Exclusive. Widely deployed since 2011 to facilitate the implementation of responsible digital strategies, the GreenIT.fr collective’s maturity framework has been updated. It includes new best practices related to the network, a complete review of KPIs associated with each best practice, and 74 compliance thresholds and implementation test rules.
Lausanne, June 2nd 2022. Piloted and produced by Resilio for the GreenIT.fr collective and the Green IT Club, the 3rd edition of the Green IT Benchmark provides a state-of-the-art framework for implementing, managing and evaluating the Green IT / responsible digital policy of organizations.
An update by and for companies
“The previous edition was dated December 2017. It was therefore important to update it to reflect the developments of the last 4 years in areas as diverse as networks, data centers, ecolabels, responsible IT purchases, printing, etc.,” explains Anne Rabot, who leads the Green IT Club, which created this reference.
The result of a consensus between public and private organizations gathered in the Green IT Club, this standard, deployed for over 10 years, guides organizations in the implementation and continuous improvement of their Green IT strategy. It is based on concrete feedback from its members.
Compliance thresholds for comparison
After 9 months of effort and the mobilization of dozens of organizations such as La Banque de France, Bolloré Logistics, the BEL group, the ESG group, L’Occitane en Provence, and the City of Nanterre, this major update includes the following new features:
- New best practices related to the network, whose share in the environmental impact is growing within companies (Benchmark Green IT 2021);
- An update of best practices that have become obsolete;
- A review and integration of a key indicator (KPI) for each good practice, in order to propose measurable objectives;
- The addition of a compliance threshold and an implementation test rule for each of the 74 good practices.
“The addition of a quantified compliance threshold and an objective and unambiguous test rule make this document the first and only Green IT / Digital Responsibility standard in the strict sense of the term” explains Astrid Dhénain, analyst at Resilio who helped add this compliance standard to the existing work.
The challenge of these additions is to enable all organizations to assess themselves in a consistent manner and to meet their legal obligations, including the obligations of Article 35 of the REEN law, which targets municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants.
Anticipating regulatory constraints
“Eventually, all organizations – private and public – will probably have to meet the same obligations as municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants. The adoption of this standard allows us to anticipate future legal constraints” concludes Frédéric Bordage, founder of the GreenIT.fr collective, which created the standard.
The network, the last little one having a big impact
The Green IT 2021 Benchmark has highlighted the growing importance of the network in the environmental impact of Information Systems. Based on this observation, the Resilio teams have added 5 key best practices to be implemented to reduce this impact.
Among the new recommendations, here are a few:
- “Adapt the size of the network to the real needs and to what is necessary”
- “Purchase network equipment that meets ASHRAE Class A3-A4 requirements”
- “Enable power-saving features in active network equipment”
“The increase in the volume of data exchanged, the shift to mobile equipment fleets and the installation of IoT have imposed an increase in network infrastructures. The new best practices allow us to effectively reduce the footprint of an area that has been neglected until now” explains Astrid Dhénain.
According to the sixth Green IT Benchmark, the network represents more than a quarter of the environmental footprint:
- 30% of the impact on abiotic resources (minerals, metals, rare-earth metals, …)
- 25% of the strain on fresh water
- 20% of greenhouse gas emissions
For decentralized companies (chain stores, local governments, etc.) the network can even become the 1st item of the environmental footprint.
KPIs and compliance thresholds pave the way for systematic evaluation
“We have used the 2nd version of the benchmark with many clients. Over time, the need became more and more obvious: it was essential to have a list of KPIs, test rules and compliance thresholds to objectify and measure progress” says Amael Parreaux-Ey, director of Resilio.
Thus, each good practice is now accompanied by a key indicator, a test rule and a compliance threshold, allowing to objectively assess its progress. They will provide an overview and practical tools for buyers.
The first field data on these KPIs is being collected as part of the Green IT 2022 Benchmark, the results of which will be made public in the fall.
An in-depth update
Several good practices were no longer consistent with current, rapidly evolving practices. Take, for example, the good practice “Renting equipment rather than buying it”. Renting is not necessarily an advantage: it is the total life cycle that matters. As renting does not always allow to control this parameter, reconditioning at the end of the first life is an alternative, even preferable approach.
In the same way, the good practice “Make internal processes virtuous” lacked precision, which made the evaluation of its implementation complex and variable.
In addition to the criteria around the network, other elements were missing, such as knowledge of Life Cycle Assessment methods. These are the standard method for understanding environmental impacts and are essential for reducing them more effectively.