3 Sustainability Focused-Technologies That Pay For Themselves

Three technologies that can quickly pay for themselves if you work with the right tools and partners to integrate them into your organization's systems


Sustainability has become a priority for businesses, both internally and externally. Today, executive decision makers and employees alike are demanding access to the abundance of sustainability-focused technologies that help reduce costs, improve efficiency, and enhance their companies’ public images.

Externally, customers prefer to patronize companies that make sustainability a priority and shareholders view it as an investment in top-line growth. That’s why, for example, half of all global companies had publicly disclosed greenhouse gas reduction targets as of 2014. But achieving greater environmental standards is not all that motivates these companies. Slashing operating costs while increasing value for shareholders also aligns with sustainability goals. Practically speaking, these are not competing agendas.

Successful strategies rely on technologies that address both the business case and the social case for improved sustainability results. However, many companies struggle to make lasting progress in their sustainability efforts, and they remain less operationally efficient than they would like to be.

One of the most common roadblocks to progress is a lack of awareness about the full spectrum of benefits these technologies offer. Several sustainability-focused technologies deliver a fast ROI and provide tremendous value over the long term. Here are three technologies that can quickly pay for themselves if you work with the right tools and partners to integrate them into your organization’s systems:

Print Management Technologies

Inefficient printing practices are a huge drain on any organization’s finances and may result in significant amounts of wasted paper, ink, and energy. Print management solutions can give you comprehensive perspective, insights, and control over your organization’s printing infrastructure and related costs.

Overly large and complex printer fleets waste energy and increase IT labor costs. Cloud services make it easy to access a complete inventory of your printers and see who is printing on which devices, the applications being used to print, and the ongoing costs for the printing activity. These insights illuminate significant opportunities for waste reduction and cost savings.

Another important component of print management is secure pull printing. With this technology, employees print as they normally do, but not directly to a specific printer. Instead, print jobs are held securely in a virtual queue and are not printed until the user walks up to a preferred printer to authenticate using his or her ID or access card (or login credentials). So, employees are always physically present at a device when their documents are being printed. This secure workflow eliminates all of that abandoned 'tray trash' you see lying around printers, and on its own reduces printing waste and costs by 25%.

Energy Management Technologies

Being sustainable is not just about using fewer resources, it’s also about using resources in a smarter way. Energy management technologies allow companies to monitor energy demand and compare it with energy supply in real time.

For example, EnerNOC, a leading cloud services provider of energy intelligence software, alerts their customers about impending price spikes. That way, they can scale their usage up or down, run certain applications at times when prices are lower, and control their energy consumption in a targeted, systematic way.

The energy savings achieved with such technologies can be dramatic. EnerNOC estimates that its energy management technologies were able to save enterprise consumers $11.8 billion over a single year. At the same time, the environmental footprint of your company shrinks once it starts working cooperatively and dynamically with the power grid.

Energy Storage Technologies

While sustainable energy sources like solar and wind can supplement the electric grid, the challenge with these technologies, historically, has been the energy loss due to inadequate storage technologies.

That limitation is quickly evolving into a concern of the past. New high-capacity energy storage technology for businesses and homes has reduced the cost and complexity that has plagued this burgeoning industry for decades. Now, companies can rely on low-cost, sustainable energy sources to provide the kind of affordable and stable power their operations require.

For example, Jackson Family Wines began storing its own energy using Tesla Energy’s commercial energy storage technology to save around $2 million annually on energy costs.

These three technologies, especially when combined, can have significant, positive effects on both the environment and your company’s bottom line. And, they’re easier to implement than you might think and do not interrupt your existing operations. Any company that wants to lead the way forward with an authentic sustainability agenda would be wise to start with technologies that produce visible results and make the case for themselves.

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