With a global push for better environmental stewardship of all industries, regulators are cracking down on green efforts that sound impressive but do very little and fall into the category of greenwashing. The new standards will take effect in early 2024 and will require disclosure of Scope 3 emissions.
Companies in highly regulated industries like healthcare and financial services treat data very carefully, but storing more data means using more energy and generating more carbon emissions. Research published by Blancco in March 2023 found that 66% of IT decision makers in these markets reported concerns about rising energy costs and the impact on storing large amounts of data. Now, with the imminent release of new emissions measurement standards, companies in highly regulated industries must act quickly. But are they?
A new research study from Blancco, in partnership with independent research company Coleman Parkes, looks at the environmental impact of data footprints, current attitudes towards sustainable data management, and Scope 3 emissions measurement across companies across industries. highly regulated. The resulting report, The costs of sustaining data at the end of its useful lifeshares the results of a global survey of 1,800 data retention and deletion decision makers in six countries (US).
Good news at first glance for sustainable IT practices
The study found that most IT decision makers are aware of the importance of business sustainability as they prepare for new ESG regulations. Of those surveyed, 85% of respondents said their organizations are measuring their Scope 3 emissions, and for 88%, environmental sustainability has a high to moderate influence on their approach to processing end-of-life data. useful.
In addition, 83% say that there is a business directive to work with partners that do not negatively affect the environment.
However, ESG laggards continue to
A substantial segment of organizations are still not where they should be with regard to business sustainability planning, including their IT initiatives. While the majority of respondents said they are confident their organization is reducing the environmental impact of its IT, more than a third are not; in fact, 39% of organizations in highly regulated industries have yet to implement a plan to reduce their data footprint. . Excess data storage comes at a financial and environmental cost. Special attention should be paid to “hidden” sustainability issues, such as end-of-life (EOL) data, as the pace of cloud migration is hurting companies in heavily regulated industries.
Additionally, 37% say a Net Zero plan is not yet an important selection criteria for partner selection; this is important because our previous research found that 60% of IT decision makers in highly regulated industries say their cloud provider handles their EOL data for them.
Benefits beyond regulatory compliance
The report also discusses the additional effects of improving sustainable practices beyond the need to meet regulatory requirements. For example, 44% of respondents believe that investors and clients prefer to work with sustainable companies. Furthermore, 51% feel that current and potential employees prefer to work for sustainable companies.
There are many ways organizations can reduce their data footprint to curb environmental impact, including reductions in ROT data or information that no longer has additional benefits, as well as guidance for asset EOL management. For a full analysis, read the report here: https://www.blancco.com/the-sustainability-costs-of-end-of-life-data