How technology helps retailers meet sustainability goals

What makes digital solutions the perfect option

As the saying goes things, good and bad, happen in threes. If your business takes care of its triple bottom line, then it’s at least in a good place to reap the rewards.

What does this mean to IT teams? Looking to invest in technology that has sustainability credentials is one way. This article offers insight into the triple bottom line, and how modern technology enables you to include IT to boost your sustainability credentials,

Many people are thinking about the impact they have on the planet and how they can make better choices. Often, those choices affect where consumers spend their money.

So, for retailers, being eco-friendly isn’t just an excellent choice, ethically speaking — it also helps your business stay afloat as consumer shopping habits shift. Organisations that fail to commit to more sustainable practices risk falling behind. To illustrate, a colossal 79% of consumers say they research the sustainability of a company before purchasing from them.

Although you can’t change your entire business model overnight, it is worth thinking about the small, incremental changes you can make that will help the environment and your revenue in the long run. One of the best ways you can begin heading down a greener path is by using a combination of modern hardware and software that meets your company’s specific needs. In this article, we’ll explore what makes digital solutions the perfect option for retailers.

1. Modern devices can be upgraded

In recent years, ‘Throwaway Culture’ has come under fire for being a large contributor to the plastic waste crisis. And, with landfills across the globe reaching their breaking points, now is the perfect time to take inspiration from the ‘make do and mend’ mentality of days gone by and consider how you can create less waste.

Fortunately, by opting for high-quality modern devices and state-of-the-art software, you no longer have to dispose of your hardware every few years. For example, the multifunctional Microsoft Surface devices are built to last and — thanks to the power of cloud computing — can be continuously upgraded. So, instead of buying new devices as your business needs change, you can make the most of over 2,000 retail-specific apps to tailor the way you use them as often as you want.

2. Travel is reduced with virtual alternatives

According to data from Global Workplace Analytics, it’s possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a staggering 54 million tonnes if remote work-compatible employees worked from home for just half of the time they currently do. Therefore, by adopting modern technology and giving your back-office teams the tools they need to work remotely, you can begin reducing your carbon footprint.

Furthermore, your employees can take advantage of online collaboration tools that eliminate the need to travel to off-site meetings or store locations. In addition to conducting meetings virtually, modern software enables colleagues to send instant messages from anywhere, receive real-time updates on stock levels, view customer information, and much more — all from the palms of their hands.

Although there’s no getting around the fact that your in-store staff must travel to work each day, that doesn’t mean they can’t also use technology to provide consumers with more sustainable ways to shop. For instance, devices with in-built cameras will enable your team to accept video calls from customers who have questions about your products and assist them during check out. So, not only does technology help create an excellent omnichannel experience, it also demonstrates your commitment to making environmentally conscious choices.

3. Technology can be manufactured sustainably

As we mentioned earlier, technology is ideal for retailers looking to become more eco-friendly. Yet, contradictorily, the technology industry is responsible for 1.02 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. So, how can you ensure that you’re not simply undoing your efforts by contributing further to the problem?

Research is key. Like any product on the market, some devices are manufactured more sustainably than others, so look for companies that take their environmental goals seriously. A good example is Microsoft, which has set a target to become carbon negative, and achieve 100% recyclable devices and packaging by 2030.

Sustainability and circularity are embedded in Microsoft Surface devices as they are ENERGY STAR certified, increasingly repairable, multifunctional, and can be recycled at the end of their lives. Moreover, the newest generation of Surface product packaging uses FSC-certified paper and fibre, and contains less than 1% of plastic by weight.

Choosing to use greener devices shows that your environmental goals are much more than surface-deep. Your customers will appreciate you taking a digital-first approach to revolutionising your business practices, knowing that the devices you’re using to do so won’t just end up in a landfill site.

Begin your sustainability journey today

Invest in Microsoft devices that have integrity built in across the entire product lifecycle — from design and supply chain through to product usage and end-of-life management.

SHI International's three-decade relationship with Microsoft enables them to offer world-class licensing expertise and strategic services that support you in migrating, modernising, optimising and managing your business to realise the full value of your Microsoft investment.

Ready to be part of a greener future? Click below to request a callback from an SHI Specialist.

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