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Report Reveals Disconnect Between Sustainability Teams and IT

A Pure Storage study shows that sustainability teams and IT teams aren't working together, especially when purchasing IT equipment and infrastructure.

Nearly nine out of 10 sustainability program directors say companies cannot reach sustainability goals without significantly reducing energy usage of technology infrastructure, a new report from Pure Storage found.

With the climate crisis increasingly at the forefront of business decisions, organizations are prioritizing sustainability by reducing the carbon footprint of their operations. In fact, 78% of sustainability managers say their company’s leadership is treating sustainability as a priority. Fifty-six percent of sustainability managers say they plan to meet their sustainability goals in the next three years. But just how successful have they been, and what might affect their progress?

Pure StorageChart says 86% of sustainability program managers feel that companies cannot reach their sustainability goals without significantly reducing the energy usage of technology infrastructure

The report, “Drivers of Change: Pure Storage IT Sustainability Impact Survey 2022,” examines how IT professionals are (and are not) collaborating with enterprise sustainability directors to navigate reductions in the environmental footprint of their organizations. 

Digital transformation has propelled IT, but with infrastructure like data centers requiring massive amounts of energy to function, it has also expanded companies’ carbon footprints. Because of this, IT has a huge opportunity to become the epicenter of companies’ sustainability initiatives.

While great in theory, the industry still has a ways to go. The report’s findings showcased a significant misalignment between IT and sustainability teams, especially when purchasing IT equipment and infrastructure. For instance, 59% of respondents say vendors’ sustainability is likely to be overlooked in the vendor selection process. In addition, two out of three sustainability managers only become involved in the technology purchase process after the process has already begun.

Pure Storagechart says 51% of those surveyed say they are on track with their sustainability goals

The need for IT teams to support their companies’ sustainability initiatives is dire. More than any other business function (like finance, leadership, or operation), IT was identified as not taking the necessary steps to support sustainability goals. To ensure that every aspect of an organization operates efficiently, sustainability initiatives must be at the forefront of IT-centric decisions, like infrastructure buying, supply chain decisions, operations, and more. Luckily, early and consistent communication can easily bridge the gap between IT teams and sustainability managers. All respondents agree that there are benefits to garnering input from sustainability managers earlier in the IT planning process. With careful planning and organization, IT teams can work closely with sustainability managers to mitigate the environmental impact of data infrastructure and create more environmental efficiencies across the business.

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