By: Kelsey Rees, Senior Reporter at CRN/The Channel Company
Published: 06 July 2022
Logicalis Group CEO on sustainability: 'There is scope for the channel to work more closely together to achieve greater impact'
The group head talked about its pledge to be globally carbon neutral by 2025, and how businesses can balance innovation and sustainability
Logicalis group CEO, Bob Bailkoski (pictured), wants to see partners and vendors work towards having consistent goals across the channel.
Speaking to Channel Partner Insight on his message to the channel around prioritising environmental sustainability, Bailkoski stated he wants to see more synergy across initiatives.
"I think there is scope for the channel to work more closely together on a certain number of shared initiatives designed to achieve greater impact with all colleagues in the same direction," he said.
"It's not to say that channel partners can't do their own thing, but I think if we're able to define a handful of core goals that we're all pulling towards, I think the impact will be much greater.
"My message to the channel is that we need to work towards having some consistent goals in the sustainability space because with those consistent goals our joined impact will be much, much greater."
One way this can be achieved is through channel players incorporating sustainability into their technology, an area Bailkoski feels still needs "a lot of work".
"There's a lot of work to be done from a channel point of view. In every industry you have greenwashing, you also get the same outputs from a channel perspective.
"So the channel needs to work out how it could support customers better with the solutions that it offers."
He went on to say that some of Logicalis' solutions have a sustainability score which he says gives customers the opportunity to assess their carbon footprint in certain aspects of their IT environment.
"I think this sort of innovative weaving of sustainability into the solutions that we offer, as a channel, is only going to help our customers achieve their sustainability aims," he continued.
"I also think there's an opportunity for partners to work together rather than competing all the time. Because if we focus on consistent goals and delivering we'll have a much greater impact if we're working to the same agenda from a sustainability perspective."
How can businesses be sustainable and still innovate?
In an ideal world companies of all sizes would be able to balance sustainability-minded innovation, however Bailkoski said this remains a "constant dilemma".
"Sustainability and innovation are not mutually exclusive," he explained.
"We do a survey of CIOs every year and something like 75 per cent of CIOs said they needed to increase the amount of time they spend on innovation.
"But actually I think sustainability and introducing sustainability into your environment will also drive innovation as well, both from a vendor perspective and from a customer point of view."
He believes customers need to understand their carbon footprint in order to first get a baseline benchmark.
He added this knowledge will allow these customers to then introduce innovative solutions through partners.
Sustainability at Logicalis
Turning to what Logicalis itself is doing for the environment, Bailkoski highlighted a few of his priorities.
"My incentives for this year are heavily focused on achieving certain levels of sustainability or sustainable practices," he said.
"Our flagship goal is that we've pledged that by 2025 on scope one and scope two emissions, Logicalis will be carbon neutral globally.
"Globally, we're also working on a programme of introducing EcoVadis into our organisations."
Bailkoski has been group CEO for two and a half years.
During this time, he said the prioritisation of sustainability has changed dramatically since BlackRock chairman Larry Fink penned a letter stating the firm would no longer invest in companies unless they had sustainability as part of their agenda.
"That was a while ago, and I think over the last two years specifically, and this is from a global perspective more than just the UK perspective, in the run-up last year to COP26, people got really focused.
"I think consumers are starting to vote with their feet. They don't tolerate things like greenwashing, they're putting pressure on organisations to act and so on.
"So sustainability is now absolutely front of mind from the boardroom, all the way through to the back office.
"We're seeing big demand in our business from our customers for expenditure on core technologies that have sustainability weaved into the roots of IT infrastructure.
"Our customers in particular are looking to understand how they can gear themselves up to operate both as a kind of digital first priority but also sustainability as a priority too."