IFS outlines multi-year sustainability strategy
IFS today announces its promise to sustainability through a plan to improve the company’s own operations, enable customers to achieve their sustainability goals, as well as influence the industry at large to improve its accountability to our environment. IFS’s values, culture and business model are linked to its vision to provide the best possible experience to its customers. The relationship between this vision, leading by example and providing sustainability technology are key to systematising a sustainable mindset and behaviour.
The multi-year plan lays out the company’s stepped approach and commitments for the next three years and brings IFS’s long-term thinking on the importance of sustainability internally and its ecosystem and owners to the fore.
The stepped approach will be established around three core pillars:
1. Our own business
In line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, IFS has identified several areas where it increase its focus for greater impact.
- Education: The IFS Education Program already works with nearly 80 universities and higher education institutions globally. The programme provides scholarships, grants, IT equipment as well as practical knowledge through internships and mentorships for students. Over the course of the next three years, IFS plans to expand the programme to 150 institutions globally.
- Carbon emissions: In a programme started in 2019, IFS committed to reducing its carbon footprint in part through consolidating its real-estate and improving the green credentials of its properties. From mid-2019 to date, IFS has reduced the square meterage of its global real estate by 9.5%, shrunk its car fleet by 86% versus 2019 and is committing to reach carbon neutrality by 2025.
- Philanthropy: IFS champions and partners with the IFS Foundation to alleviate poverty and other social ills in Sri Lankan rural villages – Sri Lanka is home to the largest proportion of the IFS workforce. The IFS Foundation’s mission is to help improve the living standards of people in the countryside by addressing aspects of health, water and sanitation, education and economy, and resulting in a self-sustained community. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in Sri Lanka have already improved the lives of over 3 000 people. IFS supports the IFS Foundation’s planned expansion to encompass additional areas within remote and rural areas of Sri Lanka.
- Developing an impact mindset: IFS is looking for ways to further accelerate its employee awareness of and contribution to the sustainability agenda. We will be introducing a framework to trigger people's mindsets and to guide engagement. The framework will drive how the company is making it possible for its employees to impact sustainability as individuals and assess how successful IFS is at engaging its workforce behind the impact mindset.
Volunteering: all employees are given the opportunity to invest one workday a year to support a charitable cause of their choice. In 2023, we strive to have the equivalent of three years’ worth of work invested by our employees
Employees: IFS has set the bar high against peers in the industry in terms of diversity in employee mix sets. For example, women make up 34% of the business, above the industry average for tech.
- We will continue to drive grass-roots programmes such as the IFS Education Program to foster diversity across the industry.
- The health and wellbeing of employees remains top of mind, with a new programme being launched for employees across the world and measured by bi-annual employee surveys.
Governance – IFS has always maintained policies on human rights and anti-slavery and will further ensure that this is not only in line with UN criteria and reporting, but also pervasively included in the education of its employees.
2. Our customers’ businesses
Increase energy efficiency: In March 2021, IFS launched IFS Cloud, is a single platform that IFS customers can deploy on-premises or in the cloud in a modular way, taking advantage of the latest technologies and thus reducing needless computer processing and storage. When deployed in the cloud, such as on Azure, IFS Cloud is 52%-79% more energy efficient than compute equivalents deployed in traditional data centres, and storage is 71%-79% more energy efficient than storage equivalents deployed in traditional enterprise data centres*.
Sustainability technology to give back: Recognising the need and pressures many customers must monitor, manage and report on their own sustainability goals and commitments, IFS is producing a new module within IFS Cloud specifically for sustainability management. With so much information held within the value chains that IFS Cloud connects, this new module will be offered as standard to all IFS Cloud customers in late 2021. IFS will donate a share of the licence revenue generated by the module to sustainability causes.
Innovation for sustainability: To propel the ideation and delivery of added sustainability scenarios for IFS Cloud, a yearly hackathon will be launched on 21 April and will run for three days, across Earth Day (Thursday 22 April). Teams from all over IFS’s research & development (R&D), customer-facing and internal divisions are taking part together with our partner ecosystem. Please contact us here if you are interested in joining one of our teams. IFS will also continue to strengthen its IFS Incubator programme along the 10 principles and the key statements that describe how we implement sustainability at IFS at the corporate level, in our businesses and at the regional level.
3. Our industry at large
To raise awareness around the importance of sustainability at a macro level and to help improve its own approach to sustainability, IFS will be making two significant appointments, one internal in creating the role of Director Global Sustainability (ESG) and one external by appointing Lewis Pugh as its Sustainability Ambassador. Pugh is the UN Patron of the Oceans. Pugh will influence IFS’s sustainability plan, as well as engage with the IFS ecosystem to challenge and celebrate sustainability best practice.
Commenting on his appointment, IFS Sustainability Ambassador Pugh said: “We need governments, businesses and individuals to all play a role in making positive change. I am pleased to be working with IFS, whose team is clearly taking the issue of sustainability seriously. Having the ability to engage with their ecosystem of customers and partners presents an opportunity to have an impact at scale.” He continued: “Climate change is an existential threat to life on earth. We now need all hands-on deck to tackle this crisis.”
Darren Roos, CEO of IFS, added: “IFS has a long-term responsible approach to creating value for customers. By considering sustainability as an integral part of our business model, we not only capture value creating opportunities, but we can mitigate risks and stay on course to be successful in our sustainability strategy.” Roos continued: “The progress achieved over the last couple of years to improve IFS’s approach to sustainability has been meaningful, but with the launch of this multi-year plan, we are making commitments and make ourselves accountable. This is meaningful to our customers, our employees, our owners and our community at large.”
To find out more about how IFS is helping customers achieve their sustainability goals, please visit: ifs.com/sustainability