Almost every credible scientific study of the climate shows that the world is on the precipice of disaster; without a substantial – and rapid - shift to a more sustainable future, there is going to be unprecedented upheaval as entire ecosystems go extinct and large swathes of the planet are rendered uninhabitable.
The technology industry needs to be a part of the solution because it is no exaggeration that IT is a major contributor to the global carbon footprint. Studies show that ICT accounts for four per cent of global electricity consumption by itself, and 1.4 per cent of total global emissions.
However, it is important to understand that sustainability is not just an obligation, but rather, it’s also an opportunity. As HP Australia Director, Commercial Channel, Chelsea Rossney, said in an exclusive video interview with ARN, “Statistics show that 61 per cent of people believe that sustainability is a mandatory for business. That is why HP bring this topic to the forefront with our partner community… in just 2020 alone, the focus on sustainability helped us win more than $1.6 billion in new sales. So that just goes to show that doing well and doing good are no longer mutually exclusive.”
As Rossney articulates in the video, HP’s vision for sustainability takes place across three core “pillars” that account for both the social and cultural environment, as well as finding ways to reduce the carbon impact of technology on the physical environment. Those pillars are:
- Planet: Drive toward a net-zero carbon, fully regenerative circular economy while creating the industry’s most sustainable portfolio of technology, services and solutions.
- People: Respecting human rights, enabling people across the value chain to thrive and cultivating a diverse, equitable and inclusive (DE&I) culture through initiatives like the HP Racial Equality and Social Justice Task Force.
- Community: Empower communities through the power of technology. Help eliminate the digital divide that prevents too many from accessing the education, jobs and healthcare needed to thrive.
To work towards the goals of those three pillars, HP is a channel-driven organization, with 87 per cent of its business derived through partners, and it is looking to leverage that channel to drive sustainability across the entire IT landscape. To continue to advocate for sustainable use of IT, the company takes its role in education and assisting its partners on the journey towards sustainability seriously, Rossney said.
“There are partners that already incorporate sustainability-driven sales, but we'll be able to achieve even more by opening in their eyes on how to make it a part of their core business moving forward,” Rossney said. “That means working closely with HP to unlock those additional opportunities that aim to improve the vitality and resilience, particularly in something as easy as their local communities.
Setting aggressive goals
To meet the global Paris climate agreement and keep global warming manageable, Australia needs to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Achieving that needs to be led by policy and at a government level, but individual organisations need to do their part to be good corporate citizens.
HP is doing its part, Rossney said. “Our ultimate goal here is by 2030 to become the most sustainable technology company,” she said in the interview. It is in pursuit of this goal that HP has launched the Amplify Impact program. This program builds on the revitalised HP partner program that was launched last year and requires that partners take fundamentals sustainability training. In return, partners gain access to marketing assets and sales tools through the HP Sustainability and Compliance Centre, as well as access to the HP Life and HP Planet Partners programs, that will help to really drive sustainability sales.
Then, partners that wish to go above and beyond can opt into the Catalyst and Changemaker tracks. These feature deeper education and training and in return HP will provide further reporting and resources to support sustainability sales.
“We believe that having access to the expertise and the information to understand where the business may be able to make a difference is the first part of the solution,” Rossney said. “What HP offers with Amplify Impact is that understanding, and it’s a huge benefit that's worth thousands of dollars in itself.
“The second part is ease of access to the resources that come to extend to their community. And the other huge benefit is that this program can help identify gaps in the sustainability goals, and help partners understand where they are in that sustainability journey. We know that it is a ticking clock with the goals we have, and the damage being done to the climate. What’s important is that it is also a very commercial proposition rather than just a mandatory statement… it’s a win-win situation then.”
While knowledge is the most important weapon in fighting back against climate change, it should not be an onerous requirement of the partner. At the entry level, partner resources and training are available entirely online and are easily accessible regardless of where the partner is located. As the partner moves into deeper levels of sustainability selling, one-on-one intensive training opportunities are available, to help assist the partner further align its go-to-market strategy with HP’s proven success in sustainability.
Ultimately every business selling IT in Australia is going to have to grapple with some form of mandatory sustainability best practice. The social pressure and deep interest the Australian community has in sustainability will encourage legislation and regulation. Those businesses that can take a leadership position on the selling of sustainable solutions now will find themselves in a position of competitive differentiation and in lockstep with HP as sustainability becomes core to the Australian way of doing business.
For more information on the HP Amplify Impact program, and HP’s commitment to sustainability, click here.