Maximising sustainability through data storage
Programmes around environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns are now common across many industries, to the point of becoming the norm and most responsible organisations have executive targets associated with ESG goals. Governments, citizens and investors alike now expect businesses to take their ESG responsibilities seriously: according to Harvard Law School, a quarter of global investors say that ESG now forms a central part of their investment approach. Increasingly employees, customers, users and executives see ESG as a means to compete, attract new talent and new customers and as a normal part of day to day business, whilst departments like IT are asked to formulate long term plans to hit organisational goals.
There are several different ways in which businesses can improve their sustainability credentials, and reduce their environmental impact. Many of them are obvious and are already being pursued: lower energy use, flexible working, and the use of recycled materials, for example. But there is one area where savings can be made that is often overlooked – data.
The hidden environmental cost of data
Worldwide, data centres are responsible for between 2.5% and 3.7% of all the carbon dioxide emissions generated by human behaviour – this is because they consume large amounts of power to run, and to be kept cool. Additionally, data storage hardware like servers often contain minerals that are rare, and that require considerable energy and emissions to extract and transport for manufacturing.
The good news is that positive steps are being taken in this area: modern data storage hardware is generally more energy-efficient, less demanding in space and cooling terms, and is made from more recyclable materials. However, while many organisations have tried to avoid the ESG burden of on-premise data centres by moving into the cloud: this is merely moving the problem rather than resolving it.
It’s also important to consider that environmental and financial success are now very closely intertwined. McKinsey research has found that products with ESG-related claims now attract annual growth rates that are on average 8% higher than non-sustainable equivalents. There are also cost efficiencies to be found too: at a time when storing 1PB of data can cost up to US$200,000 a year, and as much as one-third of business data is redundant or obsolete, slimming back retained data can benefit the bottom line as well as ESG credentials.
How SCC can help with data storage and ESG
Whether your data is stored on-premise, in the cloud or through a combination of the two, SCC is your ideal partner to improve the ESG performance of your data. Not only do we have an expert team and a comprehensive range of solutions and services, but we have the experience to match: nearly half a century of working closely with businesses big and small.
Your starting point is an assessment of your existing data storage infrastructure: from this, we can identify areas for improvements and how to optimise performance without compromising your business on cost or security. We then go on to identify the best solutions for your needs and data profile, taking into account likely power consumption and emission generation, as well as cost. This allows us to strike the right balance between environmental and financial sustainability.
As well as designing and deploying your new data storage solutions and management platforms, we can also support your ESG targets with our Recyclea solution. This combines recycling, remarketing and remanufacturing to extend the usability of hardware, and reduce the environmental impact of throwing devices away or buying brand-new replacements.
SCC and you, helping to save the planet
Everyone at SCC is proud of our constant efforts to reduce our environmental impact, and that of our customers and providers. During the 2022 financial year alone, our programmes were able to:
- Erase data on 57,022 devices
- Refurbish and redeploy 24,685 devices back to our customers, weighing more than 147 tons in total
- Sell 53,003 devices back out into the marketplace on behalf of our customers
- Make 13,148 devices available for reuse via channels other than remarketing
- Recycle 111,527 devices through secure and environmentally friendly processes, weighing more than 574 tons in total
At a time when ESG programmes are a top business priority for all, transforming your data storage can play a key part in meeting the expectations of customers, suppliers, investors and regulators alike. And perhaps more importantly, it means you can play your role in making the planet a better place to live for everyone – without sacrificing business performance to do so.
To find out more on how SCC can help you enhance data storage efficiency and reduce power consumption, learn more about our services here, or get in touch with our team for more details.