Customers signal supplier green credentials a priority

Being able to flex a solid sustainability position is being seen by a growing number of users as an essential

There have been numerous anecdotal reports of the channel losing business because of a weak sustainability position, and that threat is real and growing.

One of the headlines from research from OVHcloud revealed that customers are looking to work with more sustainable suppliers as one of their main priorities in the next five years.

As well as wanting to ensure they worked with green players, the other takeaway from the quizzing of IT decision-makers was the large portion (45%) that viewed cost as a barrier to improving their sustainability position.

Drilling down into the customer priorities, a number of strategies emerged, including optimising power usage, offsetting carbon emissions and looking to work with greener suppliers.

Users are not lacking in trying to enhance their own ESG positions, with a third already measuring carbon emissions.

“The channel has an important part to play in helping organisations become more sustainable,” said David Devine, partner programme manager at OVHcloud.

“Although sustainability is unlikely to replace cost or security as a critical priority in the coming years, it’s an increasingly integral part of the decision-making process,” he added. “Using sustainable IT solutions can help organisations reduce carbon footprint and costs over the long term through lower TCO, but the challenge can be more complex; partners need to help customers balance their usage with business priorities and their technology roadmap.”

Positive impact

One of the advantages for the channel is the wide number of areas where they can help make a positive impact for customers on the sustainability front.

“There are many ways that channel partners can support customer green initiatives, including choosing greener technology providers, advising on effective carbon measurement and helping to implement fleet management technologies that can reduce fuel bills,” said Devine.

“One in six customers (16%) admitted that ‘downstream’ supplier issues such as the availability of green datacentres was one of the technology industry’s biggest challenges in meeting targets, which is a clear opportunity for the channel to help customers find the most energy-efficient datacentre providers,” he added.

With the evidence mounting of the growing impact of climate change, with it emerging just this week that February was the warmest on record globally, the need to deliver sustainability support is becoming more important.

“Organisations are clearly increasingly concerned with the future of the environment and sustainability issues,” said Devine. “Channel partners have a crucial role in this, advising on ways to become more sustainable, including more sustainable technologies.”

Across the industry, the expectation channel partners will not only get themselves into a sustainable position but also advise customers through the process has seen vendors across the industry launch more training and support in this area.

Earlier this week, HP provided some insights into the progress it has made with Amplify Impact, its partner sustainability assessment and training initiative, which will now extend to distributors and nearly 50 countries. Since it launched in 2021, the programme has armed more than 40% of its partners with the knowledge they need to meet the customer demands illustrated in the OVHcloud research.

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