Canalys Calls Out Vendors, Channel Partners on Sustainability

“The stakes are getting higher. The need for sustainability is an economic necessity,” warns Canalys.

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

October 27, 2022

2 Min Read

Channel analyst firm Canalys is calling on partners to help their customers urgently reduce energy consumption and improve efficiency. It is also warning partners to immediately make changes to their businesses to embrace sustainability.


Canalys’ Alastair Edwards at Canalys Forums 2022 in Barcelona.

“We can all see how the stakes are getting higher,” said chief analyst Alastair Edwards.

“This summer brought the worst drought in Europe for the last 500 years,” he added. “For the first time, water became a geopolitical factor in Europe. And now with energy inflation exploding, your customers urgently need to reduce energy consumption and improve efficiency. At current rates, the IT industry will account for over 11% of global energy usage by 2030. In other words, the need for sustainability is more than just an ethical argument; it is an economic necessity.

“Everywhere you look, the CEOs of your customers are being held more accountable than ever for meeting targets. So these two forces – energy and climate change – will drive forward the sustainability movement.”

Lucrative Opportunities

Edwards’ comments were part a keynote presentation at the Canalys Forum 2022 in Barcelona. There, he also addressed the question of how the channel can profit from sustainability.

“We see that we are just the start of a sustainable tech revolution which will create lucrative opportunities for all of you in this room,” he said. “We’ve compiled a list of over 40 services and solutions that you can deliver to your customers. [These add] up to a multibillion-dollar opportunity for the channel over the next five years.”

The analyst said that to be credible to customers, partners themselves need to be more sustainable.

“Most of you have big ambitions,” he said. “But the worry is that as economic pressure grows, some of those ambitions are going to be scaled down.

“It’s important that you maintain those ambitions. Be ambitious. Set bold targets both internally and externally — externally in terms of what you deliver and what you do internally within your business. Make everyone in your organisation accountable for sustainability. Change culture. Change behaviour.”

Challenges to Vendors

Edwards said Canalys’ recommendations to vendors are also clear.

“Start reporting sales of refurbished products along with takeback volumes. Reward your partners for selling refurbished products rather than trying to compete with them. We recognise the challenges this creates for you in the vendor community,” Edwards said. “Your shareholders want you to sell new products, but that’s not an excuse. You need to start educating your shareholders today about what this means tomorrow.

“It’s going to take a bold move, but we predict one of the vendors in this room will start reporting sales of refurbished products within the next 12 months.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Christine Horton or connect with her on LinkedIn.


About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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