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Top 5

Getting Serious About Sustainable Sourcing

by ISG

by Tom Olsen, Director, TPI


The increasing pressure of corporate responsibility — combined with the fact that the global information technology (IT) industry is on par with the aviation industry in terms of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions — is driving companies to look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. IT is an important part of the equation. The pressure to address sustainability is rising not only to address new regulations and customer demands, but also from a strong and inherent drive to realize economic benefits by saving costs on energy, travel and consumables.

Getting serious about sustainable IT requires sustainable sourcing. TPI clients increasingly demand sustainability in sourcing processes. Based on our experience, we suggest using these TPI Top 5 tips for incorporating sustainability into your company’s sourcing initiatives:

  1. Articulate sustainable IT as an objective. Make it clear to your service provider(s) that sustainability is one of your key objectives.
  2. Make solution sustainability an evaluation factor when evaluating service providers. Give sustainability an appropriate weighting to properly reward service providers for incorporating initiatives such as physical server and storage consolidation, virtualization, and thin clients.
  3. Include sustainability in your statement of work. Be sure to describe functional and reporting tasks such as recycling, compliance with energy schemes, responsible asset disposal, and consolidation.
  4. Define sustainability service levels. These levels will allow you to measure the performance of the sustainable services with a continuous improvement mechanism.
  5. Include critical deliverables in the contract. Your contract should commit the service provider to implement critical deliverables within a certain time frame, such as an energy management system (EMS) within a specified timeframe and at least one emission reduction proposal per contract year.

Finally, make sure that during the process you ask service providers to describe how they will deliver sustainable IT services for your company and request information about their internal commitment to sustainability.

TPI’s seasoned strategy and assessment experts can help you achieve your global sourcing goals through objective advice, knowledge of your industry and experience with arrangements from simple to complex.

E-mail Tom Olsen, Director, TPI, or phone him at +47 41 66 36 66 to learn more about sustainable sourcing.