Sustainable IT

We are committed to developing enterprises and society with innovative IT solutions. We strongly believe that IT has the potential to support sustainable development from economical, environmental and social perspectives.

Green IT is a general term to describe the manufacturing, use and disposal of IT in a way that minimizes the environmental impact over the lifecycle. With sustainable IT we mean for instance cloud, big data and green technologies used in data centres - concepts that have a positive sustainability impact for our customers and society at large. 

A holistic approach to IT and digitalization is key

The positive impacts of IT span over many sustainability areas, which are often interlinked. Mobile welfare solutions, for instance, might lead to increased efficiency as well as reduced greenhouse gas emissions through less travel or less use of paper. Another example of an IT trend supporting sustainable development is Big Data. Here, large quantities of anonymized data made available through usage of online services and social media can be analyzed. Through these analyses, new research can be undertaken, enabling development of unique applications to solve critical business or social problems. The cloud is third example, where the positive sustainability impacts span over economical, social as well as environmental aspects. With payments based on actual server usage, cost-efficiency in production of IT services can be achieved. At the same time, as services can be accessed anytime on any device, cloud services enable increased flexibility and wellbeing for the user of IT services. In addition to this, with services delivered from new-generation data centres, where energy efficiency is inbuilt in the solution, for instance through smart server utilization with modern virtualization technologies, or efficient cooling solutions, energy consumption can be reduced. We are convinced a holistic approach  to IT and digitalization, where the positive and  negative impacts are all addressed properly, is key.

We have measured the positive sustainability impacts of IT since 2010 by calculating the reduction of our customers’ greenhouse gas emissions through our digital transaction services and other identified services replacing paper. Based on our calculations, we helped reduce 223 kilo tons (193 in 2014) of our customers' CO2 emissions in 2015 with these services1).

At the same time, we strive to mitigate the potential negative environmental impacts of IT. Our new-generation data centre in Espoo, Finland, is equipped with energy-efficient equipment and has a Power Usage Effectiveness number of 1.2–1.3 compared to 1.8–3.0 in traditional data centres. In addition, this data centre re-uses excess heat from servers and distributes it to private households and offices. Similar energy recycling solution is in use in Stockholm as well. Altogether, this energy recycling reduced CO2 emissions by 2 373 tons in 2015 (1 711 tons in 2014).

Innovative IT solutions supporting sustainable development

In 2015, we continued to strengthen our service portfolio and competences in order to be a preferred digitalization partner to our customers, and to develop society at large.  We also expanded the identification of environmental footprints of IT services through an internal project. The project focused on both existing and new services, which can reduce customers’ CO2 footprints.