The channel must start selling sustainability, says Schneider Electric

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Channel firms will need to prove their sustainability credentials or face losing business, according to Schneider Electric.

Speaking at the vendor’s recent UK Innovation Summit, Mark Garner, VP of Secure Power at Schneider Electric, said sustainability will become a key consideration for IT purchasers, along with traditional factors such as price. Moreover, he said Schneider is committed to having a carbon-neutral supply chain by 2030 and is working with channel partners on building green practices.

“There are targets that we’re aligning with our partners now to say ‘we want you to deliver so many of these software opportunities’ and the more we see that, the more we’ll be able to show the business benefit. People will see these revenue streams start to come through in their own organisations and that’ll help with the change of mindset, within our industry and within our partners,” he said.

Garner pointed to education-focused partners, which already have to tick sustainability boxes for their customers. “Most universities run a league table in terms of their carbon output. Students are making decisions on which universities they go to based on that table. How the supply chain works with those universities is now less around the technology and very much around how sustainable it is and how can they promote this to students to make the universities more attractive,” he says.

This is supported by recent research from Volta Data Centres which shows that more than a quarter of UK IT decision makers have changed utility provider because they disagreed with their views or environmental practices. This figure rises to 42% of those under 35 years old. More than half stated they would be more likely to use renewable energy from a utility service provider even if it was more expensive – rising to 72% of the under 35s.

Garner also points to Gartner’s prediction that 75% of data is going to be captured at the edge within 25 years.

“It’s difficult to quantify at the moment but I think this is a huge opportunity for the channel to take a look at that and start to build the message around Edge, sustainability and the total cost of ownership of a building, and how that benefits the customer,” he says.

Christine Horton

Christine has been a tech journalist for over 20 years, 10 of which she spent exclusively covering the IT Channel. From 2006-2009 she worked as the editor of Channel Business, before moving on to ChannelPro where she was editor and, latterly, senior editor.

Since 2016, she has been a freelance writer, editor, and copywriter and continues to cover the channel in addition to broader IT themes. Additionally, she provides media training explaining what the channel is and why it’s important to businesses.