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What Actions Can IT Leaders Take To Contribute To Net Zero Goals?

Friday 16 July, 2021

As the UN Climate Change Conference (COP’26) in Glasgow approaches, and minds are once again focused on Net Zero targets, do UK Business and IT leaders understand the full range of actions they could, and should, be taking to ensure their organisations meet these goals?

Research by the British Standards Institute (1) amongst UK business leaders revealed that while 7 out of 10 confirmed they had made, or were considering, making a commitment to Net Zero, 82% said they required more guidance to achieve the target.

As an IT Advisory, Coeus Consulting is finding that it’s not just Business leaders who require more guidance. IT leaders, although keen to support initiatives in principle, often require more guidance on the full range of actions that they could be taking.

For example, moving data centres to the cloud is a well-acknowledged step to reducing carbon emissions, but achievement of Net Zero targets will require significant transformation across all elements of business services, including the provision of IT services and technology enabled change.

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Sustainable IT test

As a starting point, our Sustainability team share the approach we have been using with clients (see table above). By looking at the activities in a modular way, work can be easily digested and tackled when other Transformation programmes are being conducted or as a distinct activity.

Key focus areas include:

- Sourcing - A 2021 survey conducted by IT research agency Vanson Bourne (2) reported that 77% of respondents rate environmental and sustainability considerations as ‘extremely important’ when selecting a supplier for IT equipment or services. Ensuring that the correct questions are asked and scored when engaging suppliers in sourcing activities is critical in ensuring measures are contracted and measurable.
- Technology and Architecture – Understanding the environmental impact of IT operations is critical to ensure organisations can measure and understand their journey to Net Zero.
- Change Delivery - Implementing structures and governance processes to track progress of initiatives and report status/course correct as required.


A Holistic Approach To IT Sustainability
Coeus have included sustainability considerations across every component of our services to provide IT leaders with a framework to jump start or refresh their thinking in this space.

1) British Standards Institute research, ‘Net Zero Barometer’, January 2021
2) Vanson Bourne research ‘Tech Talk: Beneath the surface – ethical and sustainable IT sourcing here
To explore this issue in more detail, Coeus is conducting a survey of IT Leadership this Autumn to understand levels of awareness of Net Zero targets, and to find out how confident they are about actions they could, and should be, taking. To participate in the research, or to receive a copy of the final Report, please send an email to info@coeus.consulting.