Helping VR put sustainability and environmental responsibility into action among employees
We are thrilled to announce that we are working with VR, the Finnish Railway company, to develop a green manifesto for their IT department. The manifesto will include green coding principles, equipment renewal guidance, and supplier compliance requirements. One of the main objectives of the project is to educate employees on how everyday choices in IT department can have a positive impact on environmental sustainability.
Sustainability and environmental responsibility are important topics, and most companies are making choices and statements on how they take them into account. Environmental responsibility has been at the core of the VR Group’s operations for over a decade. VR is committed to reducing emissions in the long term by improving energy efficiency and increasing the share of renewable energy. As a company, it is committed to the Finnish Government’s objectives for cutting emissions, according to which Finland will be carbon-neutral by 2035. They want to make sure that these goals don’t remain only on the top level of the company, but they want to ensure that their employees are given the tools to make sustainable choices within their work. Chief Digital Officer at VR, Jonas Hagner, aims to do that and to challenge the employees of IT department to provide more sustainable and environmentally friendlier digital value to the company.
The use of IT has a significant impact on global emissions, even though it is often seen as environmentally friendly since it helps increase efficiency and reduce waste. However, researchers have forecasted that within ten years 3,5% and by 2040 14% of global emissions could be produced by billions of internet-connected devices all over the world.1 These numbers indicate that IT is something worth looking into when aiming to act on sustainability and environmental responsibility. Also, VR has seen the potential in paying attention to the sustainability aspects of IT and initiated the Green IT Manifesto Project.
“It’s great to see that VR has understood the importance of putting their sustainability and environmental responsibility into action through their employees. We are also delighted that they chose us to help them with that since we really want to be helping companies meet their sustainability goals”, says Tomi Tallqvist, Senior Service Designer at Digitalist. “By co-creating the Green IT Manifesto together with VR management and employees, we can truly engage the employees and get them committed to also follow the final guidance and requirements. This way of working can act as an eye opener for many employees and allow them to see that they can do many things to contribute to a more environmentally friendly company”, Tomi concludes.
The project has started with an analysis of the current state and is currently continuing with workshops. In these workshops employees from the VR IT collaborate to recognize and understand when and how they can make an impact on environmental sustainability, and how current processes need to change to allow for that. The final green IT manifesto will be ready during the spring of 2023, and it will be created based on the outcomes of this work.
1 ‘Tsunami of data’ could consume one fifth of global electricity by 2025, Climate Home News, https://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/12/11/tsunami-data-consume-one-fifth-global-electricity-2025/