Get informed, inspired and on the path to net zero — with BCS

Explore pioneering stories

Brought to you in association with CWP, our digital series features the people and organisations using sustainable tech to shape the future.


Diversify your view

Latest discussion about the green IT agenda, technical insight, ethical thinking, innovative ideas… it’s a typical day on the BCS content hub!


Embrace responsible computing

BCS has been championing the new framework that guides tech leaders and their organisations in becoming more responsible computing providers.


Develop your understanding

Our CPD courses provide accessible information about Green IT, exploring the drivers of sustainable practices in the tech sector, green IT policies and their impact on business.


Offer green career pathways

12 of the BCS apprenticeship standards have been identified by government as supporting green IT careers and the transition to net zero.


Support the next gen

We provide primary school teachers with free learning resources to help them inspire young children to get into computing and sustainable tech. 


Saving the planet with sustainable tech

It’s a bold mission. But we’re confident it’s achievable and that our brilliant profession holds the key. BCS is uniquely placed to convene the bright minds and progressive organisations who are committed to meeting our carbon-busting pledge. Together we’re exploring the challenges and solutions that line the path to net zero.

Connect with like minds

Get together with other technologists who are passionate about sustainable computing to share your opinions, processes and strategies.

Discover our Green IT group

Here are some of the ways you and your business can get on track:

Upskill your workforce to meet the demands of a low-carbon economy

The government’s recent Net Zero Review emphasised the need to develop skilled tech professionals to power the low-carbon economy. Jobs like:

  • data and sustainability analysts who identify how to improve efficiency and reduce waste and environmental impact
  • renewable energy specialists who design and implement solar and wind power systems
  • sustainable software developers who create applications to minimise energy consumption and reduce the environmental impact of tech systems
  • green building designers who can use building information modelling (BIM) and other technology tools to design energy-efficient and sustainable buildings and homes — a key ask in the report

The government report states: official statistics show there are already around 400,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and their supply chains across the UK, with turnover estimated at £41.2 billion in 2020. Both the British Energy Security Strategy and Net Zero Strategy aim to leverage an additional and unprecedented £100 billion of private investment, while supporting an additional 480,000 British jobs by 2030.

Track and measure your emissions

Technology plays a crucial role in enabling you to accurately measure, report and analyse greenhouse gas emissions for the entire lifecycle of any process or product — from its initial conception to material sourcing, production, consumption, and disposal/recycling.

Tracking and reporting is the first step in identifying areas where your business can cut emissions and set targets to keep them lower. Technology allows you to collect data more efficiently and effectively, which itself reduces the cost and time associated with reporting. It all helps you improve your sustainability performance and demonstrate your commitment to environmental responsibility.

Report your sustainability scopes 1, 2 and 3!

Scopes 1 to 3 are commonly used in sustainability reporting to classify greenhouse gas emission sources. They’re based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD):

  • Scope 1 relates to the direct emissions from your company's operations, such as burning fossil fuels in boilers or vehicles.
  • Scope 2 refers to indirect emissions associated with the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating or cooling that your company consumes.
  • Scope 3 covers all the indirect emissions that occur in your value chain — both upstream and downstream — including emissions from suppliers, customers, transportation, waste disposal and use of products and services.

Scopes 1 and 2 are sometimes known as "operational emissions" and are typically easier to measure and report since they’re within your direct control.

Your scope 3 emissions can be more challenging to understand, but they’re often the most significant contributor to your carbon footprint so measuring them is essential as it provides insight into key opportunities for reductions across the value chain.

Promote your ESG principles

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) are factors that evaluate your company’s sustainability and ethical impact. ESG factors are increasingly important to investors, customers and stakeholders who are concerned about their indirect impact on society and the planet.

The value of ESG lies in its ability to provide a comprehensive view of your company's sustainability and ethical performance, beyond financial metrics. It helps you to identify risks and opportunities, and to strengthen your reputation and stakeholder trust.

Technology allows businesses nowadays to collect and analyse vast amounts of data and automate their reporting processes. This has improved the accuracy and reliability of today’s ESG disclosures. It means you can identify and manage ESG risks more effectively — such as in your supply chain and/or environmental impacts — and monitor your organisation’s progress towards your ESG goals.

Factor sustainability into your tech architecture design and build

Embedding sustainable practices into your IT architecture design and build will significantly reduce energy consumption, minimise waste and mitigate your organisation’s environmental effect.

There are various methods you can combine to cut down your organisation’s energy consumption and impact on the environment:

  • invest in energy-efficient hardware such as low-power servers, and software designed to minimise energy usage
  • consolidate resources and reduce the need for physical infrastructure by creating systems that support virtualisation and cloud computing
  • design computer systems that will be easy to upgrade to extend their lifespan and reduce the amount of electronic waste generated by your business
  • implement systems that monitor and reduce carbon emissions, use renewable energy sources, and are designed for efficient end-of-life disposal

Building sustainability into your business requires your IT architects to take a holistic approach by considering the entire lifecycle of the system from design and build to end-of-life disposal — and prioritising energy efficiency, waste reduction and environmental impact at every step.

Use a sustainability cloud

A sustainable cloud is designed to minimise energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions. Areas to consider when building your workload in a sustainable cloud include:

  • ensuring the private cloud infrastructure uses energy-efficient hardware and software — this might include virtualisation and consolidation to reduce the number of physical servers needed and choosing hardware that’s energy efficient by design
  • monitoring and managing energy usage by investigating how consumption can be reduced — for example, using automated shutdowns to turn off unused resources or adjusting power settings to reduce energy usage during non-peak hours
  • choosing a cloud provider that uses renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power — this means the workload is powered by clean energy, reducing carbon footprint
  • promoting sustainable practices within the organisation such as reducing data generation, eliminating redundant apps, and thinking about energy usage before creating applications for the cloud
  • prioritising efficiency by optimising applications and databases to reduce the compute and storage resources needed — this can help reduce energy consumption and costs while also improving performance!
Don’t bin it!

To minimising your organisation’s environmental impact while maximising your technology investment, each stage of your IT equipment’s lifecycle requires careful consideration:

When looking at your technology spec and the feasibility of your IT project, assess whether it's better to refurbish or buy new.

Consider what the equipment's environmental impact will be — look for energy-efficient equipment and evaluate the environmental practices of vendors. Also consider the total cost of ownership, including maintenance, repair and replacement costs.

Take good care of your tech equipment to maximise its lifespan through regular maintenance and upgrades and by training your employees to use it properly.

Always consider the environmental impact of disposal and take action to minimise it — this could include recycling or donating equipment that’s able to be refurbished, and ensuring equipment that can’t be reused is disposed of correctly.

Latest articles, opinion and research

Sustainable tech is good for society

If your organisation shares our values, then we should get to know each other better! Find out how your team can work with ours to influence change in the industry:


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