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People, profit, and planet

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Matt Watts

Here are three good reasons why your company needs to address the issue of sustainability: people, profit, and planet. The good thing is that if you address one of these factors, then the others are addressed as a consequence.


The talent pool available in the market is limited. Companies must compete for talented individuals, with different ways to lure them to their organizations. This isn't a new phenomenon; it's been building for years. However, with tech companies snapping up many of these talented resources, everyone else has to fight to attract and retain them.

Most people want to work for companies that represent their values, and for many, one of those values is sustainability. If you don’t address this value as part of your company's culture, then it’s likely that you are limiting yourself further in an already a limited talent pool.

There’s a good reason to avoid “greenwashing.” People who care about the environment also care about facts. If you make misleading claims about your technology, or a competitor's, then what might seem like it’s good for your marketing today could cause hiring problems later.


In many cases, sustainability is about reducing consumption, reducing waste, and being more efficient. Yes, this takes up-front investment, but there are many opportunities where addressing sustainability can actually help you to reduce costs.

We're seeing a lot of capital funding made more accessible to companies that have strong sustainability credentials.

Not investing in sustainability means that you’re not finding ways to reduce costs and, worse, you could be restricting your access to funding.


Measuring and accounting for emissions is very difficult, as many companies are realizing as they begin the process of trying to measure their own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Interpreting this data for entire industries today is not an exact science, but according to the organization 8 Billion Trees, the quantity of global GHG emissions from data centers (2.5%) as being greater than that of the global airline industry (2.1%).

With more than 20% of data center power being consumed by storage, it's clear that storage vendors have a role to play in sustainability. But the blatant greenwashing that some are using to exploit this situation for their own advantage reflects badly on the industry as a whole; and worse, it runs the risk of undermining the importance of this topic.

This distortion of data can distract you from finding where the real opportunities are. How much difference is there in the power consumption across all the major vendors’ storage arrays? Not that much.

Did you know that 68% of your data is never used again after it's created? With better data analytics and a plan to tackle how to deal with this issue in terms of storage, you can find significantly increased savings.

The most sustainable storage is the storage that you don’t need to power.

Visit us to learn more about sustainability with NetApp.

Matt Watts

As Chief Technology Evangelist, Matt Watts provides guidance on NetApp’s overall strategy and technology solutions to a wide base of customers and the global partner community. Matt is also part of the portfolio leadership team, providing advice and guidance on technology and transformation.

Matt is increasingly in demand as a keynote speaker, combining his knowledge of the IT industry with anecdotes and stories that bring technology to life with witty, easily understandable examples.

Prior to this role, Matt Project Managed a number of significant IT projects; managed System Engineers responsible for providing installation and onsite support; as well as overseeing IT outsourcing contracts. This experience has given him contact with all levels of Leadership, enabling him to understand, communicate with and support clients with their IT and transformation Strategies.

Matt Watts shares his experiences and industry learnings on his blog

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