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Softcat continues to push sustainability efforts

Firm’s CFO and designated next CEO provides an update on the channel player’s progress

Softcat is developing a strong sustainability story and its next CEO has made it clear that the business is continuing to drive efforts on that front.

Graham Charlton, current CFO at Softcat, has already been chosen as the channel player’s next CEO when Graeme Watt  moves into the chairman role next August.

Speaking on the firm’s full-year results for the year ended 31 July, Charlton made it clear that during that period, Softcat had continued to drive its sustainability initiatives and was determined to keep pushing for higher standards.

“We are putting a lot of time and resource into tackling this at all levels to how we report progress, but also how we understand scope three emissions – they’re not fit for purpose at the moment, and they’ve got to evolve if we’re going to get this right together,” he said.

“Really understanding that and not just working via the system, but working to get the system to be correct for us as an industry and how we talk about it and measure these things, is really important and we’ve got some very bright people dedicated to it within the business.”

Charlton added that the firm was weaving more measurements into the relationships it had with custiomers to spread the green message both internally and externally.

“We are working out how we evangelise that understanding across the organisation, across our sales team,” he said. “We’ve built an internal tool that helps us and our customers monitor their scope one and two emissions and we can use that to train carbon literacy in the business as well.

“We think it is really fundamental to have organisational understanding around this – I think it’s vital. It’s a fundamental part of our sales and go-to-market plan now, and getting a lot of work and attention as a result of that.”

Sustainability was one of the key themes at last week’s Canalys Channels Forum, with analysts at the event challenging the industry to do more to develop more robust standards.

Alastair Edwards, chief analyst at Canalys, urged the channel to lead by example and work with vendors to make sure they were offering green options.

“To be credible to your customers, you need to be a more sustainable business yourselves as partners,” he said. “The good news is that European partners are ahead of much of the world, but our research shows that you have more to go, further to go. Most of you have big ambitions, but the worry is that as economic pressure grows, some of those ambitions are going to be scaled down.

“It is important that you maintain those ambitions. Be ambitious, set bold targets both internally and externally.”

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