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New standards to measure IT sustainability

IT sustainability

SustainableIT.org has established the first-ever set of standards to measure the environmental impact of technology and IT operations.

SustainableIT Environmental Standards 1.0 provides essential metrics and definitions for energy consumption, emissions, waste, and sourcing. These standards will help organisations consistently and accurately gauge IT’s environmental impact, set goals and track progress for improving the building, running, managing and sustainability of technology operations.

The new standards include two spheres of impact and benefits: (1) “in IT,” for the direct impact of IT operations, and (2) “by IT,” for the impact from an organisation’s use of IT. The individual standards are decision-support metrics tailored to technology’s impact on the environment. SustainableIT standards are compatible with global GRI, SASB, and TCFD standards and serve as a reference for companies to measure, improve, and report.

“We are still early in a major digital transformation cycle, where more and more business processes will be driven by IT. The continued rapid adoption of technology comes at an increasing cost to the environment and cannot go unchecked,” said Jedidiah Yueh, founding director of SustainableIT.org. “These standards will help IT leaders contain the environmental cost of IT, while using technology to drive more sustainable businesses and industries.”

SustainableIT Environmental Standards 1.0 is the first foundational tool in SustainableIT.org’s integrated portfolio of programs and resources. The organisation is currently developing social and governance standards. Related resources will include self assessments, team education, tailored workshops, and communities of practice, which will drive sustainability progress and public awareness.

In addition to the launch of its new standards, SustainableIT.org continues to grow its executive team with the recent appointment of Rick Pastore as research principal. Rick will focus on turning transformative ideas and goals into actionable insights and tools that can educate, inspire, engage, and advance sustainability within IT departments and their organisations.

“Rick’s in-depth knowledge and expertise in developing best practices, performance benchmarking, and transformation tools will be an invaluable asset for our mission,” said Kathryn Marston, executive director & general manager, SustainableIT.org.

Prior to joining SustainableIT.org, Rick was senior director and IT research advisor for The Hackett Group, where he developed research and related tools for IT and business leaders. He is also a former vice president of IDG’s CIO executive council and executive editor of CIO Magazine, where he worked directly with IT leaders to develop thought leadership and best practices to advance the role of the CIO.

The SustainableIT Standards Development and Review Committee approved the new standards. The group’s seven founding members include:

Katherine Wetmur, managing director, Morgan Stanley and elected chair of the Standards Committee

Brian Kirkland, CIO, Choice Hotels International

Ivneet Kaur EVP, CTO, Sterling

Srini Koushik, CIO, Rackspace

Vipul Nagrath, senior vice president, ADP

Niklas Sundberg, SVP/CIO Global Solutions Division, Assa Abloy Jedidiah Yueh, CEO, Delphix

SustainableIT.org is a nonprofit organisation focused on advancing global sustainability through technology leadership. Our mission is to define sustainable transformation programs by industry, author best practices and frameworks, set standards and certifications, provide education and training, and raise awareness for environmental and societal programs that make our organisations and the world sustainable for generations to come.

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