TD Synnex claims it is setting the pace on decarbonisation after moving the last of its four UK locations to green energy.
The distribution giant has told IT Channel Oxygen that 100% of the electricity its UK business consumes now comes from renewable sources.
The last of its four hubs in Bracknell – which is situated in a multi-tenant building – has now moved to a renewable source following negotiations with the landlord and other tenants, Sustainability Director Kevin Wragg revealed.
“The co-workers were asking for it. They want us to be as green as possible. And it has a positive impact on our scope 1 and 2 emissions,” Wragg said.
“It’s not that difficult to achieve; it’s usually just a conversation with your energy provider.
“It’s a little harder if you’re in a multi-tenancy building, because the landlord will only do it if everyone agrees. That was what the delay was on the fourth property. Once we’d lobbied the other tenants and convinced them, it was a no brainer for the landlord.”
TD Synnex employs around 1,000 UK staff, around 600 of which are at the new Basingstoke base it relocated to last year (pictured below), partly on the grounds of its superior energy efficiency.
“Going big” on sustainability
The green energy push comes after $60bn-revenue TD Synnex opted to “go big” on sustainability at a global level 18-20 months back, Wragg said.
Following in the footsteps of Westcon-Comstor, TD Synnex could have its group decarbonisation targets approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as soon as January/February 2024, he indicated.
The UK&I arm’s decision to carve out a full-time sustainability role for Wragg was a “big statement” in the wake of the global push, he added.
“This has given me an element of freedom to do whatever it is we feel we need to do in the UK,” Wragg explained.
“We’re lucky that [UK&I VP] Dave [Watts] said ‘right, I’m going to ring-fence that payroll’. Other organisations will just make it part of someone’s job. How much time they can dedicate to it, I don’t really know, but I’m able to dedicate 100% of my time to it.”
“I’ve seen 550 partners this year”
Wragg estimates that he has seen between 550 and 600 reseller and vendor partners in 2023 alone.
“Around 40% of my time is trying to make the UK&I organisation greener, leaner, more efficient and more environmentally friendly,” Wragg said.
“But 60% of my time is being the public face and telling people what we’re doing, either one-to-one with a vendor or reseller, or in workshops like last week, when I was with 50 Adobe resellers. This week I’m with a load of Microsoft resellers trying to evangelise the topic.
“The reason they sometimes want to know what we’re doing is because their end customers are asking them what their supply chain looks like. So we’re trying to be very transparent and provide thought leadership.
“If there are resellers that want to engage, we’re happy to engage with them. And we’re doing lots of work with vendors like Lenovo, Cisco and Microsoft, who are looking at different ways of doing things.”
Having enlisted net zero consultancy Arete Carbon Zero to measure and reduce its own emissions, TD Synnex has now extended that partnership by making a number of its consultancy packages available to its resellers. The distributor offers financing to help spread the cost of this.
TD Synnex is also “99% ready” to begin offering remanufactured laptops from some of its vendors as the pressure rises for organisations to buy a mixture of new and second-hand devices, Wragg said.
He conceded that there is often still an “internal tension” that exists between the sustainability and sales teams at vendors when it comes to selling new kit.
“But I think the days of a tier-one vendor not embracing the circular economy are gone,” Wragg said. “It’s just a question of when, not if.”
“We wanted to be leaders, and I think that’s where we are right now”
Most of the big distributors are committing to SBTi and making more noise around sustainability.
Does Wragg feel TD Synnex – which ranked second in IT Channel Oxygen’s recent Top 45 Must-Know IT Distributors – is an early mover?
“The resellers and vendors tell us we’re doing a good job and leading the pack. How accurate that is, I don’t know, but it does feel like that,” he replied.
“We wanted to be the evangelists on the topic in distribution. We wanted to be best in class and the thought leaders on this. I think that’s where we are right now. Others will catch us, and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.
“I think as an industry, we need more people to do what we’re doing, and what Westcon are doing, as overall the IT channel then benefits from that.”