Why Your Business Needs an Effective Sustainability Strategy

By Cristina Martinez Gonzalez, SSG Market Leader Iberia, Lenovo
Jun 19, 2024 1:00 PM ET
Aerial view of a paved road through a dense forested area

It’s vital that we look after the planet for future generations, but that’s not the only reason to implement a sustainability strategy within your organisation. Cutting emissions, embracing the circular economy, and helping to keep already efficient devices running for longer makes sense from a financial point of view as well, and can even help your organisation to attract the best employees.

Of course, putting people and planet first should top your considerations, and an effective sustainability strategy can help towards limiting our impact on climate change, reducing waste, conserving resources, and protecting delicate eco-systems.

How legislation is helping to drive change

Legislation around ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and sustainability is beginning to shape industries around the world, with governments adopting increasingly stringent targets.

EU rules[1] already require large and listed companies in the European Union to publish regular reports on the social and environmental risks member state’s face, and on how their activities impact people and the environment. The regulations facing all organisations are only likely to become stricter.

According to Deloitte[2], the transition to a lower carbon and more sustainable society is reshaping the economy in Europe, creating new opportunities, and altering the cost of doing business. The implications are stark, the organisation explains. “Failing to become more sustainable will make companies vulnerable to the loss of revenue and reputation, as well as to litigation and regulatory penalties.”

It’s clear that simply ignoring sustainability is not an option for organisations in the long run, but there are also opportunities and benefits for businesses that implement a sustainability strategy sooner than later.

An effective sustainability strategy could also help you be more cost-effective

For starters, there’s potential to be more cost-effective. Scalable as-a-Service solutions such as Lenovo TruScale can help your business to simplify the procurement, deployment and management of reliable IT equipment, taking a flexible and cost-efficient approach to new levels of demand.

Embracing the latest energy-efficient devices can help your business to manage CO2 emissions and power consumption, potentially saving on operating costs, while also helping you to tackle challenges such as growing your business, simplifying security, and general maintenance.

There’s also scope to offset emissions when you do purchase new IT equipment, thanks to solutions such as Lenovo’s CO2 Offset Services. This service estimates the carbon emissions across the average lifecycle of the device from manufacturing to shipping, typical use, and end-of-life, and supports a variety of climate action projects.

Just because you buy new devices doesn’t necessarily mean your old equipment will end up in landfill. We do everything we can at Lenovo to ensure older devices get a second lease of life, and our Asset Recovery Service (ARS) is designed to maximise the reuse, recycling, and/or environmental disposal of replaced and end-of-life products, parts, and waste. And with Lenovo’s recently launched Certified Refurbished PCs, you have the option to buy quality refurbished IT equipment and support the circular economy.

Keep older energy-efficient technology running for longer

Naturally, there are plenty of organisations that don’t need to overhaul their tech stack. If your equipment is already energy efficient and performs well, your tech provider can also help you to keep your devices running for longer, doing your bit when it comes to reducing waste and conserving resources.

Solutions such as Lenovo Premier Support Plus come with Accidental Damage Protection (ADP)[3] as standard, which can make a big difference when it comes to device longevity and saving money. Compared to the cost of most common repairs or system replacements, for example, you could save between 50%-93%[4] with ADP, which could be the difference between keeping an old laptop for another couple of years or having to replace immediately.

Attracting top talent

Social and regulatory requirements aside, embracing sustainability can also enhance your company’s reputation. This can play a key role in helping you to attract and retain the best talent.

According to a survey from IBM[5], 71% of employees and employment seekers say that environmentally sustainable companies are more attractive employers. More than two-thirds of the full potential workforce* are more likely to apply for and accept jobs with environmentally and socially responsible organisations, and nearly half surveyed would accept a lower salary to work for such organisations.

The potential to grow your business

An effective sustainability strategy isn’t just appealing to potential employees – it’s becoming increasingly important to society at large. Consumers also care about sustainability, and your strategy could be the difference between customers picking your business or opting for a competitor.

Deloitte explains[6] a third (34%) of consumers stated their trust in brands would be improved if the brand was recognised as an ethical/sustainable provider by an independent third party. A similar proportion (32%) claimed that their trust in brands would be improved if the company had a transparent, accountable, and socially and environmentally responsible supply chain.

All of these factors add weight to the already critical importance of a sustainability strategy, not only because it makes sense to limit our impact on the planet, but because it also makes justifiable business sense.

It’s inevitable that you’ll need to embrace sustainability at some point if you want your business to thrive in the long term, so why not look at ways you can get ahead of your competition as part of the journey?

[1] EU Corporate sustainability reporting

[2] Deloitte – Sustainability Regulation Outlook 2024

[3] Dependent on market, parts, and hardware availability.

[4] Based on Lenovo internal data from NA, EMEA, and AP regions and cost of system board, LCD, and hard drive repairs on ThinkPad from April 2022 to April 2023.

[5] IBM – Sustainability at a turning point

* *Full potential workforce refers to survey respondents who are employed full-time or part-time, unemployed but currently seeking employment, or a full-time student or apprentice.

[6] Deloitte – The Sustainable Consumer, 2023