Sustainable IT Pledge aims to curb rapidly growing impact from devices, networks and data centres, which account for more greenhouse gasses than the airline industry
OTTAWA, April 22, 2022 – As the climate crisis gains attention, more technology leaders are stepping up to play their part. CIO Strategy Council is pleased to announce that Deloitte Canada has joined as a signatory to the Sustainable IT Pledge. For the first time, public and private-sector organizations in Canada have jointly committed to cutting emissions linked to their IT operations with the Sustainable IT Pledge.
“Few of us are aware of the carbon emissions caused by the data centres and networks that our smartphones and laptops run on,” said Katie Gibson, VP of Strategy and Partnerships at CIO Strategy Council, the non-profit leading the pledge. “But energy demand from digital technologies is increasing six times faster than the rest of the economy due to the growth of remote working, streaming services and the widespread use of data-hungry artificial intelligence. Time is fast running out to act on emissions, and Canada’s leading public and private-sector organizations are stepping up to the plate.”
“Deloitte is steadfast in its commitments to addressing climate change – Deloitte WorldClimate,” said Maria Churchill, Chief Information Officer & Central Business Services Leader at Deloitte Canada. “We value sustainable practices and recognize the important role IT operations play in driving down GHG emissions. We purchase renewable energy to power our facilities and are in the process of moving a significant portion of our data center platforms to the cloud. We’re also committed to minimizing electronic waste by donating used laptops and smartphones to charitable organizations such as the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB).”
Canadian start-ups and scale-ups are also joining the pledge. This diverse group includes Poptronic, an electronics rental company based in Cornwall, Ontario, Espace Elvi, a Quebec-based subscription platform for wellness, and Ergonomyx Technologies Canada, a startup headquartered in Victoria, British Columbia specializing workspace fitness devices. FX Innovation, a Montreal-based company that is the largest Canadian player to have levels of certification and formal partnership with the three largest cloud companies, is the most recent signatory.
Global leaders in digital sustainability have also joined the movement. The Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance and TCO Development are supporting these Canadian-led efforts.
“Sustainability in how we buy, use and manage IT is an imperative for every organization. We’re pleased to be able to share our knowledge and experience from TCO Certified with the CIO Strategy Council members as they commit to leadership toward a more sustainable IT ecosystem for Canada” says Clare Hobby, Director, Purchaser Engagement, Global at TCO Development.
“Every industry needs to take action to reduce environmental impact within the next decade. IT is both becoming a large industry in itself, but it also provides the underlying infrastructure for most other sectors to digitalize and decarbonize. Therefore we find the work of the CIO Strategy Council, especially the Sustainability Pledge, very timely and spot on with setting the right priorities for the industry” says Max Schulze, Founder of the Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance.
Closer to home, Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst has also come on board to promote the importance of achieving both security and sustainability.
“Cybersecurity is inherently connected to environmental awareness as it represents an ongoing attempt to secure and protect all digital environments,” said Sumit Bhatia, Director of Innovation and Policy at Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst. “With cybersecurity becoming a critical component of our techno centric society, it is crucial that we pay attention to sustainable IT practices that reduce our collective environmental impact while also ensuring ongoing improvements to our foundational cybersecurity frameworks. The time to act is now and collectively; we at the Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst are proud to partner with the CIO Strategy Council on this very important and timely initiative.”
Information and Communications Technology Council is also furthering these efforts with a planned series of policy roundtables in 2022. “We are delighted to partner with the CIO Strategy Council on this pledge to advance a digitally inspired sustainable economy for Canada. Our actions today will form the foundations of a better and prosperous future for generations to come” says Namir Anani, ICTC President and CEO.
For the full list of companies that have joined the Sustainable IT Pledge and to read the pledge in full, visit ciostrategycouncil.com/sustainable
About the CIO Strategy Council
The CIO Strategy Council is a non-profit organization that brings together Canada’s most forward-thinking chief information officers and executive technology leaders to mobilize on common priorities. Cutting across the public, private and non-profit sectors, the CIOSC harnesses the collective expertise of Canada’s CIOs to accelerate the country’s digital transformation. The CIOSC is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada and develops standards that support the data-driven economy. Learn more at ciostrategycouncil.com.
VP, Strategy and Partnerships