Is sustainability a macro or micro trend?

November 4, 2021 Claranet Limited

By Alex Price, Head of Cloud Business Development

There’s always a #hashtag in the spotlight. Another micro trend that companies piggyback off to ensure their brand is seen to be doing the right thing. Is sustainability the latest bandwagon? Or will we still be talking about it this time next year?

Is “going green” a gimmick?

I’m sure you’ve seen companies attempt to boost their brand visibility by taking advantage of Earth Day, World Environment Day, Energy Saving Week. A simple tweak of the logo here, a little social post with a clever slogan there. Done.

The inconvenient truth: it takes a lot more than a trending #hashtag to make you a green business.

The reality is sustainable business transformation isn’t easy. However, commit to be a green business and there are a lot of commercial and sustainability benefits to enjoy. Furthermore, if you fail to account for the ‘trend’, it could seriously harm your future prospects – nearly half (47%) of consumers have stopped using products/services from brands that are not protecting the environment, while over two-thirds (67%) of investors have integrated new environmental requirements to their decision-making processes. We’ve witnessed the shifting dynamic at Claranet – many of our customers now place a stronger emphasis on sustainability.

Exaggerating green credentials?

In the retail sector, 42% of companies are accused of ‘greenwashing’. Beneath the façade of some large high-street retailers, which boast ‘organic cotton’ and ‘recycled polyester’, are large and unknown carbon footprints from the manufacturing process, shipping process and supply chain. As sustainability starts to climb the corporate agenda, greenwashing is a tempting tactic for other sectors.

Apart from it being dishonest and unethical, greenwashing doesn’t make good business sense given the benefits that are on offer from a green transformation. Three-quarters of customers now make conscious choices to work with organisations because they are sustainable. Additionally, commit to be a green business and it can increase your market value by 4-6% over a 15-year period.

You don't need to be an eco-warrior

Sustainability can feel overwhelming. Green energy, recycling, bike to work schemes, electric company cars – where to start?

McKinsey discovered, two-thirds of companies focused on 10+ different sustainability topics. That is a lot of focus areas to start with. Instead, try to create a list of priorities and focus on a couple of green business initiatives that deliver a long-term impact to your company, your customers, your employees, and your environment.

Green transformation is an evolution 

Sustainability is a journey, not a destination. Fail to secure stakeholder sponsorship and that journey will always feel like an uphill struggle. A great place to start the green transformation conversation is with the RFP process. With many customers now making sustainability a requirement, it needs to be a priority discussion with the board if your business is to remain standing in the future

The good news is it’s now possible to quantify the environmental impact your green business initiatives have. For example, when we supported PageGroup through its cloud migration to Azure, we used Microsoft’s dedicated carbon calculator to show that the digital migration had cut carbon by 1,968 metric tons of CO2 equivalent - the same as 4.81 million miles driven in a car.

Start by using the cloud for good

Get a quick overview of 16 tangible business and sustainability benefits you can expect when you embark on a green transformation that starts with cloud migration, with our Sustainable IT Infographic.


Cloud Sustainability - Laptop and Mug

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