The Tech Industry’s Role in Achieving Global Sustainability Goals - Image by kalhh from PixabayThe World Economic Forum (WEF) says technology, and the use thereof, can reduce the global emissions in the energy, materials and mobility industries – the world’s three highest-emitting sectors – by 20% by 2050.

At the same time, tech companies are responsible for adopting sustainable practices in their operations. As it is, tech lifecycles, solution design and delivery models are coming under growing scrutiny, partly due to vendors’ ESG goals and partly on the back of RFPs that emphasise green credentials. The latter is very encouraging. All enterprise IT leaders must examine their entire technology stack to ensure their solutions are as green as possible.

Sustainability will only come about when vendors embed greener methodologies and practices into the core design of their technologies. They must prioritise efficiency, avoid unnecessary waste, and support sustainability goals.

Towards greener IT

How are tech companies incorporating sustainability into their products, services, and operations? Here are four examples.

Modular designs

For too long, a throwaway culture has dominated high-tech industries. Under pressure to rapidly bring new innovations to market to satisfy voracious demand from both enterprise and consumer markets, products were designed to be ripped, replaced and disposed of the minute something new came along. These days, demand comes with a sustainability caveat. We’re seeing vendors move away from disposable designs towards modular designs. This allows for replacing or upgrading specific components instead of entire systems. The result is to drive down emissions throughout the supply chain and send less e-waste to landfills.

More energy-efficient data storage

Data has become one of an organisation’s most valuable commodities, and the elephant in the room wherever climate conversations occur. In 2020, the world produced 64.2 zettabytes of data; by 2025, we will have almost tripled that to 181 zettabytes. Even this incredible estimate may already be outdated thanks to generative AI and the volumes of additional data it is creating. Now consider that data centres already account for 1-3% of global electricity consumption. It’s clear that unless we make data centres and data storage more energy efficient, we will have a crisis on our hands.

Now, more than ever, it matters how we store our data. All-flash storage arrays generally use less power, take up less space, and require less cooling than disk-based storage. The all-flash engineering of Pure Storage goes the extra mile. The 2021 Pure Storage ESG report demonstrates how products delivered 67-84.7% savings in direct energy usage versus competing all-flash arrays. These are substantial savings that can drive fundamental transformations in organisations’ sustainability efforts and have a real impact on climate change.

Consumption-based operating models

When it comes to storage infrastructure, a big energy efficiency driver is to use no more than is absolutely necessary. Subscription service offerings allow organisations to pay for the resources they need without having to manage them at the back end. This while maximising investment and cutting energy consumption and waste.

Energy efficiency guarantee

Vendors should put their money where their mouth is and make commitments. In January, Pure Storage introduced an industry-first energy efficiency service level agreement (SLA) for our Evergreen//One subscription storage offering. The SLA guarantees energy efficiency for organisations of any size. With it, customers can measure the maximum number of actual Watts per tebibyte (TiB). If the guaranteed Watts/TiB established in the service contract isn’t met, they can request service credits while Pure Storage remediates the situation at no cost.

Supply chains – the means and challenges of making them environmentally responsible and sustainable

Ethical business practices should be central to all tech vendors’ missions. They are critical to developing and maintaining relationships with customers, partners, employees and shareholders.

Supply Chain Commitments

As part of building an ethical supply chain, it’s important that technology companies put codes of conduct in place to secure commitments from suppliers. These should include a supplier code of conduct for manufacturers and a purchasing code of conduct for non-manufacturing suppliers.

The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) Code of Conduct provides an excellent framework upon which to base supply chain codes of conduct. The RBA covers Labour Standards, Health and Safety Standards, Environment Standards, and Ethics Standards. The key to success is for companies to ensure that all their contract manufacturers abide by the RBA Code of Conduct and to track the ISO certifications of key partners and suppliers.

A sustainable supply chain can uphold environmental and labour standards throughout a diverse supply chain while meeting product demand. By building an ethical, sustainable supply chain, technology companies can build stronger products, more ethical partners, and better serve their communities.

To succeed in this endeavour requires a commitment to robust management and oversight of the supply chain with a reporting chain that goes all the way to the C-suite, with routine reporting to the Board of Directors on sustainable supply chain management.

Building a resilient supply chain

A strong supply chain is one that is flexible, resilient and responsive. Building one that can respond to physical challenges, treats workers ethically, and is environmentally sound requires close collaboration with suppliers.

Perhaps the most important factor in building a resilient supply chain is to embrace ESG as more than just a buzzword. Indeed, ESG should be treated as a crucial part of driving efficiency while prioritising the environment.

The pull-push imperative in driving sustainability – how consumers can pull for it and how tech companies can push for it

At no point should any vendor forget that they should be focused on fulfilling the needs of customers. People are B2C consumers and B2B customers at the same time. Furthermore, a consumer perspective is increasingly relevant in the B2B world. This makes the customer a uniquely powerful force to bring about sustainability adoption in the tech industry. The more customers pressure vendors to demonstrate that sustainability is baked into their products and services, the more rapidly we’ll see real change. And we are seeing customer-driven change. Increasingly, power consumption is the number one concern for customers in the storage sector.

A vital part of engaging and educating customers on sustainability issues is to share ESG goals and progress and demonstrate in real terms how the organisation is helping them achieve their sustainability goals. We provide our customers with the tools to do exactly that.

Pure Storage customers can monitor power consumption for a data centre site or an individual storage array. They can also monitor greenhouse gas emissions and assess how to improve their power efficiency and their direct carbon footprint. All this by using the Pure1 Sustainability Assessment. The Energy Savings Visualiser is another tool that helps customers uncover energy savings to dramatically reduce their environmental footprint.

It’s clear that while the technology industry has come under fire for contributing to carbon emissions and climate change, technology has a substantial role in helping other industries reduce their global emissions, as illustrated by the WEF. Beyond that function, technology vendors can make meaningful contributions to achieving global sustainability goals by adopting sustainable practices throughout their operations and end-product design. As the world increasingly holds all industries to account for their environmental practices, the technology industry has a golden opportunity to apply the innovation it’s known for to lead the global charge towards environmental sustainability.

PureStoragePure Storage (NYSE: PSTG) uncomplicates data storage, forever. Pure delivers a cloud experience that empowers every organization to get the most from their data while reducing the complexity and expense of managing the infrastructure behind it. Pure’s commitment to providing true storage as-a-service gives customers the agility to meet changing data needs at speed and scale, whether they are deploying traditional workloads, modern applications, containers, or more. And with a certified customer satisfaction score in the top one percent of B2B companies, Pure’s ever-expanding list of customers are among the happiest in the world. For more information, visit


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here