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How we’re progressing our sustainable IT transformation on the road to net zero

Sudhir Reddy
Mar 14, 2024

A recent report from the Capgemini Research Institute, The Eco-Digital Era™: The dual transition to a sustainable and digital economy, which was developed in collaboration with the Digital Value Lab at the Digital Data and Design Institute at Harvard, shows that implementing digital technologies has enabled organizations to reduce their energy consumption by almost a quarter and deliver a 21% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the past five years.

While this seems like good news, society’s rapid digitalization means technology also has unintended negative impacts. The information and communications technology (ICT) industry’s current digital footprint makes up 3−4% of global emissions1. This might not seem much, but if expressed as a country, it makes our industry the world’s third-largest consumer of electricity. Ensuring that digital transformation is sustainable is therefore critical.

Sustainable IT in support of our net zero transformation

In 2021, we strengthened our net zero commitment, announcing a 90% carbon reduction target by 2040. This requires transformation at all levels. As CIO for Capgemini, I was tasked with developing a plan for our organization to reduce its IT impacts and leverage technology to support our wider sustainability goals. I’m proud that internal IT is on track to deliver this. 

First, we established governance, setting up a steering group to oversee our strategy to reduce the environmental impact associated with our IT use. Next, we identified and measured our own technology footprint, by auditing IT-related practices and establishing our baseline. 

We benchmarked our current performance and maturity against progressive companies to determine how we could make the greatest material impact.  

Then we prioritized four key areas for sustainable IT transformation: 

From plan to practice

As an organization, we have committed to switching to 100% renewable electricity by 2025. This will have a significant impact on our offices’ carbon footprint. In addition, we are migrating to software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms on cloud, driving application modernization/rationalization. Reduced on-premises footprints are being transitioned to more sustainable data centers, using less operational equipment and backup infrastructure (down 15%).

Our second priority has been to look at the embedded carbon footprint of purchased IT equipment and services; we are progressively adopting circularity practices. Working with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), we are extending the working life of hardware (circularity) and focusing on upgrading components with regular maintenance and software optimization. This helps enhance performance, keeping equipment functional and efficient for longer.

We rolled out a sustainable digital experience management solution to monitor energy and carbon consumption across laptops. It allows us to proactively monitor and fix inefficient configurations and to comply with power saver policy and the optimal repair/replacement cycle.

In the fourth area, we actively extended the investment we made during COVID-19 to embrace a hybrid work culture. It required us to upgrade office spaces with audio/visual (AV) technologies that allow our employees to bring a person or a room into a rich collaborative meeting making Capgemini a borderless enterprise. This has contributed to a reduction in our travel footprint.

Collectively, our programme has helped reduce carbon emissions per person by 34% (vs. our 2021 baseline).

Our carbon reduction ambition of 90% underpins every action we take. It drives the thinking behind our sustainable IT transformation.

  1. Science Direct, “Disentangling the worldwide web of e-waste and climate change co-benefits,” December 2022.


Sudhir Reddy

As Group CIO for Capgemini, Sudhir steers the organization’s technology vision and strategic IT initiatives. He is currently leading a 4-year IT transformation journey including our program to help us meet our IT sustainability targets. In his career spanning three decades, Sudhir brings a global perspective and extensive leadership experience. His track record points to his ability to simplify enterprise IT landscape, deliver enhance user experience with a focus on security and sustainability.
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