IT Executives Missing Cost-Effective Sustainability Opportunities: Gartner – Consumer Goods Technology

The sustainability mandates will keep rolling in from regulatory organizations, and CPG companies are already implementing a variety of measures to cut back on emissions. However, a new study from Gartner shows that they may not be taking advantage of the most cost-effective solutions. 
Kristin Moyer, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner, said that while sustainable IT progress is underway — with surveyed leaders having completed an average of nine sustainable IT initiatives within their data centers, cloud systems, digital workplace, software, and data strategies — they may not be implementing the most cost-effective solutions.
Some of the most cost-effective sustainable IT initiatives currently have less than a 30% adoption rate, per Gartner. This could stem from a lack of data — 64% said they aren’t receiving the emissions performance data they need from vendors. 
“Because of these limitations, some executive leaders struggle to prioritize sustainable IT initiatives or know where to start,” said Moyer. “They also neglect to consider sustainable IT initiatives that are low cost and achieve moderate GHG [greenhouse gas] reduction.”
Executives have been mostly focused on implementing sustainability strategies within their data centers (86%) and the digital workplace (79%) — two areas that have low adoption rates for more cost-effective solutions like uninterruptible power supply (UPS) rightsizing and enhanced cooling. 
Also within the workplace, leaders aren’t taking advantage of IT circularity, with only 22% of executives purchasing refurbished assets that could reduce waste and emissions. 
“Executive leaders should right-size their UPS(s) based on current and future capacity requirements, which helps increase efficiency and cost savings,” said Moyer. “Enhanced cooling systems like immersion cooling, passive cooling, and direct-to-chip cooling are also underutilized and can drive significant water reduction and mitigate GHG emissions.”
Lastly, executives have been focused on a three- to five-year expected lifespan for devices but should instead be implementing device performance analytics and telemetry insights to replace things like laptops, PCs, and servers as needed. By 2027, PC as a service will grow to 50% of PC procurement, an increase from 20% in 2023, said Gartner
The company surveyed 200 executive leaders from across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific in Q4 2023 as part of a larger study to assess the impact of IT on reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the enterprise.