Sprint greens IT, reduces carbon emissions and operating costs

Sprint, Forrester |  Green IT, Earth Day, recycling

IT innovations save $20 million in operating costs and reduce carbon emissions by 10,450 metric tons

Sprint announced today that a recent internal audit of IT operations, to manage data center growth and eliminate IT redundancies, resulted in significant economic and environmental gains. The approach Sprint used to examine its IT infrastructure cut approximately $20 million worth of operating costs and reduced the company’s overall IT carbon footprint by approximately 10,450 metric tons. A newly released Forrester Research case study documents the company's 11-month internal audit and its findings.

According to a Sprint press release, the Forrester case study examines the economic and environmental return on investment achieved through Sprint's internal audit of IT operations. Efforts to decrease mounting maintenance and support costs led Sprint to retire underutilized applications, eliminate and redeploy servers, and free data center capacity, all of which decreased carbon emissions and reduced power consumption. The case study highlights Sprint’s success in addressing data center growth in environmentally sustainable ways:

  • Reducing its overall IT spend by $20 million, which relied in part on the phase-out of 127 nonessential applications
  • Reclaiming $28 million by retiring or redeploying 2,239 servers and reclaiming 291,042 gigabytes of storage, reducing the need to expand storage space or add new servers
  • Avoiding the need to build a new data center facility, by redeploying servers and reclaiming storage
  • Cutting carbon emissions related to powering its data center by 10,450 metric tons, a step that brings Sprint closer to its 2017 goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 15 percent. (According to EPA data, such emissions reductions equal taking 2,000 passenger cars off the road.)

“We believe this case study shows that an internal review of business operations can achieve a ‘win-win’ for both the environment and any organization’s IT operations,” said Josh Morton, vice president of IT operations for Sprint. “By turning inward to examine where we could cut costs and improve efficiencies, we increased Sprint’s ability to redirect our IT budget toward strategic initiatives and innovation and away from maintenance and support, while also benefitting the environment.”

Sprint plans to continue to expand the depth and breadth of its green IT efforts by improving data center power and cooling efficiencies; moving mini-computing labs into one central data center, and continuing to expand its paper waste and e-waste reduction efforts. The Sprint case study is “a strategic best practice,” Morton said. “It outlines the business case for greening IT operations and offers proof points that any business executive challenged by rising IT operations costs can put into practice.”

In addition to Sprint’s green IT efforts, Sprint is committed to the reuse and recycling of the wireless devices it sells. In recognition of Earth Day, Sprint has set a goal to collect 250,000 wireless devices in April, a 25 percent increase over last April’s collection rate. Sprint has also set an aggressive, industry-first goal of reaching a 90 percent collection rate for reuse/recycling compared with annual wireless device sales by 2017. Since 2001, Sprint wireless recycling programs have diverted more than 16 million cell phones from landfills for reuse or recycling. Sprint’s collection rate is just under 35 percent, over three times the national recycling average. Get more information on Sprint programs that protect the environment.

Get a copy of the Forrester case study.

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