Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Canadian companies embrace the Sustainable IT Pledge

On this Earth Day, there’s a group of new signatories to the Sustainable IT Pledge, a commitment by Canadian organizations to cut emissions from their IT operations.

Launched in August 2021, the Sustainable IT Pledge was created by the CIO Strategy Council, a non-profit organization that brings together Canada’s most forward-thinking chief information officers and executive technology leaders to mobilize on common priorities, to focus on actions member chief information officers can take to address the climate crisis.

It details a set of commitments from signatories which include seven areas in which CIOs will work together for change, among them, promises to demonstrate leadership in the development and adoption of sustainable IT practices, to exchange expertise and resources in multiple environmental areas, and to promote Canada’s leadership in the global standards IT ecosystem.

Under the pledge, organizations will collaborate on improving ways to measure greenhouse gas emissions and actions to reduce them, including upcycling, recycling and repairing devices to increase their service life, minimizing the environmental impact of IoT devices, reducing data exchange volumes to conserve energy, and applying sustainable software engineering practices.

The newest organizations to sign include Deloitte Canada, as well as a diverse group of startups and scale-ups including Poptronic, an electronics rental company based in Cornwall, Ontario, Espace Elvi, a Quebec-based subscription platform for wellness, Ergonomyx Technologies Canada, a startup headquartered in Victoria, British Columbia specializing workspace fitness devices, and FX Innovation, a Montreal-based company that is the largest Canadian player to have levels of certification and formal partnership with the three largest cloud companies.

“Deloitte is steadfast in its commitments to addressing climate change,” said Maria Churchill, chief information officer & central business services leader at Deloitte Canada. “We value sustainable practices and recognize the important role IT operations play in driving down greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We purchase renewable energy to power our facilities and are in the process of moving a significant portion of our data center platforms to the cloud. We’re also committed to minimizing electronic waste by donating used laptops and smartphones to charitable organizations such as the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB).”

Also signing on are global leaders in digital sustainability The Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance and TCO Development, as well as Canada’s Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst.

“Cybersecurity is inherently connected to environmental awareness as it represents an ongoing attempt to secure and protect all digital environments,” said Sumit Bhatia, director of innovation and policy at Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst. “With cybersecurity becoming a critical component of our techno centric society, it is crucial that we pay attention to sustainable IT practices that reduce our collective environmental impact while also ensuring ongoing improvements to our foundational cybersecurity frameworks. The time to act is now and collectively; we at the Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst are proud to partner with the CIO Strategy Council on this very important and timely initiative.”

Added Max Schulze, founder of the Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance, “Every industry needs to take action to reduce environmental impact within the next decade. IT is both becoming a large industry in itself, but it also provides the underlying infrastructure for most other sectors to digitalize and decarbonize. Therefore we find the work of the CIO Strategy Council, especially the Sustainability Pledge, very timely and spot on with setting the right priorities for the industry.”

For the full list of companies that have signed the Sustainable IT Pledge, visit ciostrategycouncil.com/sustainable

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner has been interpreting tech for businesses for over 20 years and has worked in the industry as well as writing about it, giving her a unique perspective into the issues companies face. She has both IT credentials and a business degree.

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