Here at Highlander, we take great pride in taking a conscious approach to all areas of our business, whether that is our social contribution, promoting the wellbeing of our employees or ensuring that we operate as sustainably as possible.
We are proud to maintain ISO 14001, the international standard for environmental management that is held by businesses who are working towards reducing waste, improving resource efficiency and making steps to keep a measure on their environmental impact.
Being an IT reseller, our environmental footprint is relatively small, as we do not personally manufacture products. As a result, scrutinising our carbon footprint is more of a challenge, but there are several steps we’ve taken to keep our environmental impact as low as possible. We are actively increasing the number of electric/ hybrid vehicles in our company vehicle fleet, and we’ve also switched to LED lighting throughout our properties.
We’ve also reduced our energy usage by transferring a great deal of infrastructure to the cloud, both for ourselves and our customers. This reduces our power consumption as infrastructure is generally ‘shared’ and deployed in purpose-built locations that are optimised for the most efficient power and cooling and often the recipient of green electricity. We also help customers to keep their energy consumption down by encouraging them to embrace the latest hardware technologies, as newer hardware typically uses less power and is cheaper to run.
Any hardware that we replace is done so under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive to ensure that it is either recycled or disposed of ethically, and only the smallest amount of non-recyclable material goes to landfill. This is enforced both internally and on behalf of our customers. When disposing of unwanted or legacy hardware, we partner with several third-party suppliers to help us do so responsibly. Alternatively, several of our vendors offer their own recycling services.
Just like Highlander, more businesses are taking a rigorous interest in their social responsibility and our vendor partners are no different. They are increasingly more switched-on to the impact they have on the environment and are improving their manufacturing and operations for the good of the environment. Here, we’ve looked closer at their sustainability credentials:
Lenovo is taking great steps to reduce their environmental impact globally. They keep a close eye on their water consumption, which they use only for human support, as opposed to during product manufacturing. They closely track usage metrics to ensure that they are reusing and recycling water wherever possible.
In terms of their emissions, Lenovo is making reductions across all areas of their business, including their company operations, their supply chain and their customer base. One particular change that has been embraced by Lenovo’s customers is their edited product manuals for PC options and accessories, which they converted from being a 50-page manual to a single page poster. This change saves in excess of 350 million printed pages per year, reducing Lenovo’s paper usage, and the amount of recycling their customers must process.
HP has also focussed on paper as an area to become more sustainable. The production of HP brand paper is now a process that involves zero deforestation; they are now working to achieve this for all their paper-based packaging by 2025.
2025 is a self-imposed deadline by HP for the achievement of a number of environmental goals:
• Reduce Scope 1 & 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 60%
• Reduce global operations potable water consumption by 15%
• 60% of their global operations energy consumption will be derived from renewable energy resources, rising to 100% by 2035
HP in particular is dedicated to working towards an economy where plastic never becomes waste or pollution and are reducing plastic usage in both their products and their packaging. Where using plastic is unavoidable, it will be a variant that is either reusable or recycled.
HPE is working to increase their products’ lifecycles, so that IT teams can optimise and repurpose existing IT investments and hardware. They have also developed and deployed several energy-efficient High Performance Computing solutions to help drive research into global climates and environments.
HPE also reward those in their supply chain who strive for sustainability. In 2017, HPE introduced science-based targets for their suppliers to reduce their emissions. HPE has made the commitment that by 2025, 80% of their manufacturing spend will be awarded to suppliers who have their science-based targets in place.
Alongside reducing supplier emissions, Microsoft also internally enforce a carbon footprint tax of $15 per metric ton. This helps their various business divisions remain sustainably conscious by holding them financially responsible for their own emissions. Microsoft has been able to reduce their carbon emissions by 15.6 million tons.
Across all their campuses and data centres, Microsoft employ smart tech to help meet their goal of becoming zero-carbon and zero-waste. They play an active role in encouraging others to do the same by being an active member of the Climate Leadership Council, who devise international policy changes to promote cost-effective, politically viable climate solutions.
Dell is another vendor who has self-imposed a deadline for their ‘social impact goals.’ By 2030, they aim to:
• Recycle or reuse one product for every single product bought
• Ensure 100% of product packaging, and 50% of product content, is recyclable or made from renewable resources
• Reduce Scopes 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 75%
• Reduce the energy intensity of their entire product portfolio by 50%
In our current climate, it is vital that all businesses concentrate not only on how they can immediately improve their sustainability, but on how they can continue to improve this in the future. For Highlander, and those in our supply chain, improving sustainability is a core business goal, one that we encourage our customers to take on also. To discuss how your IT practices can be made more sustainable, get in touch with a member of our sales team.