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In order to achieve the Paris climate targets, the responsibility borne by companies is set increase in the future.
From 2024, a “sustainability reporting obligation” will apply to more than just listed corporations. Companies with 500 or more employees and annual turnover of more than €40 million (or more than €20 million in total assets) are already required to disclose how sustainably they operate. The same will also apply to companies with more than 250 employees from 2025 onwards.
For example, one reporting requirement is the degree to which products are manufactured resource-efficiently. Equal weight is given to the social contribution made by a company – starting with its own employees and extending to support for social projects. Sustainability reporting also involves all actors in a supply chain, from the manufacturing process to the disposal process.
According to estimates by the chambers of industry and commerce, around 20,000 businesses in Germany will be directly affected when the regulation comes into force – so it’s high time for these companies to act!
But even companies with fewer than 250 employees would be well advised to position themselves as sustainable suppliers of their products and services. Otherwise, they may distort their customers’ eco-balance sheet and be replaced by more environmentally friendly service providers!
To operate more sustainably, a company needs to shed light on all areas, processes and environmentally harmful factors of its existence. The role played by IT should not be underestimated, which is shown by a passage in the coalition agreement of the new German government: “We will align data centres in Germany with ecological sustainability and climate protection, for instance by utilising waste heat. New data centres must be operated in a climate-neutral manner from 2027.«
As a CIO, you can start making a contribution to greater sustainability today – by choosing climate-efficient data centres and/or pushing for electricity from renewable sources for your own data centre. Using your software and hardware for longer periods is also an important contribution to climate protection!
One climate killer is the short life cycle of computers, servers and other hardware. These devices are only used in IT for three to a maximum of five years – a practice that urgently demands close examination! This is because the manufacturing process of a desktop PC with HDD alone causes greenhouse gas emissions of 346.9 kg of CO2. Even a laptop produces 311.1 kg of CO2.
We’ve found a partner for the professional refurbishment of used hardware in the form of QuattroM GmbH. Together, we strive for a functioning circular economy. Refurbishing computers, laptops and servers is a consistent extension of the used Microsoft licences traded by VENDOSOFT. It enables high-quality and still fully functional hardware to be used in a second or even third cycle.
Ecological and economic aspects in the comparison of workplace computers for use in public authorities with the inclusion of user behaviour based on Prakash, Siddharth; Antony, Florian; Graulich, Kathrin; Köhler, A. R.; Liu, Ran (2016).
This doesn’t even consider disposal, a process
that releases the rare earths, heavy metals and, of course, plastics built into the devices. In the overall balance sheet – from raw material extraction through production and use to recycling – the carbon footprint of a PC is almost double its manufacturing emissions: around 700 kilograms of CO2.
Software-related obsolescence is the term experts use when expensive laptops, desktop PCs or tablets are disposed of long before they show any functional or material weaknesses. The reason: software determines the useful life of hardware.
With every software upgrade, the system requirements usually change as well. The Microsoft Windows 10 operating system, for example, requires about 40 times more processor power, 250 times as much memory capacity and 320 times as much hard disk space compared to its predecessor Windows 95. The demands of new software are forcing newer and more expensive hardware purchases.
This is where used software comes into its own. As soon as the latest version of an on-premises licence hits the market, its predecessor is only available second-hand. However, this doesn’t make the previous version obsolete – on the contrary.
The licence optimisers at VENDOSOFT have made it their business to give companies optimal advice on their licensing options with new and used Microsoft software. First of all, there are enormous potential cost savings –
the price of used software is 50 to 80% lower than new software, plus this option is also significantly cheaper compared to cloud subscriptions.
And second, used licences as described above contribute to a longer useful life of hardware. In this way, they make a real contribution to resource conservation and a company’s responsible, forward-looking actions. This may become an important factor when choosing a service provider or product supplier from 2024 onwards.
From your licence optimisers at VENDOSOFT GmbH!
Joyce Studier, Microsoft SAM Professional & Microsoft Licensing Professional