The 5+1 pillars of sustainable information management

The 5+1 pillars of sustainable information management

From economical data centers to a paper destruction strategy – this is how corporate data management can become more sustainable.

In our world, which is facing the effects of climate change, sustainability has become one of the guiding principles of companies. Although it may not seem trivial at first, information management can make a big contribution to a company’s sustainable operation. With 70 years of experience in the field of paper-based and digital document storage and management, Iron Mountain experts have gathered the six aspects that can help you with this. Sustainability means much more than a company ticking off the social responsibility rubric. When an organization truly embraces the philosophy of sustainability, it can be seen in lower costs, better morale and greater efficiency. Talented colleagues and young people prefer to join more sustainably operating companies, and according to research, they also attract more customers. In one study, more than two-thirds of respondents said they were willing to pay more for sustainable products. The topic is so strongly present in the field of information management that the information and the basic principles of document management – accountability, transparency, integrity, protection, compliance with compliance regulations, availability, preservation and making available – these days, as a kind of ninth principle, sustainability should also be added. 1. The basics: let’s recycle paper! According to statistics, recycling one ton of paper saves energy enough to cover six months of energy supply for an average American home. With it, we can save 26,000 liters of water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one ton. Those paper-based documents for which we have already met their preservation obligation and those that we have already digitized are logical candidates to be shredded and recycled. A good way to encourage sustainability – and at the same time to increase safety – is the so-called “destroy everything” attitude. The bottom line is that documents no longer needed for business are shredded instead of thrown in the trash, so there is no uncertainty about what to destroy and what to keep. 2. Electronic devices can be given new life E-waste is becoming a growing problem: in 2019, more than 16 kilograms of it were generated per person worldwide, and this number will reach the end of the decade can increase by 40 percent. Computers, telephones, monitors or photocopiers are full of dangerous substances such as beryllium, cadmium, mercury, arsenic and lead. The vast majority of these materials could be safely disposed of, and may even represent value, for example 200 laptops contain approximately 155 grams of gold. However, according to the Global E-Waste Statistics Partnership, only 17% of e-waste is currently recycled. Electronic waste can also carry a significant security vulnerability, as sensitive information is not always removed thoroughly enough. Secure data erasure programs exist to ensure that all protected and sensitive data is erased and returned to the economy after the device is refurbished. Successful resale can bring income to the company and make it part of the circular economy, which reduces both the demand for the production of new products and the amount of waste. 3. Don’t forget the data centers either! Digitization reduces physical waste, but the operation of data centers also has an environmental impact: about 1% of the world’s electricity production is used , and in addition, an older, medium-sized data center uses up to 1.3 million liters of water per day can also be used. Many data centers are therefore looking to switch to green energy. Iron Mountain’s colocation data centers, for example, run on 100% renewable energy sources worldwide and meet the most stringent energy efficiency standards. Therefore, the customers of these data centers are entitled to the so-called Green Power Pass points, which they can include in their organization’s sustainability report, contributing to their carbon dioxide emission reduction goals. 4. Let’s rethink the office! The number of employees working from home will probably only increase in the future, so now may be the time to look at options for reducing the size of the office: creating shared work areas, digitizing paper-based records or moving them to external storage locations. A standard four-drawer filing cabinet takes up 17 square meters of floor space . Iron Mountain estimates that documents take up 8-10% of the space in a typical office. Their digitization frees up space, so you can even save on rent, heating and cooling. Telecommuting reduces commuting time and emissions, and there will be fewer traffic jams. In addition, teleworkers report greater workplace satisfaction and productivity is reported. 5. We encourage our subcontractors! Our organization may have embraced sustainability goals, but can the same be said of our suppliers? It is useful to find out about the practices of subcontractors dealing with waste transport, transport, cleaning, storage, catering and equipment maintenance. Do they publish sustainability reports and follow best practices? How well do your facilities and vehicles run on alternative energy? On the basis of these questions, you can make sure that the goals of the subcontractors are in line with the company’s. +1 Let’s prepare a management strategy! The presented initiatives can be part of a comprehensive IT management strategy. Organizations that have a complete picture of their data, its location, use and origin are more informed, more efficient and more sustainable. According to a survey , 36% of office workers said that it is often or always difficult to find the latest version of a document. The right management strategy can almost completely eliminate the loss of time resulting from such searches. Good information management practices also contribute to sustainability, as they provide rules for the destruction of unnecessary, obsolete and trivial data, as well as unnecessary paper-based documents.Hardware, software, tests, interesting and colorful news from the world of IT by clicking here!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.