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NetApp Sustainability Commitment Continues with an EcoVadis Gold Rating

The News: News of NetApp’s sustainability commitment with an EcoVadis Gold rating is a pretty big deal. NetApp has a deep commitment to sustainability not just within its organization, but also focused on helping customers reach their sustainability goals by way of tools designed to help customers make better sustainability decisions. Read more on NetApp’s sustainability focus here.

NetApp Sustainability Commitment Continues with an EcoVadis Gold Rating

Analyst Take: I recently attended a briefing by the NetApp team on the company’s current and future sustainability efforts. It was exciting to learn that EcoVadis, one of the leading evidence-based leaders in the ESG realm, and an SAP partner, has awarded NetApp a gold rating for its sustainability efforts across the realm of ESG. This is a significant accomplishment — with this recognition NetApp joins the 7% of companies who achieved a gold rating.

More and more, we are seeing companies make a solid commitment to sustainability and those commitments, when recognized for the success of their sustainability efforts, can lead to a significant competitive advantage.

The Specifics of NetApp’s Sustainability Commitment

During the briefing, Lisa Borgeson, NetApp VP ESG provided insight into NetApp’s commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions across scopes one, two, and three. In scopes one and two (direct and indirect emissions from its operations), NetApp has committed to a science aligned target of approximately 42% reduction of those emissions by 2030. NetApp sustainability strategies include continuing to purchase renewable energy, consolidating NetApp real estate and continuing to run more efficient labs and data centers. Measuring and reducing scope three emissions is more of a challenge because it really represents the value chain of the entire product. Though challenging, NetApp sustainability is committed to reduce scope three emissions 50% by 2030.

To further help customers in their sustainability efforts, NetApp has been preparing and publishing carbon footprint reports on its website. The reports are done in conjunction with a MIT consortium called PIAA, which has a widely accepted means for calculating lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions for hardware. In addition, NetApp shared that the company complies with environmental regulations around the world and publishes those certifications on the website to review. Most recently, NetApp has achieved the 80 Plus titanium certification required by the EU, making NetApp PSU more efficient in accordance with those regulations.

NetApp Sustainability Technology

Matt Watts, NetApp’s Chief Technology Evangelist, provided an overview of NetApp sustainability tools designed to help customers with their sustainability efforts. These tools include:

  • Harvest and Grafana. Harvest and Grafana are open source tools designed for monitoring different aspects of NetApp systems. NetApp has built into these tools real time insights into power consumption, as well as temperature monitoring for NetApp arrays. This is attractive to many customers since they are open source and freely available.
  • Cloud Insights. Cloud Insights is NetApp’s infrastructure and analytics platform, which gives customers the ability to dig into the power monitoring and temperature reporting across any one of their arrays. This helps customers identify which workloads are creating or using the most power over time and again.
  • Snap Mirror. Snap Mirror enables seamless data replication for ONTAP between a source data volume in a primary storage repository and a destination volume or volumes in a secondary repository, over a network (i.e., LAN, WAN, internet) at high speed.
  • Cloud Synch. Cloud Synch allows customers to take data from any source into any location. This makes it very easy for companies to take data or workloads from on premises, NetApp or otherwise, into Amazon, Microsoft, or Google.
  • Cloud Data Sets. Cloud Data Sets scans any storage identifying duplicate data, what data has been accessed and when it was last accessed, helping customers better understand their data to help drive their sustainability decision-making.
  • Project Astra. Project Astra is designed to help customers integrate and provide data management around Kubernetes. Astra coordinates and manages portability of containers across different clouds and across different Kubernetes distributions. Astra can relocate workloads not just because of cost and performance capacity, but also around sustainability around power consumption as well.

The Future Direction for NetApp’s Sustainability Initiatives

Scott Morrison, NetApp’s CTO HyperCard engineering, provided a preview into the future of NetApp’s sustainability initiatives. He emphasized that he and NetApp have a deep and continued commitment to sustainable storage and that one of the major sustainability initiatives NetApp is focused on is power consumption.

BlueXP, introduced in November, is a consolidation of the different views and a sort of command center that the company has had across its product line. It provides a big picture view of a customer’s entire data state regardless of whether it is on prem or out into the cloud. NetApp shared the company is working to surface the entire state of power consumption across the data state, which will provide customers with a good picture of their overall sustainability efforts.

The NetApp team shared that the company is looking at developing sustainability baselines in different industries, so that customers can compare themselves to their peers in the same industry.

With NetApp’s investment in AI ops, NetApp’s goal is to help customers make automated decisions that basically balance where the data is according to whatever the customer’s individual sustainability goals are. Customers must look at a mix of cost, performance characteristics, sustainability, compliance and different factors in order to decide where data can live. As much as possible, it’s NetApp’s goal automate this for its customers.

NetApp shared that the company is also looking at improving Cloud Tiering to make it more intelligent. This involves enabling the tool to look at the nature of the customer’s files, how often they’re used, and based on the characteristics seen in the past, help customers make decisions about moving files off into really cold storage which could be tape, or even an SSD that gets powered down. This is guided toward the idea that NetApp can create a much more sustainable data state.

Wrapping up, it is not surprising that the NetApp sustainability commitment has yielded the organization the EcoVadis gold rating. The company’s moves in the sustainability space are laudable and focused on helping customers in an area where much help is needed. I look forward to continuing to watch the progress the company makes on this front moving forward.

As an aside, we are very familiar with EcoVadis. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to interview Jeff Harvey, Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, Industry Cloud/SAP Customer Success at SAP about several SAP partners that are addressing sustainability, including EcoVadis. My team at Futurum Research also had the opportunity to take a deeper look at EcoVadis in a recent research brief, which you can find here.

Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.

Other insights from Futurum Research:

Sustainability: The New Business Imperative – Futurum Tech Webcast Interview Series 

Diving Into What it Takes to Achieve Your Carbon Emissions Targets and the Technology That Can Help Make that Easier – Good Equals Progress Webcast

Honeywell Environmental Sustainability Index, Q1 2023

Image Credit: NetApp

Author Information

Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”

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