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Channel Trends 2022: Sustainability needs actions, not words

Insights Sustainability

Kevin Brzezinski

Senior Vice President Operations, Westcon-Comstor

Against the backdrop of shifting public sentiment highlighted by events such as the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference where nations made new climate pledges, sustainability has risen up the political and cultural agenda. Thinking on a macro level and understanding how we all interact with and impact our natural environment is going to be key for businesses in 2022. Sustainability can no longer be ignored by business leaders.

We anticipate that 2022 will be a watershed moment in how transparent and accountable businesses are in their sustainability goals and performance, and how they factor in customer decision making.

Businesses will become much more conscious of the importance of provable sustainability policies and practices and the importance of data-driven supply chain optimisation. They’re rethinking their own business practices and procurement, and how they interact with the global supply chain. In fact, 60% of European businesses cited sustainability as a very or extremely important business priority for 2020, according to IDC. We expect this to be even more prevalent in 2022.

You can no longer hide behind woolly pledges or greenwashing to meet the minimum requirement when it comes to sustainability

— Kevin Brzezinski

The inconvenient truth is that the business world is beginning to see the forest for the trees. You can no longer hide behind woolly pledges or messaging to meet the minimum requirement when it comes to sustainability. Greenwashing is seen for what it is. Proof is now expected, whether it’s hard data, accreditation or other independent verification. Indeed, 60% of European organisations are already including sustainability objectives in their RFPs, according to IDC.

In the IT supply chain, credible sustainability metrics and reporting are now a ‘must have’ rather than just a ‘nice to have’. We are already seeing Requests for Proposal with language specifically requesting sustainability as a prerequisite.

This is particularly relevant for the channel as businesses are now pushed to be more transparent and accountable. The chip shortage revealed clearly to the world how interconnected and fragile global supply chains are, forcing businesses to prioritise resilience and sustainability.

This will result in greater investment in the circular economy and blended technology solutions. These increase access to technology when hardware supplies are squeezed by supply chain disruption, while helping businesses reach their sustainability goals. They lower the carbon footprint of the supply chain and increase sales. Sustainability will factor heavily in procurement by businesses in 2022. Words are no longer enough. Those that lack the proper credentials or sustainability strategies in place will be left on the outside looking in.

To learn more about the key trends set to transform the channel in 2022, download our latest Channel Trends eBook

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