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Umbraco involves channel in sustainability efforts

Content management system specialist Umbraco recognises the need to create a community effort to tackle the reduction of carbon emissions

Reducing carbon emissions and improving the sustainability position of the IT industry is a team effort, and content management system provider Umbraco has included its channel partners as it draws up its strategy.

The firm has set up a community-led task force to try to address the carbon footprint of websites and digital experiences that have been built on the vendor’s platform.

The group of collaborators, which includes a number of platinum partners, will be tasked with developing and sharing best practices with developers, designers, business decision-makers and customers.

Tackling the carbon emissions that are created by CMS systems is an important initiative given that at least one million have been built on the Umbraco platform since 2005.

Umbraco product owner, Lasse Fredslund, is heading up the sustainability team and said that there were opportunities to share best practices with a large number of developers.

“Umbraco has a highly engaged open-source community, with more than a quarter of a million developers contributing software updates and extensions, while we maintain the core CMS," he said.

“Umbraco has both a responsibility to seek ways to reduce our impact on the environment and an opportunity to work with our digital agency partners and developer community to make a much bigger difference collectively,” he added.

Members of the sustainability team include James Hobbs, head of engineering at Umbraco Platinum Partner, Great State; Rick Butterfield, development team lead at fellow Platinum Partner, Nexer Digital; and Amy Czuba, account director, also at Nexer Digital.

Also involved are Andy Eva-Dale from Platinum Partner, Tangent, who has been active in spreading the word on how to design carbon-conscious websites and digital services, and Kirstie Buchanan, Growth and Partnerships director at  Platinum Partner, CTI Digital, who has bought her senior business management skills to the team, which help to influence enterprise decision makers’ sustainable choices.

Umbraco UK and Ireland partner manager, Frederik Klerens, is also involved, taking on the role of sustainability board steward and will liaise with members and relevant experts at Umbraco HQ.

“Every member of the team has solid technical experience in developing professional websites using Umbraco, or has the management expertise to guide clients’ sustainable business choices,” said Fredslund.

“We want to foster a culture of digital sustainability with our partners,” he added. “We know that even small improvements in our CMS, which conserve energy and reduce emissions, contribute to much larger benefits when amplified across hundreds of thousands of digital projects worldwide.”

The approach of making improving sustainability a team sport is one that has been echoed elsewhere across the channel, particularly at a distribution level, because of their ability to work with both vendors and resellers to affect the supply chain.

An exponent of the collaborative approach is David Terry, vice-president of IT channels at Schneider Electric, Europe, who told MicroScope in autumn last year that it was essential it worked with partners to reduce carbon emissions.

“Manufacturers, IT distribution partners and parts of the ecosystem need to come together to support IT partners. We’re doing everything we can within our own operations,” he added. “If we look at our commitments, they are constantly evolving, as we get more experience, we gather more pace with our commitments.

“Not one single person would do this on their own. Sustainability and reducing CO2 emissions across the channels that we have is a team sport. It’s the vendors, the manufacturers, distribution and its resellers. It’s the logistical services we use and it is the recycling services. But it’s one of the biggest opportunities we have,” he said back in October.

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