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Top 5 KPIs to measure the environmental impact of your technology

In the world of IT, where every byte of data transferred and every line of code written can have a substantial impact on the environment, assessing the environmental impact of your technology is a critical concern. The need for eco-friendly IT practices is growing, and businesses worldwide are striving to make their operations more sustainable. But how do you measure the success of these efforts? 

In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through the green maze, uncovering the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you evaluate the sustainability of your IT operations and assets. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast, a business owner, or just a curious soul, this is the roadmap to making your IT operations more eco-friendly.

Why Measure the Environmental Impact of Technology?

Before diving into KPIs, let’s establish why assessing the environmental impact of your technology is essential.  The IT sector, responsible for vast data centres, hardware production, and software development, consumes a considerable amount of energy and resources. In fact, as of 2022, data centres alone are estimated to account for approximately 2% of global electricity consumption, a number that continues to climb.

The good news is that sustainable practices can significantly reduce this environmental impact, decrease costs, and improve brand reputation. With stakeholders and consumers becoming more eco-conscious, businesses demonstrating their commitment to sustainability gain a competitive edge. It’s not just about saving the environment; it’s about saving money too.

KPIs measure environment impact of technology

Exploring the Top 5 KPIs for Sustainability

1. Energy Efficiency

  • KPI: Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE)
    PUE measures how efficiently a data centre uses energy. It’s calculated by dividing the total facility energy consumption by the energy used by the IT equipment. A lower PUE indicates greater energy efficiency. For example, a PUE of 1.5 means that for every 1.5 watts used by IT equipment, an additional 0.5 watts are consumed for cooling and other non-IT functions.
  • Example: Company A achieved a PUE of 1.2 in their data centres by optimising cooling systems and consolidating servers. This saved them thousands of dollars in energy costs.

2. Carbon Emissions

  • KPI: Carbon Intensity
    Carbon intensity measures the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per unit of revenue. It helps companies assess how efficiently they’re producing revenue in relation to their carbon emissions. A lower carbon intensity score signifies a more sustainable operation.
  • Example: Company A reduced its carbon intensity by 30% by investing in renewable energy sources and implementing remote work policies. This not only made them eco-friendly but also improved their public image.

3. Electronic Waste Reduction

  • KPI: Electronic Waste (e-waste) Recycling Rate
    This KPI measures the percentage of electronic waste that is recycled or properly disposed of, rather than ending up in landfills. A higher recycling rate indicates a reduced environmental impact.
  • Example: Company A increased its e-waste recycling rate from 30% to 80% by partnering with recycling companies and offering incentives for employees to return old devices. This not only helped the environment but also contributed to their corporate social responsibility goals.

4. Sustainable Procurement

  • KPI: Percentage of Sustainable IT Products
    This metric assesses the proportion of IT products purchased that are environmentally friendly and sustainably produced. Companies aiming to improve this KPI seek to reduce their environmental impact at the source.
  • Example: Company A made a commitment to sourcing at least 80% of their IT equipment from suppliers who adhere to strict sustainability criteria. As a result, they received awards for their green procurement practices.

5. Energy Conservation

  • KPI: Reduction in Energy Consumption
    This KPI measures the decrease in energy consumption over time. Companies striving to improve this metric implement energy-efficient technologies, such as LED lighting, energy-efficient servers, and advanced power management systems.
  • Example: Company A installed motion-activated lighting and implemented power-saving features on all employee workstations. Over a year, they reduced their energy consumption by 15%.

Measuring the ROI of Sustainability

While embracing environmental sustainability may appear costly, it offers significant returns on investment. Sustainable practices lead to energy savings, reduced emissions, improved public image, increased customer trust, and enhanced employee morale. These are tangible benefits of integrating sustainability into your technology operations.

Ready to embark on your journey toward a greener future?

Virtu can guide you. Start your journey by booking a consultation with our specialists. Virtu is here to support your pursuit of environmental sustainability in technology. Don’t be left behind — embrace sustainability and measure your success with these 10 critical KPIs.

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