Climate and sustainability awareness has increased significantly worldwide, with industry leaders and SMEs alike taking more action to reduce their carbon footprints. The IT sector does not impact the environment as much as heavy engineering or energy, but it already contributes a significant share of greenhouse gas production, which has considerable potential for growth. Reducing IT impact on the environment is easier than within many other industries, but at the same time requires far more far-reaching changes than simply switching to powering with renewable energy.
To gain a better understanding of Green IT awareness among a wide sample of organisations, we surveyed 358 companies from across Poland, Hungary, and The Czech Republic from 14 different sectors. On the one hand our report reveals a steadily growing understanding of IT-related emissions, with 28.8% of respondents now setting out specific targets to tackle the problem. More strikingly, it highlights the fact that 67.3% are still failing to measure the environmental impact of their technology usage.
A glimpse of the report’s insights
The results of the survey provided an overview of Green IT maturity, revealing that only 7.5% of the respondent organisations could be considered ‘Green IT leaders.’ This small minority not only measure their IT-related emissions, but also set incentivised targets for its reduction, as well as communicating them internally and publicly. In stark contrast, 33.5% of the companies we surveyed stated that they had no current interest in taking Green IT action whatsoever.
“Without measuring your climate impact, you can’t set a goal.”" Jacek Hutyra, Climate Officer, Orange
We also found that 37.4% of organisations point to budget limitations when explaining why they have not taken Green IT action. In contrast, over half (52.5%) of those that do have plans in place referenced savings as their main incentive, indicating a potential awareness gap.
Sebastian Zasina, Data Center Solutions Architect at Schneider Electric, explained that “Green IT does not always necessitate a drastic increase in financial expenditure.” In light of this quote from Zasina, it may be the case that some organisations require a clearer understanding of the importance of Green IT and its benefits.
One of the root causes of this low level of Green IT maturity may be to do with culture and company mindset, with only 23.7% of respondents found to have incentivised relevant activities and progress. Reinforcing this view, 11.7% had only incentivised environmental goals among their leaders, and 10.9% had only incentivised a few specific employees. These statistics indicate that many organisations have an unstructured internal approach to Green IT and sustainability more widely, which would be enhanced by fostering the right mindset.
Levelling up your approach
Regardless of whether you deem your organisation to hold ‘Green IT leader’ status, or if you are yet to define specific targets to make your technology approach more sustainable, our experts have some important next step to suggest.
If you are just setting out it is critical to measure your current IT-related emissions, providing a foundation upon which to define ongoing activities.
Those with a more advanced approach to Green IT should establish a set of clear rules and a framework, which will boost consistency and confirm responsibilities. Read the full report and learn more about the next steps your organisations needs to take.
About the Authors
Marek is a Senior Consultant in the Warsaw office of BCG Platinion. He has 9 years of experience as a translator between IT and business. He supported multiple European insurers and banks in their large scale programs, digital transformations, post-merger integration, building greenfield insure-techs, make billion-dollar strategic decisions and various other unique challenges. Always eager to talk about the climate, he still believes technology will help us rebuild what technology destroyed.
Przemysław is an experienced IT Architect working in the BCG Platinion Warsaw office. He has over 10 years of experience in conducting consulting projects related to the analysis and optimization of business processes, planning changes in the area of corporate architecture, IT and IoT architecture.
Lukasz is an experienced advisor, strategy and transformation expert working at the intersection of business and technology. He brings 20 years of consulting experience from +30 large institutions from banking, consumer finance, insurance industries from Europe and Asia. Lukasz covers the main areas of a tech transformation from reorienting business strategy to digital, through customer experience design, to technology strategy including IT architecture, scaled agile transformations and innovation agenda.
Przemek has broad experience in IT Functions Transformations and IT cost optimization and more than 15 years of experience in managing of operations, business processes and huge IT departments (teams up to 500 people) in large organizations under his belt. He builds his experience in multiple industries like retail, QSR, hospitality, telco, utilities, chemicals, logistics, automotive, healthcare, manufacturing, and data centres. Przemek e has an in-depth competence in creating and implementing the IT strategy in international companies.
Read more on Green IT here:
Why Green IT is critical for the sustainable future of your companyLearn More
Many companies and governments have set themselves ambitious targets to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050. To accomplish the set goals, an immense shift along the entire IT value chain is required.