Are technology vendors doing enough for sustainability?

Technology companies have the power to make big changes but are they being held to account for their efforts on sustainability?

As technology companies produce products and services with extraordinary power, there's a knock-on effect on other types of power; the power or energy they consume is increasing and the power and influence technology companies have is becoming greater than ever before.

But with this great power comes great responsibility, so the saying goes, so are technology companies taking responsibility for their actions - and are they being held accountable by governments and CIOs?

Rating sustainability

Technology companies as a whole are at the forefront of many breakthrough products which have helped their customers become more environmentally friendly - but this doesn't necessarily mean that the technology companies' own processes are sustainable.

The reality is that technology companies - like all other businesses - care about their bottom line. If sustainability is important to its customers or to the governments in the countries in which they operate, then they will take action and even use sustainability as a PR exercise. There are sustainability ratings systems for technology equipment, such as the widely-used EPEAT system (considered in US federal procurement, among other organisations) that consider a company's operational and supply chain sustainability, as well as product attributes. Meanwhile, lifecycle assessments (LCAs) are used by many manufacturers to assess the environmental impact of products.

But even then, considering the climate crisis upon us, is enough being done?

When IDG Connect asked Aruba Networks CEO Keerti Melkote this question, he admitted that "technology companies were not doing enough".

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