HPE Blog, UK & Ireland

Accelerating sustainability in the age of disruption

The need for sustainable IT has never been more acute as enterprises tackle complex and data-heavy challenges from the edge to the cloud, against a backdrop of increasing energy costs and resource limitations, an urgent climate crisis, and tightening regulations. IT organisations that are fast to transform can exceed their financial, sustainability, and business objectives to seize a competitive advantage in this hybrid world. Although getting up and running is often easier said than done, undertaking a digital transformation presents a unique opportunity for organizations to critically review the inefficiencies of their ageing on-premises IT estates and consider how to structure their modernization with sustainability in mind.

A circular approach

While organizations are often aware of the potential efficiency gains and cost effectiveness of transitioning to the cloud, few have a complete understanding of the energy and natural resource demands of the IT hardware and data centre infrastructure that house it. While there is significant work being done to improve power usage effectiveness (PUE) of data centres, the environmental costs of producing servers, their durability, and their end-of-life management is often overlooked. Environmental impacts across the entire lifecycle of IT hardware and equipment must be considered in sustainable procurement practices. At HPE, a complete lifecycle approach to innovation is enabling our company and our customers to reduce their environmental footprints while contributing to what is often referred to as the ‘circular economy’, an economic model in which the value of natural resources are maximized and waste is minimized.

In addition, given the rapid obsolescence of IT hardware, solution providers can further minimize the environmental impacts of their IT by responsibly retiring aging asset for refurbishment and reuse. Through continued investment in people and facilities, including our state-of-the-art Technology Renewal Centre in Scotland, HPE is not only delivering practical assistance with the environmentally responsible removal, reuse and recycling of end-of-life equipment, but we’re also unlocking tangible residual value from the reassignment of that equipment to help fund new innovation.

“The circular economy is a way to help IT achieve both business and sustainability goals. By thinking about your infrastructure in new ways, you can build strategies to extend and extract value from what you have, and you can often leverage the value from your retired IT assets to help fund the transition to new infrastructure.” Steve Gair, Director HPE Financial Services UK&I.


 A hybrid cloud reality

The transition to the cloud often requires a hybrid multi-cloud approach, requiring bullet-proof operating models and governance to avoid cloud-sprawl and associated financial and environmental costs. Transitioning to consumption-based IT models can eliminate wasteful overprovisioning and underutilization of assets; as well as refresh ageing and power-hungry assets without the capital expenditure. For instance, there are solutions that can help organizations manage and optimize their on- and off-premises clouds through an automated, cloud-native model that ensures they consume and pay for only the resources they need. Additionally, as IT organizations transition their infrastructure, decommissioning inefficient legacy assets through a refurbishment service like HPE Asset Upcycling can return the residual value of these assets back to their bottom line.

In fact, with the right strategy, the move to the cloud can be self-funding—lowering TCO by 30% through consumption-models[1] and freeing up trapped capital by monetizing retired assets.

Getting started on your sustainable cloud journey

Organizations are increasingly seeking to understand and consider the environmental impacts of their IT purchasing decisions. Knowing where to begin can always be challenging. Why not try the following three steps to help you get started on your sustainable journey to the cloud:

  • Take steps to define your right mix of hybrid cloud and understand the sustainability performance of your providers to maximize benefits
  • Switch to consumption-based solutions for on- and off-premises data centres to maximize usage and minimize resource consumption
  • Free up capital by refreshing ageing assets with more energy efficient solutions and monetizing retired assets through remarketing services.

HPE has created a sustainability calculator, so that you can assess your organisation's practices and navigate a path to a sustainable future. 

[1] Forrester Consulting, The Total Economic ImpactTM of HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity, May 2018

Steve Gair
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About the Author


Leader of the Financial Services business for HPE in the UK&I. Passionate about helping customers procure and manage their IT assets more sustainably.

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