“When we came to understand that HP devices were amongst the most sustainable in the world, we realised the potential to use our technology procurement to do more than just deliver a great, cost-effective experience for our staff and students,” says Jamie Graham, Associate Director, Infrastructure and Platforms, UWA.

“With Datacom’s help, when our procurement strategy came up for review, what started as an exercise in investigating cost and performance quickly evolved to become a way of using our IT as a force for good.”  

"Through the Amplify Impact program, HP are helping our partners define their sustainable IT strategy and put in place the governance structures and framework to deliver on it. It’s exciting to see customers like UWA achieve sustainable gains from doing just this. UWA is a shining example of a complex entity working with its partners to make real sustainable strides, while delivering a great digital experience to their cohorts,” says John Gowland Partner Business Manager, HP. 

With a rigorous environmental sustainability strategy in place, UWA is well on the way to achieving its goal of being a carbon neutral campus by 2025. It has already achieved a 40% abatement of its operational emissions (scope 1 and 2) from its 2021 levels. It intends to expand its carbon neutral target to include emissions of its value chain (scope 3 emissions) by no later than 2040.  

Sustainability is a thread that is interwoven throughout the culture at UWA, and the university encourages students to take a leading role in shaping the future and solving problems like climate change and inequity. This ethos goes beyond governance and is evident in course curricula, campus life and research programmes. 

“We have a strategic aim of embedding sustainability and fair-trade principles into the developmental and operational activities of the campus. So it makes sense to deliver on this through our procurement practices and the partners that we choose to contract with,” says Geraldine Tan, Sustainability Manager, UWA.  

Making changes across the value chain

UWA saw HP’s commitment to sustainability in its device design, repairability, energy efficiency and waste control; right along the value chain.  

“In the past, a device shipment would arrive and it was not uncommon to find a great big box filled with polystyrene popcorn – all for a tiny little component,” says Jamie.

“Or a mass shipment of individually boxed devices would turn up and we’d scramble to unpack and store them. Now, with HP it is far less wasteful. Our devices arrive in only what is needed to protect them in transit and even that packaging is 100% recyclable. Even the devices themselves contain a high degree of recycled materials such as ocean plastics.” 

To build on this, UWA – in partnership with Datacom – is investigating smart logistics and agile warehousing.  

“We procure HP laptops in bulk. To streamline the process in the future we may look to have Datacom handle some of the deployment cycle too – so devices will arrive to campus bagged, tagged and ready-to-go, having been shipped in bulk with minimal sustainable packaging. It makes sense to consider how this could impact sustainability, as well as free up the IT team,” says Jamie. 

Repairability is also a big factor in brand choice for UWA. HP devices are easy for the IT team to repair with design consideration having gone into the placement of certain components for easy accessibility, for example. If devices are easy to maintain and repair, this extends the usable life of that device, which is a basic principle of circularity that UWA aspires to. 

Smarter choices leading to less waste

When globally 40 million tonnes of electronic waste are generated each year and only 12.5% of it is responsibly recycled, it highlights the importance of an e-waste policy. UWA ensures all devices at the end of life are diverted from landfill and responsibly recycled through a certified facility. An innovative device donation program is also set to launch soon – using the funds recovered from responsible recycling, UWA will donate new devices to students in need. 

“It’s exciting to see IT procurement through this sustainable lens and know that we are enhancing the digital experience while doing good. For instance, Datacom is helping us develop a student purchasing portal,” says Jamie.

“Students looking to purchase their own device can choose an HP device competitively and save money while making a sustainable choice. We’ll also encourage them to recycle that device at the end of its life.” 

In terms of intelligence, device telemetry is already starting to give insights into software usage and the UWA team is looking forward to a future where expanded insights will enable them to see levels of device utilisation, alert IT as to maintenance needs and point to places in the asset lifecycle where they can close the gaps even further on sustainable IT. 

Datacom’s Director of Product Services Ross Salisbury says the partnership with HP – which saw Datacom named as HP’s 2022 Amplify Partner of Year – is helping his team ensure customers get more value over the lifecycle of their products. 

“Working alongside HP we are helping to bring a low carbon future to fruition by improving product energy efficiency and decreasing the carbon footprint associated with product use." 

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