Mar 28 2024
Data Center

How Technology Can Support State and Local Agencies Striving for Sustainability

Governments can reduce their environmental impact through these IT considerations.

Environmental sustainability is an exciting and challenging opportunity for state and local government agencies. Actively supporting sustainability initiatives gives governments the chance to participate in the environmentally conscious actions their communities want, while supporting their public lands. And recent research from Indeed shows that constituents and employees are increasingly demanding responsible sustainability practices.

In recent years, state and local governments have sharply increased their investments to meet this demand, with the number of public bids they’ve solicited to fulfill environmental policies growing 34.6 percent from 2020 to 2022, according to a GovWin report from Deltek.

This demand is driven by several trends. Infrastructure energy demands continue to increase, and projections show that requests will only continue to grow. One study from the U.S. Department of Energy suggests that state and local government agencies will need to expand electricity transmission systems by 60 percent by 2030 and may need to triple those systems by 2050.

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Agencies Should Consider Tech’s Environmental Impact

At the same time, constituents are showing interest in circular economies to limit environmental impact. The public is increasingly aware of how e-waste — from mobile phones to servers and networking equipment — impacts the environment.

As these interests cross over into the workplace, constituents are also considered employees that show preference for sustainable workplaces. More than half of Generation Z and millennial workers research an organization’s environmental impact and policies before accepting a job. This means that attracting and retaining employees requires thoughtful sustainability practices.

The challenges are varied, but one way every government agency can reduce its own environmental impact is by implementing sustainable technology in its own operations — without sacrificing performance or increasing costs. This includes adopting devices that are manufactured with ecologically conscious processes, looking for technology that contains post-consumer recycled content and identifying tech services that strive to be carbon-neutral.

Today, many popular devices are manufactured with sustainability in mind. Lenovo, for instance, offers nearly 300 products containing post-consumer recycled content and has eliminated 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions since 2017 via a manufacturing process called low-temperature soldering. Lenovo has also innovated to make data centers more energy efficient with liquid cooling technology, such as Lenovo Neptune, which delivers 98 percent heat-removal efficiency and up to 40 percent lower power consumption.

Beyond the physical devices, forward-thinking manufacturers are making select packaging from renewable materials such as bamboo and sugar cane and taking part in responsible sourcing practices — aiming to make devices in plants closer to the locations where they will ultimately be shipped and sold.

READ MORE: State and local governments strengthen services through data center optimization.

Trusted Partners Can Help Achieve Sustainability

While an agency’s physical technology can help improve its track record for sustainability, it can also reduce its environmental impact by leveraging managed services provided by a technology partner. Managed services from a trusted partner can help state or local governments reduce operational workloads, keeping devices on the job longer and reducing the need to purchase newer ones.

When evaluating technology partners, government agencies will want to consider those who offer the latest technology and comprehensive help desk support and those that hold multiple certifications from the U.S. government. This leads to more uptime and less device turnover and ultimately contributes toward the agency’s sustainability goals.

I’m proud of Lenovo’s leadership in sustainable technology practices and innovation. In 2023, Lenovo announced its commitment to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, with targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative’s Net-Zero Standard. One year later, Lenovo is on-track to meet its near-term emissions reduction goals. As a company, we are leading the way in a collaborative and accountable journey to net zero, and we are fully committed to helping our state and local government agency partners wherever they are on the path to sustainability.

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