Sustainable IT requires efforts at multiple levels
IT-related emissions currently represent approximately 2% of total carbon dioxide emissions—the same as the aviation industry. For Coor, IT and digitalization are enablers and necessities that make it possible to continue to create the Nordics’ best workplaces and the best service experiences for our customers. At the same time, we are keen to ensure that our IT use and the digitalization process are sustainable. We work broadly and continuously with small and large scale initiatives in our operations that allow us to work smarter with IT and to reduce our digital footprint.
IT plays a key role in many of Coor’s services and innovative solutions that save money, time and natural resources. By using new technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT), it is possible to optimize and rationalize operations. IT, both in its current form and the innovations that have still to see the light of day, will play a critical role in our goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
“We have committed to very ambitious climate targets both in the short and long term in order to realize our vision of becoming truly sustainable. For Coor, sustainability is not a sideline, it is a fundamental perspective that we consider when making all key decisions and that we work with daily across all operational areas. This could involve the use of microfiber cloths for cleaning as no chemicals are required, for example, or smart solutions that halve customers’ energy consumption, or using IT as resource-efficiently as possible,” Maria Ekman, Head of Group Sustainability at Coor, explains.
The research shows a sharp increase in IT-related emissions in recent years as a result of multiple factors such as increased accessibility, new working methods and habits. Our report Join the workplace revolution shows that hybrid working methods are here to stay, and Coor plays a role in driving this development. For us as an employer, it is important that our people have access to modern equipment that simplifies and facilitates their work, in the office and while working remotely. Our ambition is to utilize all the advantages associated with digitalization and to do it in a truly sustainable manner.
Sharp focus on choosing the right suppliers
“Because we lease or buy all hardware, software and storage from external companies, the choice of supplier is a key factor in the transition to more sustainable IT consumption. In order to reach our goals, we are entering partnerships with operators that share our values and work with sustainability across multiple dimensions. We require suppliers to have fair terms of employment and ambitious climate targets,” Cecilia Halvarsson Jap, CIO at Coor, explains.
For example, Coor stores its data in a datacenter that operates on 100% fossil-free electricity. The manner in which datacenters operate is significant, and studies show that they represent 1-2% of global energy consumption, a figure which is rising sharply.
Another example is that Coor has chosen to offer its employees a selection of digital units to provide support, competitive prices and cost efficient maintenance. Here, Coor collaborates with a company that extends the lifespan of digital units by reusing 97% of units instead of recycling them.
“I recently visited the company’s production plant with my team and was able to see how they optimize operations and increase the quality of the products on the secondhand market by using robotization, automation and AI. Despite rapid growth, they have not compromised on quality, security or sustainability,” Cecilia Halvarsson Jap continues.
Apart from choosing suppliers that work with innovations that reduce both their and our digital footprint, we also work hard to increase awareness amongst our users. Our IT experts continuously participate in internal webinars and forums to disseminate knowledge about how Coor’s employees can work more sustainably with IT. We also highlight initiatives such as Digital Cleanup Day and view these events as a good opportunity to remind our employees to set their inbox so that deleted emails are removed automatically, and to erase outdated documents and Teams groups for completed projects, for example.
The IT sector includes datacenters, computers, mobile phones and other digital units . According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the IT sector represented some 7% of total global electricity consumption in 2019. The share has probably increased since then, and is expected to double in the period until 2050 because of new technology, increased data volumes and more data traffic. At the same time, we need new innovations and increased digitalization to solve many of the sustainability challenges we are faced with globally.
Coor works actively to reduce its climate impact and has undertaken to achieve Net-Zero by 2040. In order to reach this goal, Coor needs to eliminate emissions of greenhouse gases in its operations and reduce CO2 emissions throughout the value chain by 90% compared to the base year 2018.
Coor measures emissions according to The Greenhouse Gas Protocol and a majority of the company’s emissions fall under scope 3, i.e. indirect emissions from purchased goods and services, upstream transports and distribution. For these, Coor has a short-term target which means that 75% of the company’s aforementioned scope 3 emissions will come from suppliers whose climate goals have been approved by SBTi by no later than 2026. Read more about how Coor works with Science Based Targets