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Green cloud

Make your organization more sustainable – switch to cloud ERP

The COP26 UN Climate Change Conference earlier this year underlined something we all already knew. Climate change is an existential threat – not just to the way we do business, but to everything from the economy, our health, and the way we all live our lives.

Every individual and organization – from governments to private companies – must play a part in helping to create a sustainable future. And a big part of that will involve us all working to collectively reach a “net zero” level of carbon emissions. A point at which greenhouse gasses emitted by human activities are balanced with the amount we can remove from the atmosphere.

The international goal to reach net zero by 2050 has already been set. But what can your organization do to reach that point in the next 28 years?

Click to read Increase service excellence and profitability with ERP Gated

Moving towards net zero – why and how

In their 2022 CxO sustainability report, Deloitte highlight 5 “needle moving” sustainability actions all organizations should pursue to achieve net zero:

  1. Developing climate-friendly alternatives for products or services.
  2. Requiring suppliers and business partners to meet specific sustainability criterial.
  3. Updating and relocating facilities to make them more resistant to climate impacts.
  4. Incorporating climate considerations into lobbying and political donations.
  5. Tying senior leaders’ compensation to environmental performance.

Only 19% of organizations have implemented at least 4 of these 5 actions so far. None of them are easy – but for service and people centric companies, there is a surprisingly straightforward way to achieve at least three of them.

We’re talking, of course, about moving your systems into the cloud.

Cloud ERP means that, for once, it is easy being green

Migrating your operational infrastructure to a public cloud is cleaner and greener than keeping it on premise (or on your own cloud) for a number of reasons. Key among them is that you won’t need to worry about the energy usage and emissions of your physical hardware, or about disposing of it or recycling it at end of life.

Moving your workloads to the cloud allows you to be more flexible not just with your resource usage, but also your resource allocation. With more companies running their compute needs on a single cloud, there’s a reduced overall need for hardware and power consumption – and as a result carbon emissions can be drastically reduced.

In fact, IDC says that as cloud adoption continues, it could potentially prevent the emission of more than 1 billion metric tons of CO2 by 2024.

How green is your cloud?

But cloud computing still requires energy – even public cloud data centers have a carbon footprint. For this reason, if you’re really looking to improve the sustainability of your operations, you’ll need to look for sustainable cloud providers.

Sustainable computing relies on energy efficient infrastructure, carefully managed and optimized operations of its own, and the constant monitoring of sustainability metrics. You’ll need to pick your cloud partners that can satisfy 3 key requirements to ensure you’re building a solid foundation for the deployment of a climate friendly alternative of your current workflows.

The three features of a green cloud provider

1. The right environmental policies and practices

Grill your potential vendors on their systems, policies, and approaches to data centre management and construction. What are they doing to ensure sustainability? Does their approach meet legal requirements and help you meet your own commitments and targets? And how does this approach extend to their supply chain? Are they fully sustainable – or simply passing the buck?

2. The right power sources for data centres

Cloud data centres require a lot in the way of hardware, networking equipment, power, power distribution, and cooling. All of these things consume energy, and that energy represents a potential for carbon emissions.

Check to see if your providers have made the switch to renewable energy in their data centers, and how their usage of different sources affects their (and your) carbon footprint and sustainability efforts.

3. The right approach to facility management and equipment usage

Sustainable procurement, responsible end of life approaches to the disposal and recycling of equipment, tracking sustainability and efficiency metrics like PUE (Performance Utilization Effectiveness) WUE (Water Utilization Efficiency) against established sustainability goals are all essential to creating a low-carbon cloud operation. Ensure that your providers are doing all this – and have the data and results to show for it.

How can Unit4 help you achieve your sustainability goals?

Unit4 are committed to creating a sustainable future, reflecting our people-first approach. Our strategies are strongly aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, focusing on three key areas: education and employability through digital skills and inclusion, health and well-being, climate change and environmental sustainability: UN SGDs 3,4,12 and 13.

Our cloud software is already carbon neutral and will be 100% powered by renewable energy by 2025. We’re embedding sustainability in our sourcing and procurement processes, enabling our suppliers to be socially, legally and ethically responsible. We help finance small agroforestry projects that bring environmental and social benefits through our Unit4 Forest in Asia, Africa, and South America. And in 2022 we’ve been awarded the EcoVadis silver medal in recognition of our sustainability achievements.

To learn more about these initiatives – and more – visit our corporate social responsibility page. To learn more about our carbon neutral cloud software, visit our dedicated product pages now.  

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