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Environmental impact is more important than reducing costs, according to IT leaders under 35

The IT industry has been typified for years as being geared towards efficiency and maximising profit, but it seems the next generation of leaders believe that reducing the industry’s impact on the environment is the most important path to take. 

That’s according to new research set to be published in January 2020 from Volta Data Centres, which reports that 26% of UK IT decision makers have changed utility provider because they disagreed with their views/environmental practices. This figure rises to 42% of those under 35 years old.

The independent research project, carried out by Sapio Research, quizzed over 200 UK-based IT decision makers on their views ranging from environmental responsibility, cyber-security and data privacy.

The results showed that decisions aren’t being made on price alone and that there is a growing shift towards more environmentally responsible businesses. 51% 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.

68% of those working in companies with more than 200 employees would also be more likely to use renewable energy despite the cost.

Jon Arnold, managing director at Volta Data Centres, said, “This research has shown that the purchasing decisions made by many technology leaders in the UK will be based on what providers are doing to combat the environmental challenge we all face. The responsibility to tackle environmental issues doesn’t fall to any singular sector, in fact our research shows that IT leaders see Governments, Corporations and us as individuals sharing equal responsibility​.”

The level of commitment to environmental change may take some in government and big business by surprise. According to the survey, over 35% of IT decision makers would be likely to quit their current job if they discovered their employer did not take any measures to be environmentally responsible – rising to 59% of the under 35s. In addition, 21% of this younger demographic would also be prepared to sacrifice part of their salary to local recycling initiatives to be more environmentally responsible.

Arnold continued, “There is a strong environmental concern and awareness amongst the future generation of IT leaders, and this will undoubtedly have an influence on business decision making in the future. If businesses want to remain competitive, they will have to demonstrate their resolve to doing more for the environment. This is why I am pleased that we continue to lead the way at Volta Data Centres as we work on a number of projects in 2020 that focus on becoming more environmentally responsible.”

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