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Our top three takeaways from the CRN Sustainability in Tech Summit

Published date: 20 February 2024

As part of our ongoing commitment to a greener IT landscape, we were delighted to sponsor the CRN Sustainability in Tech Summit and Awards at BAFTA on 8th February.

The event tackled the big sustainability questions facing the channel, and saw Andrea Bowyer, our Sustainability Lead, join industry experts such as Isabella Phoenix, HP’s Director and Global Head of Sustainability, to present to over 120 IT leaders on the day.

Andrea found the event to be both valuable and encouraging, commenting, “The speakers were engaging, educational and thought provoking. It was reassuring to hear that we’ve all identified the same challenges and everyone in the room was open to not only discussing them but working together as an industry to overcome them.”

Three themes dominated the event

1. Compliancy, legislation and data are key

Dr Stephen Finnegan, Managing Director of Arete Zero Carbon, discussed the impact of regulation as well as the overwhelming amount of sustainability acronyms facing partners, distributors and vendors, including:

  • ESOS (Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme)
  • SECR (Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting)
  • TCFD (Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures)
  • CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive)

  • He explained that CSRD will force businesses to consider their carbon impact and create a decarbonisation roadmap, noting, “Legislative frameworks will get tighter and if you're not acting on this, there will be some huge surprises around the corner."

    Andrea echoed his comments, saying, “One of the main challenges we face is compliancy – such as the looming Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive – and sourcing accurate data which includes carbon emission delivery data from third-party logistics and product carbon footprints.”

    At Westcoast, we’re taking steps to support your business as you navigate these challenges, such as providing ground-breaking carbon emissions reporting at the product, country and end-user level.


    2. We must collaborate to achieve Net Zero

    Virginie Le Barbu, Lenovo’s Global Sustainability Director discussed the importance of collaboration, stating: "We do see that the transformation is happening, slowly, but things are heading in the right direction… When thinking about collaboration, you need to have a clear view of where you're going, and you need to ensure your collaborators align with this view,” stated Virginie.

    Westcoast is part of collaborative vendor initiatives such as Lenovo 360 Circle, Microsoft Partner Pledge and HP Amplify. Andrea explained how we’re sharing our insights from these collaborations with our partners, to support them on their sustainability journeys.

    She commented, “The important thing to remember is we all have to start somewhere and taking part in events like this, where we've come together to discuss obstacles, learn from each other and work together to understand how we can overcome them, is a great start.

    At Westcoast we're really happy to share our learnings from our journey so far and to do this we've partnered with an IEMA accredited training provider to facilitate workshops and consultations for our partners.”


    3. The circular economy is key

    Dr Stephen Finnegan explored the importance of the circular economy – the system where materials are kept in circulation through maintenance, reuse, remanufacturing and recycling, to preserve resources and reduce waste.

    Vendors are already taking steps towards this, with Dr Finnegan referring to Apple’s pledge to use 100% recycled materials in all its products and packaging – including metals such as lithium – by 2025. But distributors and partners have an important part to play too.

    In a fireside chat with Sara Yirrel, Consulting Editor at CRN, Andrea explained, “We are increasing our offering in sustainable IT asset management solutions, including a partnership with n2s who are revolutionising how organisations dispose of end-of-life technology.”

    While Roger Whittle, CEO of Jigsaw24, spoke about the impact sustainable operations can have on margins, adding, “This is an opportunity for business efficiency. If we do sustainability properly, it can reduce costs.”


    A bright outlook for sustainable IT

    We were delighted to support this important event and share some of our activities and learnings to date. It was fantastic to hear about the great work that our partners and vendors are undertaking for the benefit of both the channel and the planet. Congratulations to CRN for an incredible summit.

    To find out more about our commitment to sustainability and how we’re enabling greener sales for your business, visit Westcoast Commits.

    To read a summary the event direct from CRN, visit: Legislation, partnership and balancing urgency with pragmatism: The big takeaways from CRN Sustainability in Tech (channelweb.co.uk).


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