Sustainability is good business, and all of us at Open Systems are proud our company has earned South Pole’s Climate Neutral Company designation. South Pole works with businesses and governments across the globe to find innovative solutions to mitigate risk and achieve sustainability goals.

This designation is significant not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because caring about our environment is in our company’s DNA. It benefits our customers, as well, since they are increasingly concerned about working with carbon-neutral vendors, either because of regulations in their own industries or their own corporate missions or initiatives. Open Systems is the partner our customers can rely on to not add to their overall carbon footprint.

Carbon Neutral

Employees Fight for Climate Change

A few years ago, when Open Systems hit a huge milestone with its 8,000th service deployment, the team decided to plant 8,000 trees to fight climate change. Inspired by the tree-planting initiative, last year a small group of employees started a Sustainability Team to further explore other ways Open Systems can help fight climate change.

We’ve engaged with South Pole to analyze Open Systems’ emissions based on our travel, heating, and services footprint. In response, to help offset CO2 as we transition to decarbonization through our services we’ve supported three initiatives:

  • Rural Farms, Renewable Energy, India – Addressing methane emissions and promoting a sustainable use of resources in rural farms
  • Kariba Forest Protection, Zimbabwe – Preventing deforestation and land degradation
  • Oberallmig Forest Protection, Switzerland – Increasing the carbon stock of alpine forest through improved forest management

For now, we’ve compensated for any CO2 emissions through climate certificates and investing in initiatives to offset any CO2 Open Systems has generated. But we’re not stopping there.

"At Open Systems, we make it our business to understand our customer’s challenges and we know climate change affects all customers worldwide. Achieving carbon-neutral status is the first step, but it’s an integral part of our sustainability strategy as a cybersecurity services provider."

Geoff Haydon, Open Systems CEO

The Greening of Technology

As a company, we’ve moved more services to the cloud, and we will route our web traffic through green backbone networks. Because some of our customers have hardware run on premises, some services will always need to be offset, but we’ll move more services to the green cloud. In the meantime, we include any customer premises equipment (CPE) owned by Open Systems in our CO2 scope, in addition to our own corporate footprint.

Looking ahead, we’re committed to driving our services to be net zero or net negative. The first step in achieving it is tackling the science-based targets we’re establishing. Our net-zero transition plan also leverages our relationship with Microsoft, and the more data and workloads we move to Azure, the smaller our carbon footprint.

By working closely with Microsoft, we’re aligning with a great company that has established its own goals to be net negative. Microsoft is actively designing its data centers, building their own renewable energy power plants, to provide compute capacity in a green, sustainable way.

Science-Based Targets Initiative

Open Systems is working with Schneider Electric on a Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). SBTi is a framework for setting targets using a set of robust tools based on climate science, verifying the data and target-setting ambition. This framework also requires companies to report on their progress each year. This collaboration with Schneider Electric will help Open Systems identify the key components we can influence in creating our services, from sourcing green hardware to shifting even more work to the cloud.

This is just the beginning of our sustainability mindset and we’re actively working on a decarbonization strategy to produce even more tangible results. Watch for more updates in the future.