10 sustainability tips for your tech business


Natalie Boswell is Lloyds Bank Regional Development Director – North East

Being by the side of business means more than just lending, Lloyds Bank also provides tangible support, guidance, and insight across various topics and industry sectors.

Keeping my finger on the pulse of what’s important to local businesses is a priority for me, which is why I’m so pleased to be part of, and Lloyds Bank a sponsor of, regular meetings of the Yorkshire Growth Tech Group.

Recently, we enjoyed an enlightening discussion about sustainability and what businesses should consider when starting on a well-considered and credible path to becoming more sustainable.

Define your environmental policy

With so many facets to tech businesses, defining your environmental policy should be your first port of call. It’s essential everyone is on board with your plans from new hires, to senior management.

It’s not enough to document your environmental policy, though. It needs to become a vital part of ‘business as usual’ that continues to evolve.

Seek out funding

In my role as Regional Development Director for the North East, I’ve provided support to many businesses on ways to save money on resources while also having a positive environmental impact. This is not an exhaustive list, but measures such as reviewing your office recycling, installing automatic lights and committing to using less plastic may be eligible for funding through our Clean Growth Financing Initiative.

Create a more sustainable supply chain

With employees and customers becoming more sustainability-savvy than ever, it pays to review your supply chain across the board to assess their environmental credentials. This could range from manufacturers and delivery firms to energy suppliers and pension providers. Putting your own house in order is a great start, but it’s wise to extend your scope externally, too.

Take a proactive approach to employee emissions

There are multiple ways you can lower your employees’ carbon footprint. Offering hybrid working cuts out commuting miles for your employees and saves them money. Another option to consider is the government’s Cycle to Work Scheme or one of the many electric vehicle salary sacrifice schemes. Schemes like these encourage a move away from fossil fuels and could lead to attracting more talent through employee benefits.

Give your old tech a new lease of life

What hardware have you got lying around that could be recycled, reused or decommissioned? Donate it to people in need, local organisations like Digital Access West Yorkshire can help find a home for your old tech.

Review your Scope 3 emissions

Emissions from server hosting, data carbon impact and co-location of data centres are often the biggest source of CO2 associated with tech companies. With the government working on the UK Sustainability Disclosure Standards (UK SDS), which are due to come into force in 2024, mandatory environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting could become a requirement for many medium-sized businesses including those in tech, so now could be a good time to review your outputs.

Future-proof your data centres

Consider what temperatures your data centres are built to withstand. Some modern data centres don’t need to be kept as cool and can cope with temperatures in the region of 44℃, therefore using less energy. It’s also vital to consider extreme winter temperatures and the impact using excess heat might have on energy efficiency.

Generate your own renewable energy

Installing solar panels at your facility is one way to reduce rising energy costs and cut carbon emissions at the same time. Lloyds Bank’s Green Buildings Tool will help identify how to make your premises more energy efficient and provide an expected timeframe to generate a positive ROI.

Carefully consider carbon offsetting

There’s an increase in opinion that many voluntary carbon offsetting schemes may not have as much impact as you’d expect. Take the time to research into any carbon offsetting opportunities properly to ensure that you don’t fall victim to ‘greenwashing’.

Communicate credibly and honestly

At the opposite end of the scale from ‘greenwashing’ is ‘greenhushing’, where businesses remain silent on their sustainability goals and progress. It’s best to be transparent about the fact you’re on a journey and committed to doing more to meet the goals outlined in your environmental policy. Making claims you can’t substantiate or keeping quiet can quickly erode trust and damage your reputation.

I’m attending the Business of Yorkshire Conference in Leeds on 2 November and look forward to speaking with tech business owners keen to grow and benefit from a low carbon economy. In the meantime, you can learn more about Lloyds Bank’s technology industry expertise here, or contact me directly.

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