News

Top tech to help your business go greener (and maybe save you money too)

Author

Lindsay Harriss

Date

24 Aug, 2021

Category

Blog

We are now hearing so much about how vital it is to be more eco-friendly, reduce our carbon footprint and combat climate change. So, here we look at some of the technology that could just help your business go greener, oh, and maybe save you money too.

After many years of scientists warning of the catastrophic consequences for the environment of allowing carbon emissions to go unchecked, the news is now full of the concrete evidence of climate change, rearing its ugly head around the world. However, with a concerted effort from us all, we can fight back and turn the tide on this looming disaster. One small way businesses can do their bit is to make greener choices, and here we look at some of the technology that can actively help to minimise carbon emissions and protect the planet, which may even cut your costs too.

Virtually green

With transport reportedly being the largest emitting sector of greenhouse gases, producing 27% of the UK’s total emissions in 2019, limiting the amount of travel you and your employees do could be a great way to start going greener. Whether it’s lengthy daily commutes or globetrotting for face-to-face meetings, you and your workforce could be notching up a hefty carbon footprint, but with the right IT in place, you can easily reduce this. Unified communications as a service (UCaaS), which involves the supply of a set of invaluable communication tools, including voice, video and messaging facilities, as a single, cloud-based solution, can help to cut the carbon emissions your company creates. By allowing users to work effectively from anywhere, enabling remote and hybrid working, UCaaS cuts down on the necessity for your workers to commute. It also provides the videoconference tools to conduct online meetings with participants worldwide, thus reducing the need to jump in a plane and travel for face-to-face meetings. In addition, the good news is that such virtual meetings can also benefit your business budget, reducing the need to pay for expensive long-distance trips, with companies on average said to cut travel costs by 30%.

So, although you might not be the biggest fan of videoconferences, after months of lockdown working from home, and may even have suffered from so-called ‘Zoom fatigue’, we might all need to learn to love virtual meetings more, to save the planet. However, truth be told, there is very little that has zero impact on the environment, and even videoconferences can take their toll, as a recent study found that just one hour’s video meeting emits up to 1kg of carbon dioxide. Therefore, to be extra eco-friendly, be sure to switch off your camera, whenever possible, as this was found to reduce such emissions by as much as 96%.

Every cloud has a greener lining

So, you are now all set up with the high-tech communication tools to cut down on your travel – working from home, with a UCaaS system, and conducting virtual meetings with your international customers – but what other technology could help boost your business’s green credentials? Well, the eco-benefits of cloud-based applications do not end with UCaaS. In fact, even the UK Government is waking up to the environmental benefits of the cloud, encouraging firms to use cloud-based applications to fight climate change. Indeed, cloud technology as a whole could help to reduce your company’s carbon footprint big time, as switching to a cloud IT service could reduce energy consumption, electronic waste, known as ‘e-waste’ and carbon emissions.

Moreover, research suggests that moving business applications to the cloud could reduce your company’s carbon footprint by as much as 90%, as shared data centres, used by cloud service providers, can be run far more efficiently than individual, traditional, on-site data centres, which guzzle a great deal of energy. Indeed, Prodec runs its cloud-based services from three highly efficient data centres, including a prize-winning green facility, which uses five times less energy per kW of IT load than the average data centre. Needless to say, by switching to cloud-based applications, you could also make some significant cost savings, by no longer having to fund your own expensive on-site data centre.

In fact, the green benefits of moving to the cloud continue, as this could also help enable greater ‘dematerialisation’, or the replacement of physical equipment with virtual equivalents. In this way, by using fewer individual on-site machines, you can help to reduce the depletion of natural resources used to make such equipment, and also help to cut the carbon emissions generated from the manufacture of so many physical products. In addition, you will be helping to reduce the escalating e-waste mountain, which is currently said to be growing by 53 million tons each year, as such equipment is inevitably eventually disposed of.

Furthermore, the added silver lining, or should we say ‘greener’ lining of the cloud is that by switching to such technology, you may even save money, as you will no longer need to invest in on-site hardware, pay for its maintenance, or replace it when required, but instead can just pay for the exact amount of service you need, potentially cutting costs.

 

Could smart technology save the day?

However, while cloud applications can certainly enable businesses to go a great deal greener, this is not the only technology which could help to save the day. Using the Internet of things (IoT) devices could also help your business to be a lot more eco-friendly. The IoT refers to the ever-growing network of Internet-connected devices which can receive and transmit data, and one of the key advantages of this technology is that it can provide the ability to monitor and manage all your devices’ activity, enabling you to seriously shrink your carbon footprint. For example, by using IoT-enabled smart thermostats and smart plugs, you could greatly reduce the amount of energy your business consumes and cut its CO2 emissions. This could be an important contribution to tackling climate change, as large reductions in CO2 emissions are needed to limit the rise in global temperatures. Indeed, according to the UN Environment Programme, emissions need to be reduced by 55% before 2030, to limit the rise in global temperature this century to 1.5 degrees, and avoid the worst effects of climate change.

With such a target to achieve, any individual contribution each of us can make to conserve energy and reduce emissions, no matter how small, is invaluable, and IoT devices can go even further to help. For instance, IoT-enabled smart lighting sensors can make your business spaces more eco-friendly, by automatically turning on and off lighting fixtures based on the presence of people. Indeed, so smart are these devices, that they can even adjust the intensity of the lighting in line with the amount of natural light available, or according to the time of day and weather conditions.

Of course, the upshot of using such smart technology is not just that you will be making your business a whole lot greener, but by using less energy, you will be saving money too – the ultimate win–win solution.

So, to discover more about your greener technology options, and how you could possibly reduce costs too, contact Prodec Networks today.

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