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Climate Action at IST

Published 27 September 2019

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Global Week for Future will bring focus to the importance of global climate action from the 20th-27th of September this year. Inspired by the happenings led by Greta Thunberg, students and youth plan to organize school strikes both Fridays as a part of the movement Fridays For Future.

Today, Friday 27 September, adults and workers are encouraged to show their solidarity to students and youth across the world by dedicating their lunch break to the climate. In support of this, we would like to put climate action on the agenda at IST by sharing what work we are currently doing and aims we have for making IST a more environmentally responsible business.

At IST, we aim to become as close to CO2 neutral as possible by the end of 2020. To be able to reach this goal we are adopting the ISO14001 environmental management system strategy (linked website in Swedish) to be able to outline our environmental policies and goals.

Tracking our carbon footprint

We are currently working on implementing systematic and transparent reporting of our carbon footprint across all country offices. This will provide an overview of where we must focus our efforts to significantly reduce our emissions at IST, and offset what we cannot reduce. Areas where we seek to measure our carbon footprint include the electricity consumption in our offices, the level of waste production, as well as business travel. We seek to influence our supply chain through an environmentally conscious selection of our vendors when it comes to buying food, cleaning products, and office supplies.

Stronger through co-operation

As an ed-tech company we produce software, which concentrates our environmental impact around the energy consumption needed to store and backup our data and  the usage of IT-equipment and hardware. IST’s data storage is placed at Interxion data center in Ballerup Denmark, which reports that they run on 100% renewable energy from offshore wind farms. Through this partnership, we are closer to our goal of carbon neutrality. However, we also see that we have a responsibility to pursue developing our products in more energy efficient ways. This involves considerations of how we can ensure that our products contribute to a more sustainable tech industry.

The foundation for our environmental actions also rests on the awareness and inclusion of our employees in taking initiatives around the office. Therefore, we are launching an online eco-education program for our employees to learn more about our environmental impact and how we can act on it through our daily work life. Today, on the last day of the climate strike, we are serving a climate friendly meal in our cafeterias, replacing exotic fruits like bananas with locally grown carrots, and employees have been encouraged to share their best tips for how to become more climate friendly. So far, the tips include recycling more carefully, swapping out milk for a plant-based alternative, planning meals and bringing home leftovers to avoid wasting food, turning off lights and screens, and arranging clothes-swapping meetups, among other things.

Together for a greener future

As a leader in the field of ed-tech, we also want to help our customers, partners and line of business to become greener.  To do so, we attend events to spread our knowledge and share ideas.  We have implemented three sustainability projects, which are currently underway, and we are environmentally certified. We also focus on creating products and solutions that can help our customers to become greener, such as IST Everyday, where all documentation for students is digital, and IST Consent, which allows paper slips to be almost completely eliminated from schools daily workings. Although the implementation process will take a while,  we are actively taking steps in the right direction, bringing those around us, with us.