The tech industry plays a critical role in the effort to protect our planet. ITI and our member companies continue to work with governments and key partners to develop and implement measures to mitigate climate change and create a sustainable future while empowering people and promoting economic growth. As we celebrate Earth Day, here’s a look at what ITI and some of our members are doing to promote a healthier planet for generations to come.
Combatting Climate Change
To reduce emissions and combat climate change, the tech industry is focused on developing and advancing solutions that provide carbon reduction opportunities for the information and communications technology (ICT) sector and enable other sectors of the economy to reduce their climate impact.
ITI is a leading advocate for policies that will help the world reach net zero by 2050. We work with our members, as well as through our data center energy efficiency-focused affiliate organization The Green Grid (TGG), to advance and implement efforts to secure global net zero emissions by mid-century.
Ahead of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) 26th Conference of the Party’s (COP26), ITI endorsed the COP26’s goals to address the climate crisis and its aims of building a sustainable low-carbon future through cross-sectoral partnerships and policies that encourage innovation and ensure an equitable and economically dynamic world. As part of our commitment, ITI joined the United Nations’ Race to Zero campaign as an Accelerator in February 2022. The Race to Zero campaign calls for climate leadership on a healthy, resilient, net-zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates green jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth. As an Accelerator, ITI supports the growth of the campaign, encourages our members’ to make strong and credible climate commitments and take immediate actions towards a zero-emission in the tech sector, and amplifies the message of reducing global carbon emissions.
ITI’s members also help promote a more sustainable future through their own policies and initiatives. ITI’s Environmental Stewardship Award recognizes technology companies that are improving the lives of people and communities across the globe in environmental policy, energy efficiency, or sustainability. The 2021 Award Winner, Autodesk has enhanced its focus on the environment and sustainability through reducing its carbon footprint, driving digital transformations to help customers meet sustainability goals, and advocating for public policies to decrease carbon emissions, reduce waste, and improve energy efficiency. Autodesk provides customers in the manufacturing, architecture, engineering, and construction industries with technology that helps them make greener energy and materials choices and design, construct and manufacture more sustainable buildings, infrastructure, and products – reducing carbon emissions and waste.
Recognizing the value of decarbonization, Adobe is an advocate for carrying out sustainable policies in its day-to-day operations, even in their buildings. Adobe is currently building the first all-electric office in Silicon Valley and transitioning many of its sites from being natural gas-dependent. Similarly, Siemens has been utilizing artificial intelligence & machine learning to help build and reshape buildings to be healthier and more sustainable. This software solution, called Dynamic VAV Optimization, learns from data throughout the building, allowing customers to optimize their air supply to minimize energy consumption and costs.
In addition, Equinix has been advancing their sustainability agenda by achieving over 90% renewable coverage of global data center energy consumption, as well as pursuing science-based targets and issuing their first green bonds to push sustainability forward in all their operating regions. Adobe, Equinix and Siemens were honorable mentions for ITI’s 2021 Environmental Stewardship Award. Learn more about the ways ITI member companies are helping to promote and advance a carbon-neutral economy here.
Promoting Green Procurement
A core part of creating a sustainable future is helping consumers and institutional purchasers be able to quickly identify and purchase products that meet meaningful, measurable and verifiable environmental criteria. The best way to identify products that meet these criteria is through the use of standards. The current push for standards and eco-labels based on standards reflects a government and consumer demand for products that are green and are an emphasis of public and private partnerships to meet consumer demand for sustainability. To achieve these goals, ITI engages in internationally accepted standards such as the IEEE 1608.1 Standard for Environmental and Social Responsibility Assessment of Computers and Displays to objectively determine what constitutes a “green” product; and works with the U.S. government and other institutional purchasers to establish environmentally preferable purchasing programs for electronics. In fact, over 90% of the electronic products that meet the requirements of the EPA Sustainable Marketplace are produced by ITI members.
Advancing Circularity in Products
The concept of circularity is not new, but the idea of designing products with circularity in mind is. In a circular economy, once the user is finished with the product, the product or its materials go back into the supply chain instead of being disposed. ITI members such as Dell, Apple and Amazon are working with NGOs, academics, standards bodies, and governments to develop tools to increase circularity and metrics to measure it. ITI also supports market-driven efforts, such as green procurement programs, to reward companies that are driving circularity.
As ITI’s member companies continue to drive innovation and invent new products, mitigating climate change and promoting sustainability through partnerships and effective policies remains core to their work. The tech industry understands that we have a responsibility to ensuring future generations have a chance to enjoy the planet like we do. Learn more about ITI’s environment and sustainability work here.