“We recognize that we may not be the first company to commit to carbon neutrality but we may be the first SA IT company. We hope that our decision will encourage other companies large and small to look at what they can do to address this important issue,” Legg concludes.