Tech for Good: 5 Ways IT Can Drive Carbon Neutrality

Posted by The Team at CXtec on Sep 19, 2023 10:08:21 AM

Since the advent of the industrial age, the world is undergoing a severe environmental catastrophe. As stated in the National...

Since the advent of the industrial age, the world is undergoing a severe environmental catastrophe. As stated in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Annual Climate Report, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were the highest in 2022.

Reckless human activities, such as burning fossil fuels for electricity and transportation and deforestation, largely contribute to GHG emissions in the atmosphere. Atmospheric greenhouse gas levels–as a consequence–were the highest in 2022, with carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration at 417.1 parts per million (ppm). This surpasses all the recorded levels from the past 800,000 years.

Amidst this crisis, IT companies kindle hope as they recognise their role in addressing the dire environmental concerns and achieving carbon neutrality. Technology giants are actively working towards becoming carbon neutral and adopting sustainable practices in their operations and supply chains.

IT Practices Leading the Charge to Reduce GHG Emissions 

IT companies strive to cut GHG emissions to meet internationally agreed targets on environmental protection. Here are five ways in which they are driving carbon neutrality.

  • Smart Grid Technology is poised to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60-211 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually. Traditional electricity generation, transmission and distribution methods could not meet the escalating energy demands and address the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) objectives. Smart grids, on the other hand, drastically solve these concerns by integrating renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydro for energy generation. It enables businesses to meet rising energy demands and critically reduce GHG emissions. According to a study from the Department of Energy, U.S., a smart grid system will reduce the annual CO2 emissions from the electric power sector by 12% by 2030 — equivalent to eliminating the emissions from 53 million cars.
  • Environmental monitoring through IoT sensors enables real-time data collection to achieve carbon neutrality. IoT sensors help organizations monitor and provide real-time data on crucial ecological parameters, including pollution, humidity, and temperature. Notably, organizations can program or customize IoT sensors to detect anomalies. When coupled with real-time insights, this capability will enable them to quickly make decisions and take prompt action in case of a mishap.
  • Green Data Centers promise zero carbon emissions. As industries experienced rapid digitalisation, data centers became integral to the organizational infrastructure. However, provided their extensive energy consumption – approximately 1% of the global power usage – IT organizations are now embracing the transition to green data centers. Data centers significantly contribute to GHG emissions, thereby not meeting ESG standards. However, green data centers aim to achieve carbon neutrality or even harmful GHG emissions levels by harnessing renewable energy sources for power generation and implementing efficient power distribution systems and liquid cooling technology. In addition, green data centers are also LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. It is a globally acclaimed certification for sustainable building practices.
  • Data analytics facilitate accurate monitoring of an organization's GHG emissions. As the initial step, organizations employ numerous measures to monitor their carbon footprint. Advanced analytics helps them identify accurate emission sources, including analyzing supply chain impacts and emissions during transport and intensive energy-consuming areas. Once identified, organizations implement sustainable solutions to align with the set ESG objectives.
  • Reducing e-waste by recycling and reusing old IT equipment, such as refurbished hardware. E-waste incineration and decomposition are critical for environmental protection. The world generated approximately 53.6 million metric tons (Mt) of e-waste in 2019, yet only 17% was appropriately recycled. Anticipation is that global e-waste may reach 74 million Mt by 2030. Improper management of electronic waste leads to GHG emissions. However, the IT sector across the globe is actively working towards reducing, refurbishing and safe disposal of e-waste. Note that refurbishing IT equipment, such as hardware, can significantly reduce the volume of e-waste.

Achieve Carbon Neutrality with CXtec Refurbished Architecture

With the threatening increase in greenhouse gas emissions and rising temperatures of land and oceans combined, it has, thus, become imperative for the IT sector to achieve carbon neutrality and meet the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards. A robust way to accomplish this is by cutting down on the production of e-waste. As stated above, the upsurge in the volume of e-waste poses a severe environmental threat. Nonetheless, there are efficient ways to tackle it. IT organizations can rely on owning refurbished architecture over acquiring new equipment. Since refurbishing uses existing resources, it contributes to a circular economy, promoting sustainable economic and environmental practices while reducing e-waste.

With over 40 years of expertise in reducing GHG emissions through refurbished hardware and IT lifecycle management, CXtec is an ideal partner for driving positive change within the circular economy. As North America’s largest secondary-market hardware provider, CXtec continues to help businesses meet their IT and sustainability goals.