Sustainable IT

Tieto sees digitalization as a key driver of sustainable development. With strong customer knowledge and experience, technology expertise and ecosystem of innovation, Tieto is committed to pursuing the opportunities of the data-driven world to create enhanced value for people, business and society.   

Tieto envisions a future in which information is the biggest driver of continuously increasing social, economic as well as environmental value. The positive impacts of IT spanning over economic, social as well as environmental areas have already been realised. 

For Tieto, sustainable IT is a broad term describing the positive environmental and social impacts of IT equipment and services. Tieto puts effort into purchasing hardware, which is environmentally efficient and produced under responsible conditions respecting international conventions on human and labour rights, as well as environmental and anti-corruption legislation. However, with the help of IT services, Tieto can create even a wider positive impact for people, businesses and society at large.

Digital finance, insurance, trade and accounting solutions all have similar types of environmental and societal benefits. When manual processes are digitized, efficiency improvements and the reduction or even elimination of the need to travel, for example, to a bank branch office, generate substantial CO2 reductions in the process. At the same time, transparency improves as, for example, electronic invoices eliminate the grey economy. Consumers are able to make more informed decisions and service availability and experience improve. These services enabled 75kton CO2 avoidance, which is three times our own reported emissions (24 kton CO2).

In healthcare and welfare, digital solutions have opened totally new opportunities for patients as well as society at large. One example of Sustainable IT is found in the municipality of Nacka in Sweden, where digital solutions and tools improve the everyday life of individuals living at home. In addition to the socioeconomic benefits, some environmental benefits are predicted to be generated by the distance service. An example of information supporting smarter decisions and innovation is the unique artificial intelligence experiment by Tieto and City of Espoo in Finland. The experiment involves combining a huge amount of anonymized social and health data concerning every Espoo resident, and customer data relating to early childhood education from 2002 to 2016. The aim of analysing this mass of data is to identify new proactive means of targeting services to citizens, for example, to prevent social exclusion.

Measuring sustainability impacts of IT

According to the Global eSustainability Initiative Smarter 2030 report, ICT can enable a 20% reduction of global CO2e (CO2 equivalent) emissions by 2030, thus holding emissions at 2015 levels. The report also states that emissions avoided through the use of ICT are nearly ten times greater than the emissions generated by deploying it.Tieto has measured the positive sustainability impacts of IT since 2010 by calculating the avoidance of CO2 emissions enabled by the use of the company’s digital transaction services and other identified services replacing paper. In 2017, Tieto initiated a project for updating an existing CO2 avoidance model. In addition, Tieto set a numeric goal for the first time in 2017 to achieve higher level of avoided CO2 emissions at customers compared to Tieto's own reported emissions.

Based on Tieto’s calculations, the company’s CO2 emission avoidance amounted 75 kilo tons CO2 with these services alone.

It is also important to maintain a holistic approach to Sustainable IT. One side-effect of digitalization is increased energy consumption. Tieto’s new-generation data centres have energy efficiency as a key criterion. In addition, all Tieto’s data centres in the Nordics utilize renewable electricity. In Espoo, Finland, excess heat from the data centre’s servers is distributed to private households and offices through the local district heating network. A similar energy recycling solution is in use in Stockholm. In 2017, a total of 15 656 200 kWh was recycled back to the district heat network, corresponding approximately to the annual energy consumption of 800 households. 

Tieto will continue to investigate further the possibilities of Sustainable IT. The plan for 2018 includes concluding the initiated socio-economic impact study and expanding the environmental impact studies.