Sustainable IT Pledge on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

We, the Members of the CIO Strategy Council,

Recognizing that climate change is a defining challenge of our time and that meeting this challenge requires decisive, collective action, 

Acknowledging that the Paris Agreement, adopted within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015, sets a goal of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels and that Canada ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016,  

Acknowledging that within the Sustainable Development Goals, set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and intended to be achieved by 2030, Goal 13 calls for urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, 

Affirming that reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is critical to meeting these targets, as well as producing economic and social benefits, 

Noting that the global digital industry and governments are well-positioned to catalyze transformative emissions reductions in other sectors,   

Recognizing that CIOs and executive technology leaders are uniquely positioned to reduce the carbon footprint of our IT across its lifecycle and be enablers of enterprise-wide transformation,  

Pledge to work together to:

1. Demonstrate leadership in the development and adoption of sustainable IT practices;

2. Exchange expertise and resources facilitating:

a. Setting targets for, measuring, and disclosing Scope 1 (direct GHG emissions), Scope 2 (indirect GHG emissions from electricity purchased and used), and Scope 3 (other indirect GHG emissions, upstream and downstream) relating to IT operations and procurement

b. Taking action to reduce emissions such as:

      1. extending the service life of devices and equipment through sharing, leasing, buying as a service, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible and ensuring products are designed for repair, disassembly and recycling;
      2. minimizing the environmental impact of IoT sensors and devices;
      3. implementing configurations and policies that minimize printing and ensuring printing is conducted on certified or recycled content paper with the lowest footprint possible;
      4. considering cloud and data centre efficiencies and optimizing software applications for the cloud;
      5. considering how data is stored, sent, and used, prioritizing modes of use that reduce data exchange volumes; and
      6. applying sustainable software engineering practices.

c. Using technology procurement as a strategic lever to influence the sustainability commitments and practices of our suppliers by setting rigorous sustainable procurement criteria to ensure we use/acquire the lowest impact technology, while supporting Canada’s cleantech industry;

d. Leveraging technology as an enabler to accelerate enterprise-wide transformation on sustainability-related topics and to meet the enterprise’s sustainability targets; and

e. Educating and empowering our digital workforce to incorporate a sustainability lens in all aspects of their work.

3. Develop and share innovative sustainability use cases for our technologies across all business functions;

4. Create intellectual capital to shape public discourse and promote the national adoption of sustainable IT practices;

5. Promote Canada’s leadership in the global sustainable IT ecosystem;

6. Identify and scope new sustainable IT standards projects, use cases, pilots, and proofs of concept, including the national adoption of international standards; and

7. Identify other opportunities for collective action.

As individual organizations, we further pledge to:

1. Set GHG emissions reduction targets relating to our organization’s IT operations and supply chain,* specifically by:

a. Setting time-bound targets for Scope 1 (direct GHG emissions) and Scope 2 (indirect GHG emissions from electricity purchased and used); and

b. Prioritizing and working toward: setting targets for Scope 3 (other indirect GHG emissions, upstream and downstream); and defining targets recognized by the Science Based Target Initiative or equivalent.

2. Measure and disclose our IT operations and supply chain GHG emissions and annual emissions progress, specifically by:

a. Providing reporting that is transparent, relevant, complete, accurate, and consistent;

b. Using relevant Greenhouse Gas Protocol GHG emissions accounting standards or an equivalent;

c. Disclosing to CDP or an equivalent emissions disclosure platform and on our public web site; and

d. Considering the applicability of the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, the assessments underlying the Dow Jones Sustainability Index family, the standards relating to IT set by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and Global Reporting Initiative, and engaging a third party for independent verification of disclosures.

* While targets and disclosures specific to the IT function are encouraged, they may not be feasible in all cases. Enterprise-wide commitments that meet or exceed this commitment are acceptable.  

This Pledge will be reviewed periodically. Consideration will be given to broadening the scope of Sustainable IT beyond GHG reductions to encompass other environmental and social impacts. 

Make a difference, sign the pledge

The Sustainable IT Pledge is open to any Canadian company that is committed to making its IT operations more environmentally friendly.

To discuss how you can join the pledge, complete the form below and one of our team will be in touch. 

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