As one of the more significant sources of an enterprise’s carbon footprint, IT will come under increased scrutiny as pressure to deliver sustainability mounts. MSPs need to be able to account for the footprints of their suppliers and services when tendering and engaging with their customers. It’s important they understand that not all approaches to sustainability are equal.
In the past week, data centre provider Digital Realty announced a major effort to implement solar energy in its Singapore facilities, while also sourcing renewable energy in Australia. Meanwhile, Microsoft announced a partnership with Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to participate in the Singapore GreenTech Challenge. This challenge encourages setting and tracking sustainability targets; identifying and transitioning to renewable energy sources; and creating, buying, and selling carbon assets.
MSPs may well procure services from the likes of Digital Realty and Microsoft and, through that procurement, help their customers identify and deliver sustainability opportunities in their technology supply chains.
Moving Beyond Accounting Tricks
However, MSPs also need to be aware that not every sustainability effort trumpeted within IT will deliver the carbon accountability their customers want.
For example, the term “net zero” will be replaced by “true zero” as the goal for sustainability. Where net zero aims to deliver 100% sustainability from annual matching, true zero seeks to source renewable energy on a real-time, hour-by-hour basis. The true zero approach is seen as a far more authentic way of measuring the percentage of renewable energy that is sourced.
Meanwhile, carbon credits are a sustainability approach that is rapidly falling out of vogue. They are seen as an accounting trick that shuffles carbon from organisation to organisation, rather than a genuine effort to reduce emissions.
Commercial and regulatory pressures will push more organisations to look to their IT suppliers and partners — including MSPs — for expertise and guidance in demonstrating sustainability. This is an opportunity for MSPs to assist with everything from procurement to calculating and managing carbon footprints. Perhaps the best service they’ll be able to provide their customers, however, is the ability to cut through the noise and find the pathway toward authentic true zero IT.