Sustainability is becoming important to both consumers and the companies that serve them. In fact, sustainability has begun driving revenue decisions for businesses, according to a new study from ING. The study found that 39 percent of the 200 executives polled believe revenue growth was the No. 1 factor behind sustainability initiatives, and 48 percent noted that sustainability is, at the very least, influencing growth decisions.
In fact, in the past six months, the number of companies that had set or committed to set a science-based target — targets that are in line with the level of decarbonization required to keep the global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial temperatures — nearly doubled from 250 to 497 companies. Further, regulatory pressures, such as the European Union’s Circular Economy Package, which requires companies operating in the European Union to ensure their products can be recycled, are also furthering sustainability initiatives.
In addition to the social and environmental impact, the business benefits of embracing the circular economy are driving companies to seek new ways to implement sustainable practices, and one key way to do this is by tapping managed services. From Device as a Service to Infrastructure as a Service, systems-based thinking can help to deliver immediate and significant benefits to companies while decreasing environmental impact.
Here are three ways that “as a service” practices deliver on this sustainability for businesses.
1. Services Shrink Equipment Needs for Companies
By reducing the amount of equipment a company has on-premises, managed services help facilitate the move to a smaller, greener footprint.
Instead of buying, storing, maintaining, disposing of and replacing expensive equipment, businesses can purchase services as they need them from third parties. This means that for companies that embrace models such as Infrastructure as a Service, energy-intensive tasks, like cooling server rooms, are a thing of the past. Moreover, since less physical space is necessary to house and manage the equipment, associated energy usage and costs can drop as well.
2. Managed Services Reduce Businesses’ Energy Use
Think about old and unused office equipment that is still plugged in: Just like home appliances, these devices are still consuming energy. But some services can help cut unnecessary energy costs for devices that businesses have on-premises by enabling the ability to automatically manage fleets of devices, such as laptops and tablets. For instance, businesses can deploy energy-saving protocols, such as automatic shut-off and scheduling sleep and wake-up modes across the entire fleet to reduce energy consumption. The Device as a Service model also allows companies to use the most up-to-date and energy-efficient devices.
But not all advantages are on-premises. Managed service models also help to cut back or consolidate the number of individual shipments, reducing aggregate supply chain emissions.
3. Services Help to Eliminate Waste
With the economy moving toward a “recover, recycle, reuse” circular strategy, managed services can play a role by allowing companies to track wasteful employee behaviors. These behaviors can include single-sided versus two-sided printing, color volume, or even the employee-per-device ratio. With this information at hand, companies can then deploy and scale a cloud-based solution to help curtail such behaviors across the entire fleet.
Some services can enable proactive maintenance for devices, which can help to increase product longevity and reduce waste. For instance, ensuring toner is completely used up before it is changed can result in significant cost savings for a company with thousands of printers.
With the world’s population close to 8 billion, there is not a moment to lose when it comes to being more effective stewards of our resources. Today, sustainability in business is becoming mandatory. One of the best ways to enable and accelerate an effective sustainability agenda is to jettison the old ownership model and reinvent IT with “as a service.” Your customers, employees and kids will thank you.