Leveraging Sustainability in Tech to Drive Efficiency and Cost Savings

In a rapidly evolving world driven by technology, the IT sector plays a central role in transforming how we live and work. However, as we witness unprecedented advancements leading to increased efficiency, we must also address the sustainability challenges arising in parallel. Sustainable IT practices are vital to reducing the carbon footprint, generating cost savings, and enhancing overall efficiency. By adopting eco-friendly measures, companies can contribute to a cleaner environment and achieve significant economic benefits.


This event, led by UWEBC’s Information Technology Practice Director Heidi Rozmiarek, explored how Trane and KMPG are leveraging sustainability in the tech industry to drive efficiency and cost savings while contributing to a greener future.

Participants first heard from Ashley Henderson of Trane, a company committed to making a positive impact on the environment through its 2030 Sustainability Commitments. These commitments form the foundation of their strategy, enabling them to support their customers’ decarbonization journeys. Ashley discussed Trane’s remarkable achievements thus far, with a reduction of 93 million metric tons of carbon, equivalent to saving 10.3 billion gallons of gasoline. However, the path to a sustainable future requires overcoming several challenges, including a carbon-intensive electric grid, prolific fossil fuel usage, and high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants. To create an ideal future state, Trane aims to transition towards a net-zero carbon electric grid, minimize fossil fuel usage, and adopt low-GWP refrigerants. Their ambitious Gigaton Challenge targets a reduction of customers’ greenhouse gas footprint by 1 Gigaton, and they plan to achieve this through refrigerant transition management, system-level energy efficiency, electrification of heating and transport refrigeration, and reducing food loss in the global cold chain. Trane’s approach involves innovating clean technologies, advancing system-level energy efficiency, reducing global food loss, and transitioning to next-generation refrigerants. By embracing these strategies, Trane aims to make a significant impact on climate action while driving business efficiency.

Next, participants heard from Kristofer Canto of KPMG. Kristofer discussed another critical aspect of promoting sustainability in tech: the effective use of data and technology. KPMG, a renowned global professional services firm, recognizes that limited sustainability data and technology integration can inhibit climate action and hinder progress. Kristofer explained KPMG’s vision. The vision centers on enhancing sustainability data granularity, accessibility, and technology integration across organizations. It also focuses on aligning methodology, data, and technology with rightful owners to drive meaningful climate action. To achieve climate action and enterprise transformation, companies must adopt digital sustainability strategies, relying on robust data and technology infrastructure to ensure accuracy and transparency throughout the data lifecycle and reporting. KPMG emphasizes the importance of a sustainability data and technology reference architecture, empowering companies to effectively measure, manage, and monitor their sustainability goals and commitments. Engaging key stakeholders and designing a digital sustainability strategy allows organizations to build reliable data infrastructure and harness the full potential of sustainability data, insights, and action, positioning them at the forefront of sustainability and efficiency endeavors.

In today’s business landscape, sustainability in the tech industry goes beyond being a moral imperative; it has become a regulatory obligation for an increasing number of publicly traded companies. Moreover, strategically positioning brands as environmentally conscious is essential to attract and retain eco-conscious consumers. As companies like Trane and KPMG pave the way with their ambitious visions, it is evident that leveraging sustainability in tech can create a brighter and greener future for all.

Published August 2, 2023
Jenny Zhang, Marketing Student Assistant