Greentech is becoming a strategic paradigm for corporates seeking sustainable growth

For organizations across industries, the transition to Greentech is inevitable today. Sustainable IT not only optimizes IT infrastructures, but it also results in a variety of benefits such as more efficient asset utilization, the reduced total cost of ownership, smaller carbon footprint, and conformance with tightening market requirements.

Technology solutions that will help meet Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals are proving to be an exciting opportunity for India’s IT services providers. Customers are increasingly committing their budgets to sustainable and ethical IT solutions and seeking partners to help them reduce their climate impacts through improved efficiency, measurement and automation, and minimization of energy use and materials.

HPE’s transition to a consumption-based, as-a-service company is driving sustainable transformation efforts for its customers. With the HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform, customers can flexibly scale their IT to meet their needs, thereby improving utilization levels and avoiding the waste of overprovisioning. In fact, customers transitioning to HPE GreenLake from traditional CapEx models can achieve a greater than 30% reduction in energy costs and total cost of ownership. Mr. Rajesh Dhar, Senior Director – Infrastructure Hardware Growth, HPE, India shares more insight on the same.

 

  1. What do ‘Greentech solutions for IT service providers’ include? Why should IT service providers prioritize it as a strategy?

Sustainability awareness is on the rise in corporate and IT agendas. The signs are everywhere. Customers, investors, employees, and a broad range of other stakeholders are increasingly factoring sustainability into their decision-making.

With the continued expansion of the Internet around the globe, the rapid growth of media streaming, and the arrival of 5G, there’s certainly no room for complacency. Companies are increasingly realizing that being a responsible global citizen means taking action to reduce the environmental impact of IT. It means running a sustainable business while continuing to compete effectively in the marketplace. CIOs are being asked to document their progress towards those goals– however, the question is, how to do so in a way that will continue to support growth and profitability?

IT organizations play an increasingly important role in environmental, governance and social (ESG) programs designed to meet those expectations and capture the share of budgets being committed to sustainable and ethical IT solutions.

Incorporating sustainability into the business strategy helps curate a value-driven approach which can be vital to long-term success. Sustainability is being considered a natural partner for digital transformation programs. In fact, according to data reported by the World Economic Forum, companies that link digital and sustainable transformation are 2.5 times more likely to be among tomorrow’s strongest-performing businesses than those that do not.

Sustainable IT optimizes IT infrastructures, resulting in a variety of benefits such as more efficient asset utilization, reduced total cost of ownership, smaller carbon footprint, and conformance with tightening market requirements.

At HPE, we consider four key aspects for IT Efficiency:

  1. Energy Efficiency: Delivering an optimum level of compute, storage, and connectivity in exchange for the lowest input of energy
  2. Equipment efficiency: Maximizing IT processing power and storage capabilities with the fewest number of IT assets, helping to solve stranded capacities in compute, storage, and network
  3. Resource efficiency: Engineering products to work efficiently from edge to cloud while requiring the least amount of support, staff, and equipment for power conversion, cooling, and resiliency
  4. Software efficiency: Writing efficient code and using intelligent software to automate environments, drive efficiencies, and improve management practices

 

  1. Can you please explain, for the layman, what exactly HPE is doing for helping India’s IT services providers to improve their green footprint?

Awareness of the carbon impact of IT operations is growing and HPE’s sustainability capabilities are a strategic differentiator. We aim to provide customers with sustainable IT solutions that help them do more with less, reducing the environmental footprint of their IT infrastructure while delivering business outcomes.

Products with sustainability and IT efficiency attributes accounted for nearly 50% of HPE net revenue in 2021.

Across our entire business, we work directly with customers to help them improve the efficiency and sustainability of their technology operations to meet their business needs. These uniquely customized engagements contributed to approximately $891 million in new net revenue for 2021, an increase of more than 185% in the last three years. In addition, in 2021, approximately 50% of HPE solutions had sustainability and efficiency attributes.

HPE sees as-a-service business models as a major way forward in the technology industry, both for the business agility it affords customers and its sustainability benefits. Providing infrastructure as a service can reduce the environmental impact of IT by reducing the amount of equipment needed, as well as the resources required to power and cool equipment. In fact, three years ago, at HPE Discover, we boldly committed to delivering our entire portfolio as a service by 2022, and this year during Discover, we announced the accomplishment of that promise.

HPE GreenLake, our flagship edge-to-cloud platform, offers consumption-based cloud services that offer greater agility and financial flexibility, all while minimizing wasteful overprovisioning and reducing e-waste through our HPE Financial Services Asset Lifecycle solutions. HPE GreenLake’s as-a-service portfolio uses efficient hardware and solutions configured to, on average, deliver customers 30% of energy savings over five years due to reductions in overprovisioning.

With HPE GreenLake, customers can remove the burden of asset disposition and reduce IT waste. HPE Asset Upcycling services are built in to enable optimization of the asset lifecycle and move towards a circular economy.

Additionally, with our colocation partners, customers’ IT infrastructure can be deployed in energy-efficient facilities to optimize power draw, space, and cooling. Solutions delivered through HPE GreenLake are complemented by HPE Pointnext Services, which can provide unique sustainable transformation capabilities, as well as HPE Financial Services, which offers refurbishment and migration solutions to responsibly manage retired assets while recovering their value.

In addition to offering solutions that extend the life of IT, we also assist customers with end-of-use recycling of HPE devices when reuse is not an option. We collect and transport equipment to an authorized sorting and waste facility, managing the entire logistic and recycling chain in nearly 60 countries. We strive to recycle in-country to avoid exporting electronic waste across borders.

 

  1. What are the measures for the minimization of energy use and materials? How does the circular economy help in achieving it?

The HPE circular economy approach drives more efficient use of energy and materials and enables customers to manage their IT assets in a secure, compliant, and environmentally responsible manner.

We design products from the start with plans for longevity, dematerialization, and waste minimization, we improve our customers’ total cost of ownership and lower their environmental impacts. For example, HPE SimpliVity servers yield 70% energy savings for customers, and 78 of the company’s supercomputers were named to the November 2020 Green 500 List.  In 2021, more than 3 million assets were returned to HPE’s Technology Renewal Centers from over 50 countries – which accept any brand of retired or unwanted IT equipment – where 85 percent of those assets were refurbished for a second life.

In addition, by offering our portfolio as a service, we help our customers eliminate unnecessary infrastructure and promote more circular and responsible IT management practices. As per our estimate, HPE product material is more than 90% recyclable on average.

Since 2018, we have been providing customers with their own Circular Economy report, detailing environmental impact savings such as energy saved, avoided carbon emissions, and electronic waste kept from landfills through remarketing and recycling. Our customers can use this Circular Economy report in their own sustainability reporting and metrics monitoring.

 

  1. To what extent does HPE’s solution help its clients in terms of reduction of carbon footprint?

At HPE, we recognize the imperative to minimize our industry’s environmental footprint, as well as the opportunity to help position other businesses and industries to enable a low carbon economy. HPE is committed to innovating transformative sustainable solutions that decrease the time to value for our customers, while also working together with our suppliers and industry peers to drive strategies that reduce climate impacts.

From our perspective, the most substantial impact HPE can have on the climate crisis is to enable our customers to reduce carbon emissions related to the use phase of their IT infrastructure where 80% of the carbon footprint of computing devices is generated.

Data centers use an estimated 200 TWh each year, or 1 percent of the global electricity demand, and contribute around 0.3 percent to overall carbon emissions, according to an International Energy Agency report. These figures are expected to increase in correlation to the massive growth of the data center market –17 percent CAGR by 2023.

As we strive to increase compute power, drive efficiency, and lower the carbon intensity of our solutions, we must first start with quantifying the carbon footprint of our products. The product carbon footprint (PCF) sums up the total greenhouse gas emissions generated by a product over the various stages of its lifecycle.

At HPE, we calculate the emissions associated with the extraction, production, and transportation of our products using the Product Attribute to Impact Algorithm (PAIA). HPE uses the PAIA  tool to calculate  PCFs  for  the  highest  volume  of  sold  products.  PAIA,  which uses  a streamlined  or  simplified  LCA (Lifecycle Analysis)  approach,  requires  much less  data compared  to  a  traditional  process-level  LCA.  The  total  energy consumption  of HPE  products  during their  use  phase  is  extremely  important  for  calculating  a  PCF.

HPE  uses  Power  Advisor2  an  HPE  developed  tool,  to  calculate  the  total  energy consumption  of  HPE  products  during  their use  phase. You can  gain  a  reasonable  estimate  for  the  product’s  overall  carbon  footprint. This enables a more efficient and streamlined environmental assessment of our products.  PCF results clearly show which components of a product and during which lifecycle stages contribute the most to a product’s carbon footprint—even when considering levels of uncertainty.

The results allow us to conduct hotspot analysis; meaning, we can identify the components and processes we should prioritize to help minimize carbon emissions for the greatest overall impact like materials selection, product energy reduction, and others. HPE and its customers can improve transparency around the carbon footprint of HPE products for reporting standards and customer procurement requirements.

HPE GreenLake cloud services help customers address the key causes of inefficiencies while executing an efficient hybrid multi-cloud delivery model, delivering many of the sustainability benefits commonly associated with the public cloud, such as decreased energy use and dematerialization of infrastructure, through an as-a-service consumption model.

Looking ahead, we are shifting our design and sales enablement processes from product family divisions to solution-centric, making it easier for our company and our customers to make more sustainable procurement choices in building their IT solutions.

 

  1. How can IT providers help organizations that commit to net zero targets?

Experts are predicting significant growth in sustainable solutions for business. According to IDC, by 2025, 90% of Global2000 will mandate the use of reusable materials in hardware supply chains, carbon neutrality targets for IT facilities, and lower energy use as a prerequisite for doing business.

At HPE, our solutions enable customers to transform and digitize their businesses while lowering costs and minimizing the environmental footprint of IT. We are accelerating a zero‑carbon future, from shifting toward the use of renewable power to fighting energy and IT waste through innovative products, services, and business models.

Our uncompromising pursuit of IT efficiency and a circular economy produces tech solutions that offer more possibilities with a smaller environmental impact and a key component of this is our asset lifecycle solution capabilities. In fact, HPE owns and operates the largest IT manufacturer refurbishing facilities in the world, spanning 400 000 square feet in total.

We understand and endorse that it is a business imperative to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across our value chain and build climate resiliency throughout our business. The largest portion of our environmental footprint results from customers’ use of our products, and it is here where we believe we can have the greatest impact.

Hence, HPE has developed Living Progress which is our business strategy for creating sustainable IT solutions that meet the technology demands of the future, while advancing the way people live and work. This strategy underpins our commitment to the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors most important to our business and our stakeholders.

We are committed to accelerating a zero-carbon future, from bringing new renewable sources to the grid to curbing energy and IT waste through innovative products, services, and business models.

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