Capgemini launches sustainable IT offering for clients

24 June 2021 3 min. read
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Global consulting firm Capgemini has launched a new Sustainable IT service, as it looks to help clients reduce their IT carbon footprint. The move comes as the e-waste generated by the world’s IT systems approaches 70 million tonnes.

The number of connected devices worldwide is expected to hit 55.7 billion by 2025, with three-quarters of these being connected to an IoT platform, posing a major environmental challenge. According to research from Capgemini, data generated by connected IoT devices is expected to grow fourfold to 73.1 zettabytes by 2025, leading to the ramping up of technology such as AI and analytic systems. The data industry is becoming increasingly energy intensive due to this, with data centres already accounting for nearly 1% of the world’s energy demand in 2019, contributing to a notable emissions toll of enterprise IT – which accounts for 4% of the world’s carbon footprint.

At the same time, the disposal of out-dated hardware poses a significant threat to the environment. With e-waste containing toxic substances that are hazardous to human health and the environment, the fact 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste were generated worldwide in 2019 is a major cause for concern – especially as it is expected to grow to 74 million tons by 2030. The UK already produces 23.9 kg of e-waste per capita.

Per capita e-waste generated in 2019

Problematically, few steps have so far been taken to offset the impact of these developments on an industrial scale. The majority of data centres remail largely powered using fossil fuels, and only 17% of organisations polled by Capgemini had deployed measures to use green energy sources in their data centres. Meanwhile, current levels of e-waste recycling are underwhelming to say the least, with just 17.4% of global e-waste generated in 2019 being recycled, and 89% of firms surveyed recycling less than 10% of their IT hardware.

This is not to say firms are resistant to change, though. Around 45% of organizations are willing to pay up to 5% more for sustainable IT, but only 18% have a sustainable IT strategy with well-defined goals and target timelines. The majority believe a lack of domain expertise to implement sustainable IT initiatives currently prevents them from creating such a plan.

To help tackle this issue, Capgemini has launched a new Sustainable IT offering, designed to help clients reduce their IT carbon footprint. The offering goes beyond structurally transforming IT in terms of consumption habits and ways of working, looking to empower clients to create a culture of sustainable IT across their whole organisation. This will see Capgemini work with clients to provide qualitative and diagnostic tools that establish baseline business approaches to sustainable practice.

Implementation challenges are a major roadblock

Aiman Ezzat, CEO of Capgemini, noted, “Sustainability is a key pillar of our strategic ambition and we are committed to helping our clients achieve their net zero objectives. Sustainable IT is the first block of Capgemini’s new sustainability offering framework, which is the backbone of a climate positive future.”

Capgemini’s strong network includes partners such as ERP and applications suppliers, IT Hardware Original Equipment Manufacturers and infrastructure/cloud providers which provide further end-to-end opportunities to accelerate the client’s sustainable journey with this new offering. As such, Sustainable IT is able to provide a holistic, four-pillar framework focusing on IT strategy, IT transformation, IT employees, and IT for sustainable business. It has already been applied to several key clients in the banking, insurance, utilities, manufacturing, public services and energy sectors.

“Organisations must re-assess their sustainability approaches to unlock the potential of smart technologies and move from a net-zero strategy to green product and service experiences,” Ezzat added.