The vast majority of businesses indicate environmental sustainability has a high to moderate influence on their approach to end-of-life (EOL) data management, but less than half are actually implementing plans to reduce their data footprint.
That’s according to a recent study from Blancco Technology Group, which published Sustainability Costs of End-of-Life Data based on a global survey of 1,800 respondents. The report found that 88% of businesses say their EOL data management is influenced by sustainability, but 39% have yet to implement a plan to reduce their footprint. According to Blancco, this puts businesses at risk of compliance failures as sustainability regulations are coming to light.
The findings come as businesses may want to present a greener and more sustainable face to the public, but regulatory requirements may actually reveal these actions to be greenwashing. Sustainability is of growing importance for companies across the board, as 44% of respondents believed that investors and customers favor working with sustainable companies and 51% said current and prospective employees favor working for sustainable companies.
“While the scale of change required to address the climate crisis may seem daunting, it is an opportunity for ambitious climate action and even competitive differentiation,” Jon Mellon, president of global sales, marketing, and field operations at Blancco, said in the report. “Businesses can’t afford to pay lip service to sustainability with impending regulation coupled with the financial and environmental costs of storing too much data. There are also the significant risks to security created by an ever-expanding attack surface.”
Amid the scale up of regulations, 65% of respondents said they are confident that their organization is reducing the environmental impact of its IT, but more than one-third are not. One of the biggest concerns for companies is the huge amount of energy to store data, even as they switch to cloud computing and data storing power. Previous studies have shown that switching to the cloud can actually increase the volume of obsolete and redundant data for companies.
The report also looked at Scope 3 emissions, which covers indirect emissions from companies, and whether organizations are measuring this. The analysis follows a new standard from the International Sustainability Standards Board that will require disclosure of Scope 3 emissions, Bancco noted.
Most organizations appear to be measuring Scope 3 emissions – 85% of respondents said so, plus 66% said they ask their partners and suppliers to report on how they reduce their environmental impact. However, only 58% ask their cloud partner about how they are reducing their environmental impact. The duty of managing Scope 3 emissions reporting fell to the sustainability manager according to 66% of respondents, the environmental impact officer (58%), and to the chief sustainability officer (49%).
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