The triple bottom line: People, planet & profit

Image of a lightbulb that has a map of the world on it with a green background.

Australia, May 29, 2024

Published by Logicalis Australia
Topic: The triple bottom line: People, planet & profit
Expert: Adrian Alatsas, Principal - Consulting Services | Logicalis Australia Responsible Business Lead 

In today's fast changing business world, sustainability isn’t just an option – it’s a must for all industries, including IT. Leading the charge in sustainability not only benefits the planet but it also affects people and profits, aligning with the concept of the triple bottom line. IT professionals can contribute to this balance by implementing practices that reduce energy consumption, promote recycling, and optimise resource use. This mindset is not exclusive to IT; anyone, from plumbers to software developers, can adopt a more sustainable mindset to minimise environmental impact.  

Let’s take a look further at the Triple Bottom line:

Environmental, Social and Governance

Addressing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) concerns is now pivotal for managing business risk. In fact, 5 out of the top 10 business risks today are ESG-related.  IT professionals can mitigate these risks by adopting sustainability practices that align with their ESG objectives. Prioritising sustainability not only minimises risks but also boosts corporate reputation, as sustainability and ESG initiatives are fast becoming vital aspects of talent attraction and retention.

Recycling and Reducing E-Waste

The IT sector contributes significantly to electronic waste (e-waste) through the use and disposal of technology. Recycling is crucial to mitigate this impact. Cisco exemplifies this with its comprehensive recycling initiatives, recycling 95% of returned products. IT professionals can also collaborate with suppliers committed to sustainability, such as Dell, which aims to have over 50% of its product content and 100% of its packaging made from recycled or renewable materials by 2030.

Collaboration and Partnership

Partnerships and collaboration are essential for sustainability. Organisations need to make conscious choices to work with providers, suppliers and partners that can help maximise their ESG and sustainability initiatives. By teaming up with like-minded partners, suppliers, and stakeholders, they can achieve shared sustainability goals and ambitions. This collaboration extends to modernising power grids and outsourcing sustainability to specialised organisations to enhance sustainable and environmentally conscious outcomes.  

Conscious Choices in IT

IT is more than a cost centre in today's era; it's a critical component of sustainability initiatives. IT professionals should make conscious choices regarding the technology they use, prioritising energy-efficient options. AI's energy consumption, for example, can be significant due to large language models' computational demands. By optimising the use of AI and large models, organisations can cut down on carbon emissions without sacrificing productivity.

Mindful Hardware Consumption and Education

Organisations can lower their carbon footprint by being mindful of their hardware consumption. Educating users about proper device care to extend hardware lifespan can reduce the need for frequent replacements. Also, by donating hardware to non-profits (NFPs) when it reaches end-of-life within the organisation, IT professionals can make a broader social impact.

Effective Data Management and Energy Efficiency

Storage and data management significantly impact carbon footprint. IT professionals should use smart data management strategies and regularly review storage solutions to minimise energy consumption. Streamlining data storage not only reduces carbon emissions but also cuts costs, aligning with the triple bottom line focus.

In summary, IT professionals play a pivotal role in leading sustainability efforts. By focusing on the triple bottom line, embracing recycling, collaborating with partners, making conscious technology choices, and promoting mindful hardware consumption, they can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Related Insights