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How we're using technology to protect the planet

Blog

Earth Hour is happening again this 25 March from 8.30 – 9.30pm local time across the world. With a focus on climate change and the things we can do to decide the future. It’s just the right time to look at our People, Planet and Profit report.

At Dimension Data, we have a very clear purpose: We want to accelerate the ambitions of our clients, our people, our shareholders, and society. Since our foundation in 1983, our vision is of a future where ICT is used for not only economic, but also environmental and social benefit.

At the heart of our culture is the desire to make a difference, and in our 2014 financial year we launched a strategy with one simple aim – to protect future generations. Called People and Planet, this strategy builds on our corporate social responsibility and sustainability programmes which involves our employees and clients in making a social contribution and reducing environmental impact.

Climate change is widely considered as the greatest threat that faces mankind today. We all have a responsibility to tackle climate change by reducing harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, such as carbon dioxide.

The great news is that businesses can use ICT to reduce energy usage and travel – minimising their carbon footprint and reducing costs too! Our own research, carried out in conjunction with leading consultancy Carbon Trust, has highlighted that cloud and visual communications can help make significant savings to both cost and environmental impact.

How can we do this?:

  • Reduce energy by moving servers to the cloud – Average annual savings of: 4,000 kWh per server moved to the cloud
  • Reduce travel using visual communications (VC) – Average annual savings of: 600,000 miles per telepresence unit, 11,818 miles per VC unit, 23,636 miles per managed VC unit

Climate change is not the only issue we face.

Some 80% of what is used in the world today is used once and then discarded, and consumption rates are expected to triple by the year 2050. It’s clear that a less wasteful approach is needed. We believe in the concept of a circular economy, where products are designed with reuse in mind, used for their maximum lifespan, and then returned for reuse.

Together with like-minded partners, such as Cisco, we aim to work with our clients to help make the circular economy a reality.

Our environmental ambition:

We want the environmental benefit of the technology we provide to be greater than the impact of our business. Our research indicates that the use of technology between our financial years 2014-2018 could save our clients:

  • 8 million tonnes of carbon
  • USD 2 billion in travel and energy costs
  • Preventing 4,000 tonnes of electronic waste from going to landfill

Since the launch of our People and Planet strategy in our financial year 2014, we have helped our clients save an estimated 172,288 tonnes of carbon through:

  • Using cloud and visual communications equivalent to planting nearly 4.5 million trees
  • Delivering an estimated USD 52 million energy and travel cost savings
  • Helping prevent 272 tonnes of electronic waste from going to landfill

If you would like to understand more about how our great people are tirelessly and passionately working to fulfil your ambition, you can download our People, Planet and Profit report. Also, take part in our internal Earth Hour quiz to win yourself a beverage card for your local café!

DDAPEH17

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