IFS has announced a multi-year focus on sustainability in a plan to improve the company’s own operations, enable customers to achieve sustainability goals and influence the industry to improve its accountability to the environment.
The new stepped approach aims to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and is centered around three core pillars where IFS will increase its focus for greater impact.
Within its own business, over the next three years, IFS plans to expand its education programme, which provides scholarships, grants, internships, mentorships and IT equipment, to reach 150 higher education institutions globally. IFS is also committing to reducing its carbon footprint through consolidating its real estate and improving the green credentials of its properties, and is supporting the expansion of the IFS Foundation, which helps to improve living standards of people living in Sri Lankan rural villages, to encompass additional areas within remote areas of Sri Lanka.
Internally, IFS will introduce a framework to increase employee awareness of the sustainability agenda, with employee volunteering opportunities as well as a continued focus on fostering diversity across the industry, prioritising employee health and wellbeing and maintaining policies on human rights and anti-slavery.
By using IFS cloud which launched in March 2021, IFS customers can deploy on premise or in the cloud in a modular way, reducing unnecessary computer processing and storage. According to Microsoft Azure, when deployed in the cloud, such as on Azure, IFS cloud is 52-79% more energy efficient than compute equivalents deployed in traditional data centres, and storage is 71-79% more energy efficient than storage equivalents deployed in traditional enterprise data centres.
Other initiatives include the launch of a new customer module within IFS’ cloud, specifically for sustainability management, and a yearly hackathon to propel the ideation and delivery of added sustainability scenarios for IFS cloud.
The wider industry
To raise awareness around the importance of sustainability at a macro level and help improve its own approach to sustainability, IFS will be making two senior appointments. It plans to create the internal role of director global sustainability (ESG) and has already appointed Lewis Pugh, UN patron of the oceans, as its sustainability ambassador.
Pugh will influence IFS’s sustainability plan, as well as engage with the IFS ecosystem to challenge and celebrate sustainability best practice.
Lewis Pugh, IFS sustainability ambassador, said: “We need governments, businesses and individuals to all play a role in making positive change. I am pleased to be working with IFS whose team is clearly taking the issue of sustainability seriously. Having the ability to engage with their ecosystem of customers and partners presents an opportunity to have an impact at scale. Climate change is an existential threat to life on earth. We now need all hands-on deck to tackle this crisis.”
Darren Roos, IFS CEO, added: “IFS has a long-term responsible approach to creating value for customers. By considering sustainability as an integral part of our business model we not only capture value creating opportunities, but we can mitigate risks and stay on course to be successful in our sustainability strategy. The progress achieved over the last couple of years to improve IFS’s approach to sustainability has been meaningful, but with the launch of this multi-year plan we are making commitments and make ourselves accountable. This is meaningful to our customers, our employees, our owners and our community at large.”