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Backed by HP, Truis makes business case for sustainability

Backed by HP, Truis makes business case for sustainability

Norm Jefferies recalls its sustainability journey under HP’s Amplify Impact program.

Norm Jefferies (Truis)

Norm Jefferies (Truis)

Credit: ARN

Queensland-based managed services company Truis and HP have a partnership that dates back to 2006, which is solidified by a shared vision of a sustainable future.

When HP’s sustainability program for partners – Amplify Impact – was launched in February 2021, Truis was completing its transition from Computer Merchants, which began operations as a reseller in 1979, supplying companies with refurbished IT equipment. 

Derived from the word ‘altruism’, the rebrand sought to encompass the company’s core values of empathy and transparency, tied to ambitions of enabling “people-focused IT” and offering tailored IT solutions.

Inspired by his daughter's concerns for the future of the planet, Norm Jefferies, managing director of Truis, said the company made a commitment to creating a viable future for generations to come. 

As such, the managed services provider decided to "take a hard look at itself" and undergo a sustainability assessment via HP’s Amplify Impact program.

The results, he told Channel Asia, were average, to say the least. Given Jefferies' wake-up call and HP’s sustainability challenge, Truis’s business transformation was triggered. 

“It pointed out that we didn't have any firm goals or strategy around sustainability,” he reflected. "While we've been doing things [around sustainability], we hadn't really done much about it.”

A collaborative approach

The Amplify Impact program hinges on three components: planet, people and community.

According to HP, these pillars reflect the areas where it would strive to drive accountability within the IT industry. The first pillar aims to build a sustainable portfolio of technology, services and solutions. 

The second strives to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive (DE&I) culture. Last but not least, HP aims to eradicate the “digital divide” through a community focus. 

“Across the different categories of people, community, and the planet, we set a number of goals to work through, which included education. We worked quite tirelessly through all those things and with all of the staff,” said Jefferies. 

Despite the hardships of kickstarting a sustainability journey, Jefferies ’ acknowledged HP as “an important part” of Truis' sustainability journey. 

“I think one of the best things that happened under the HP Amplify Impact program was that they provided us with some assistance," he said. "In our case, we got to speak with a local Australian member who worked with us to help us understand the HP tools we had at our fingertips, which involved education, and tools to help us set goals."

Additionally, Jefferies recognised that under a more structured program, the company gained more clarity on its sustainable efforts, which has helped Truis achieve its goals.

Truis has reduced its landfill waste by 30 per cent in the year since joining the program. Internal processes have been modified, including investments in a cardboard perforator that repurposes cardboard to repackage products that Truis purchases from its vendors and thereby reducing bubble wrap usage and creating more eco-friendly packaging.

More importantly, the company identified that its culture needed improvement. The Truis team has expanded to participate in activities that give back to the community, which Jefferies found has left a “very positive impact on morale” and been a “real bonus” for the business. 

A business imperative

Today, technology businesses are increasingly seeing sustainability initiatives as both a way to progress social good and improve their own bottom lines. Businesses are increasingly scrutinised for their environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) policies which can have a direct impact on commercial performance and value.

According to IDC’s sustainability predictions, by 2026, ESG performance will be viewed as one of the top 3 decision factors for IT equipment purchases, while over 50 per cent of requests for proposals (RFPs) will include metrics regarding carbon emissions, material use, and labour conditions.

Parallel to this trend, Jefferies cited an “appetite” from Truis customers for business initiatives that convey sustainable principles. 

“What we're seeing from our customers is a lot of them are referencing that they've been to our website and commenting that they see we're making an effort with sustainability,” he stated. “And we're seeing it start to form part of their procurement policy, and they are making a decision on that.”

For Truis, meeting these market demands has yielded significant outcomes on the commercial front, disclosing that “over $1 million of success” are directly attributed to their sustainability efforts, and even picking up new customers both with product sales and managed services based on the business’s green stance.

Furthermore, the company found that pivoting in such a manner has made it easier to hire new staff, as they consider it an attractive quality in an organisation. 

Tian Chong Ng, managing director of Greater Asia at HP, had made a similar observation in an earlier discussion with Channel Asia, suggesting that the younger generation is demanding organisations to adopt sustainability values because “they want to work for a purpose-led company, and they want to sell a purpose-led brand”.

“If you're not actively setting yourself up to succeed around sustainability, you will lose business,” cautioned Jefferies. 

“In fact, you won't even be in the race because those organisations that are doing it will exclude organisations that just don't care about it. I think it's important for all of us to learn about where we fit into the sustainability side of things and actually make a change in our business.”

One area where Truis is fulfilling its mission of being commercially sustainable and giving back to society is assisting with e-waste. This takes the form of buying back old devices from customers, oftentimes refurbishing them, and then donating them to disadvantaged communities that may not have access to such technologies.

For new customers, Truis is looking to introduce more sustainable products and solutions such as HP devices made from ocean-bound plastics.

The hardware vendor is a member of NextWave Plastics, a consortium of multinational brands that aim to decrease ocean-bound plastic. The alliance has discovered that recycled plastics can be used to enhance product design while also boosting sustainability credentials. For example, the HP Elite Dragonfly features ocean-bound plastics in the speaker enclosure and display bezel.

“We're helping customers feel good about their old devices, knowing that when they buy new devices, that messaging goes back,” added Jefferies. “It's helping customers get access to technology that's built in a sustainable way but then it's going further by helping them bring more life into their old devices. Rather than going to e-waste, they get a second home for many more years.”

Partnership future

To continue its pursuit of creating a viable future, Jefferies reaffirmed Truis’s commitment to working with HP to “stay at the forefront” of sustainability, opining that the vendor leads the way in the movement by being transparent about its actions and working hard on the mission themselves.  

On top of it all, joining forces with customers is also equally important for the managed services provider and constantly challenging themselves to improve how they operate. 

Meanwhile, Jefferies also revealed the company’s goal to be net-zero and one strategy they have adopted is buying carbon offsets while they primarily strive to reduce carbon consumption.

With the aid of HP and associated organisations, Truis was able to equip itself with tools to calculate its three scopes of emissions – something Jefferies felt was “overwhelming” when he attempted to do so more than a decade ago.

“As a business, I want to work harder on knowing what our carbon footprint is. But it’s coming back to that partnership with HP and working with them using the broader knowledge and access to information Truis doesn't have,” he asserted.

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