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The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rate of change in so many areas over recent months.

 

The same is true of business, where the need to drastically cut numbers of on-site staff, implement remote working policies, and create COVID-safe workplaces has driven major transformations.

 

Although this has created much upheaval, it has also brought a host of wider issues and prospects to the surface as businesses, and individuals, begin to reassess their long-term outlook.

 

In particular, the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus outbreak presents an unexpected opportunity for sustainable action to get a real foothold in business thinking as plans are made to come back better.

 

A catalyst for change

 

As we settle into the new normal, it’s unlikely that things will ever return to the way they were. The way businesses operate has already been challenged, creating a necessity to adopt new practices in the interest of business preservation and economic prosperity.

 

There is, however, a growing belief among business leaders that strategic decisions should be driven not only by commercial impact but with multiple social goals in mind.

 

As well as the challenges caused by COVID-19, the UK faces struggles with social inequality, financial disparity, and perhaps more importantly, tackling the ongoing climate crisis.

 

Even before the coronavirus outbreak, sustainability was racing up the executive agenda for many organisations, some even setting carbon-neutral goals. However, turning good intentions into practice is often a huge step, which has seen sustainability take a back seat for many. Now, as businesses begin to re-examine how they operate due to the pandemic, sustainability is once again entering discussions.

 

Following lockdown and enforced societal change, not only has the planet benefited from a short-term breather as travel has been curtailed, but individuals and organisations have recognised this and their role in long-term change. In fact, sustainability has been identified as a cornerstone of project re-build as the UK economy looks to return to prosperity.

 

This was highlighted in a recent letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, signed by more than 200 businesses, re-affirming their commitment to a more sustainable future.

 

IT strategy plays an important role

 

Modern businesses are built on the technology they deploy, but the excessive e-waste created by ongoing technological refresh is a major contributor to the current environmental situation.

 

New research shows that UK businesses and households produce 1.45 million tonnes of e-waste a year. A startling figure which hammers home the need for change.

 

A demand-driven approach to IT in areas such as the network, data centre, and even client devices, has seen exciting innovations, and in turn, a more regular turnover of technology. With this has come an increased rate of technology production, and a subsequent drain on finite natural resources such as gold, aluminium, and copper.

 

This in turn leads to higher levels of carbon emissions from manufacturing, greater levels of global travel for product distribution, as well as a growing volume of products destined for landfill.

 

By choosing to implement a more environmentally forgiving approach to IT, businesses can take a significant step towards their sustainability goals, slowing the rate of technology turnover and the resulting carbon emissions and e-waste. All this is achieved without compromising on access or affordability of the latest and greatest solutions.

 

The Circular Economy takes centre stage

 

We champion the principles of the Circular Economy and see it playing a major role in UK PLC’s efforts to come back better and do so in a socially responsible way.

 

We can offer a range of services to help you explore and then action a circular approach as part of your IT strategy. By optimising your existing technology, we can extend its working life to maximise its value. Then, at the point of refresh, we can recover and regenerate your old technology. This recoups residual asset value and recirculates whole products or individual components and materials for use by others.

 

As a pioneer in this space, we are well placed to help you fully realise what’s possible from a circular approach. Thanks to partnerships with world-class manufacturers we can deliver refreshed technology into all parts of your estate – a heritage that places us as Cisco’s largest European Circular Economy partner. Adopting a circular approach by embracing refreshed products not only benefits the planet by reducing the volume of new technology created, but goes a long way to stretching your budget, too.

 

We can deliver good-as-new refreshed technology at a fraction of the cost, with up to 40% discounts available for fully warrantied equipment.

 

To learn more about the Circular Economy, and why IT sustainability needs to feature at the top of your agenda, download our latest white paper – For profit and for good.

 

Get your copy here.

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