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The topic of sustainability is on the lips of everyone across the channel, but there are varying degrees of commitment to taking strides to protect the future of our planet.
But for some channel leaders, the issue is one that matters personally, and for whom making their businesses sustainable matters deeply.
One of those is Logicalis CEO Bob Bailkoski, who is working to ensure the business plays its part in reducing the strain on the planet. He is also encouraging staff, suppliers and customers to get involved.
“Logicalis started on this journey... its own internal sustainability journey, about two years ago when we started collecting data on our greenhouse gas emissions, mainly carbon dioxide. The reason we started, in all honesty, was because one or two customers were asking us in RFPs [requests for proposal] for a statement on our approach to sustainability,” he recalled.
“We thought it was a bit of a novel thing back then. We thought perhaps we’d better get to grips with our carbon footprint because this might become potentially more of a norm. These days, every single RFP has some scoring associated with your sustainability strategy and your sustainability aims,” he added.
The channel player started by benchmarking its emissions, recruiting a leader for responsible business and setting up a network of champions to embed sustainability across the business.
“The first thing we started doing was to get the benchmark piece on this and look at our own footprint, and then we set some goals. About 10 months ago, we agreed internally, myself and my regional leaders, that we’d have quite a challenging goal on reducing Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. [Our] target is to be carbon neutral on Scope 1 and Scope 2 by 2025,” said Bailkoski.
“We started our sustainability journey about two years ago ... because one or two customers were asking us in RFPs for a statement on our approach to sustainability. We thought it was a bit of a novel thing back then [but] thought we’d better get to grips with our carbon footprint because this might become more of a norm. These days, every single RFP has some scoring associated with sustainability”
Bob Bailkoski, Logicalis
“Like most organisations, though, the bulk of our emissions are in Scope 3, which is supply chain emissions. The directly controllable emissions are in Scope 1 and Scope 2, so our first step is [to bring] that as close to zero as possible, with a bunch of tactics around things like recycling and changing our offices to renewable sources of electricity,” he added.
Efforts have been made to look at all areas where Scope 1 and 2 emissions can be targeted, including company cars and commuting, and decide on an action.
“Wherever we’re not able to reduce by 2025, we’ll look for ethical, sustainable carbon offsets to get us to the zero measure overall. We haven’t even contemplated looking at that yet, because all of our efforts right now are dedicated to reduce, reduce, reduce. That’s our internal approach at the moment,” he said.
Tackling Scope 3 emissions might sound daunting, but the suppliers Logicalis works with are also improving their sustainability position.
“We’re gathering data from a Scope 3 perspective to understand that a bit better, but the comforting thing is that in the supply chain for Logicalis, the vendors we work with closely, be they distributors or manufacturers, [have] very aggressive sustainability strategies themselves,” he said.
Bob Bailkoski, Logicalis
Demonstrating a solid position on sustainability might help gain business, but it is also something that matters personally to Bailkoski.
“I’m a believer that the climate threat is real, and that, to a large extent, is caused by greenhouse gases that have been generated by our activities on the Earth. For me, it’s a non-negotiable thing – we have to make progress in this area,” he said.
The firm is also looking to share its experiences and advise customers on ways to improve their own sustainability position.
“We’ve approached that from two angles. First, in that direct space that we played, which tends to be IT infrastructure solutions, datacentre on-premise, cloud, or hybrid, networking, security, modern work and all those classic things that you’d expect an organisation like Logicalis to be focused on, we provide something to our customers, which helps them understand where they are today from a carbon perspective,” said Bailkoski.
“From a managed services perspective, we broaden the conversation beyond the classic availability and monitoring stats you typically receive from a managed services provider when you’re looking after part of your IT environment, to include new metrics to give our clients more visibility, more information, more insights,” he added.
“There’s also a broader discussion that we can help promote within our customers, and with anybody else that wants to listen to us, and that’s about promoting the journey we’ve been on. If we just open up the conversation and say, ‘As Logicalis, here are the things we did, and here are the partners that we used to help us on our journey’.”