Changing public sentiment has created a seismic shift toward purpose and the broader ESG agenda. Following the pandemic, and with growing awareness of the need for climate action, how companies operate, and how that impacts people and our planet, has become more important. Consumers, shareholders and wider stakeholder communities want to know that the brands they back are acting responsibly. And while that is nothing new, the urgency is.
Doing the right thing makes good business sense. According to the Harvard Business Review’s The Power of Purpose, 58% of companies with a clearly articulated purpose have superior growth and 84% of executives believe that those with a shared purpose will be more successful in their transformation. Sustainability is also highlighted by CIO magazine as a top priority for tech leaders in 2022.
Softcat is the first IT company in Europe – and one of only 35 worldwide – to have its net zero goals approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative. Watt explains, “We are powered by renewable energy, we have an electric car fleet and salary sacrifice to encourage employees to go electric, and we have hybrid working. We need to reduce our carbon footprint, and not just through offsetting. We do not plant trees but hedgerows, which grow quicker and create more biodiversity, and we contribute to initiatives that protect against deforestation. We are helping our teams and vendors to make responsible choices and are having conversations with customers, too.”
“We have never seen sustainability as a check-the-box action,” Watt continues, “it is important to people in the company and to our customers. When it comes to matters of ESG, we know what we want our future to look like. With tech, it is harder to define. But it is exciting, says Watt.”