‘Sustainability is a journey’: Brands on the mission to go green

    ‘Sustainability is a journey’: Brands on the mission to go green

    Sustainability has fast become a deal-breaker in business. Businesses around the world are responding to the call of the global impact on the environment and the need for consumers to go green. More than 80% of the consumers prefer companies and products that use eco-friendly practices.

    Despite various political and economic debates,  the unfortunate truism that the global environment has become an unfortunate victim of the progress, has never been more true.

    This week an estimated 20,000 people from 196 countries gathered in Glasgow for the annual UN climate change conference (Cop26), each of which is passionate about the need to design policies, products, and sustainable processes.

    The business impact of going green

    While individuals are being offered tangible advice like taking steps to avoid single-use plastics or carbon offsetting against travel, it’s another story for businesses.

    On a global level, organizations across every sector could make a massive difference to the environment if they increased their efforts to engage in sustainable business practices. For businesses, there’s a potential to roll out new and innovative solutions that could help solve or at least mitigate the effects of the climate crisis.

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    A survey revealed that one-third of consumers want information on recycling and composting in product packaging, as well as more information about sustainability to help them shop in an environmentally friendly manner.

    “Consumers want to make responsible ‘green’ purchases, but do not always have the means to do so,” the report says. “For brands, this is an opportunity.”

    Events such as the recent G7 summit in Cornwall have seen renewed promises by visiting leaders to tackle climate change and conserve biodiversity around the world. Hence, it is high time for brands to take a step forward in this direction.

    Giving affordable options to the consumers

    One challenge that organizations face is ensuring that sustainable selection, when presented to consumers, is affordable and accessible. This is not only important in encouraging them to choose an ongoing option, but it is also important if the products will help deal with the problems.

    It is unacceptable for companies to place the burden of sustainability on the shoulders of consumers.

    By making it easier for consumers, businesses can make a profit.

    Going green has several other benefits for companies. These include tax credits and incentives, improved efficiency, healthier workplaces, and cost savings – for instance by printing less, turning lights off in unused rooms, and refilling ink cartridges. Reusing items also reduces waste from plastic packaging.

    Organizations need to re-evaluate their implementation strategies to ensure that they can make sustainable decisions when managing and storing data. Marco Fanizzi, Deputy President and General Manager of EMEA at Commvault, advises organizations to develop environmentally friendly business processes and make better and greener decisions.

    Learning from the pandemic

    This rising trend in data usage is unlikely to change even when the COVID restrictions are lifted. One of the reasons is that we have started to see big businesses like SAP and NatWest Bank promoting mixed-use applications. This means that, in the long run, more people will be at home for most time of the day. NatWest, for example, says that only 13% of its employees will return to pre-epidemic office work. Unfortunately, this continued growth of internet traffic and the rise of generated data is not good news for nature. Data requires energy and energy to store, store and protect it – and much of that energy still comes out after fuel consumption.

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    Brands could research to understand if there are ways that their business processes aim to reduce their carbon footprint – or make daily choices like SD over HD when streaming TV or downloading music.

    However, it is unclear how businesses can reduce the environmental impact of data. Microsoft, Facebook, and Google – some of the world’s largest data warehouses – are committed to 100% renewal with the RD100 system, but much more needs to be done.

    A lot of companies are only just beginning their sustainability journeys and though it will take time to see the changes, every step in the right direction is a valuable one. The brands cannot escape data growth, but businesses can make more environmentally sound storage, management, and access choices that can have a hugely positive impact on the planet’s future.

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