The Viking Approach to a Sustainable Future
Anna Dobrovolskaya, CMO at Internet Vikings “If the Planet Could Speak; What Would It Say About Your Business?”
Bold, ambitious, and powerful; are just a few words that describe a “Viking”. Therefore, it is no surprise that the global hosting provider, Internet Vikings,’ journey to sustainability has been nothing short of inspiring, efficient, and profound.
The U.S. dominant company started their journey a few years ago by strategically planning how they could reduce their environmental footprint. It is safe to say that Internet Vikings’ efforts towards Green IT started as a few small steps from company initiatives and grew to become part of the core upon which all company services and operations are based, creating a better world for their employees, customers, and even those who may never encounter them.
Since the start of their venture, it has developed into more than just “greener IT”. Their eco projects range from employee welfare, environmental clean-ups, lectures, and actively reducing their carbon emissions contributions.
Anna, it is one thing to set a mission and vision for change, but it is another to succeed in it. How do you feel Internet Vikings has made a positive difference in our world since starting the GreenIT initiative?
“The answer to your question is complex and thought-provoking. We need to understand, as leaders in sustainability, that sometimes you will not see the positive differences from day 1, or day 2, maybe not even after a year. However, that is what going green is all about. It is the long-term process of protecting our community and pushing, remaining inspired, and dedicated to initiatives even if you know you may only see the results later in your journey. Some may only find benefit in projects that yield immediate results. Still, at Internet Vikings, we are aiming for a holistic approach to sustainability that changes almost every aspect of our working lives in order to secure our place, and our clients’ place, within the industry for the future. Let’s face it, if we do not implement long-term changes, the short-term changes will not have the lasting impact we need.
The way in which we are continuously giving back to the community by engaging in worldwide activities has seen our workforce grow. We have seen a drastic decline in our carbon footprint by reducing work travel significantly, ensuring all employees have the appropriate equipment to be able to work from home, or green offices with energy-reducing systems in place. As well as inspiring others to start their own journey by hosting free sustainability lectures”
Since ecological business practices have transformed from a trend into a crucial way of working, tech businesses are evolving with a focus on social responsibility, global protection, and conscious governance. The urgent need to become sustainable is crucial for all types of companies in the market but is especially relevant for tech suppliers.
What about the internal operations – would it be correct to say that Internet Vikings aims to become not only a global tech provider but leaders in ecological protection?
“Absolutely. There is no space for non-sustainable practices at Internet Vikings, and this will be a continuous journey for us to reach this goal, and we will do so with persistence and vigor. We have taken into consideration all aspects of our business; social equality, environmental protection, and thoughtful practices, giving each the same amount of importance as the other.
Since heavily focusing on employee welfare and social equality, we have seen a drastic rise in productivity and morale within the team. Our workers feel comfortable and happy, which translates into successful partnerships. We strive to maintain a healthy work/life balance by implementing protocols that allow our staff to feel in control of their working hours, project systems, and growth. Equality is more than just a word, it is a way of being, and we believe in embracing social equality, which includes but is not limited to gender, origin, language, opinions, religion, and health. 45% of our global team members are women, and 40% of the C-level management team are women, actively inspiring future generations. We have team members from all over the world from Bulgaria, Malta, Poland, South Africa, Ukraine, and the United States, all with different social backgrounds.
Besides having Vikings all over the globe, we also have sites and customers worldwide, and protecting our planet is part of our corporate culture. To enhance the quality of life on earth, we work with partners both inside and outside the sector that share our same vision, hoping that we can contribute to the “missing piece” in a global effort to ensure its future. At our Stockholm office, our supplier has a “Bra Miljöval” certification, and our most significant provider of network services and colocation uses 100% renewable energy. This is directly influenced by our internal policy that ensures we support those that share our environmental duties. Without forgetting that we even have guidelines in place that only allow Internet Vikings merchandise to be created using recycled materials where possible.”
Based on today’s social climate and environmental challenges, can you explain the “Viking Approach” to a better future?
“To achieve sustainability, a company needs to reflect internally, and ultimately change the relationship they have with the world. They need to evaluate how they exist as a member of a global community and what practices may be having a detrimental impact on our planet’s future. The first step is to think and develop ecologically. An environmentally conscious business structure will stand the test of time and grow with our planet instead of being threatened by its rapid changes due to its many negative impacts.
Our mission at Internet Vikings states that we need to evaluate, develop, and ensure how we can eliminate negative impacts on the world. Unless you change the way in which your company produces its products, it isn’t enough to just participate in initiatives and continue to negatively affect the environment.
Our involvement in projects such as iGen Safer Gambling Week, The BreakIT Challenge, and Save Our Oceans beach clean-ups have had a positive effect on members of the community and supported local wildlife, however, it doesn’t stop there, because to be truly sustainable we changed the way our company operates to focus on making a better future, today”
For Internet Vikings leading an industry movement in sustainability is paramount. “It is more than a Green IT project, more than ISO 14001 certification or loud company statements. It’s a part of our DNA, it’s a way of living, thinking, and operating.” A proud conclusion by Anna Dobrovolskaya, CMO at Internet Vikings. Anna and her team have no plans to stop their evolution anytime soon. She invites everyone to join their community and start the big industry switch to conquer new achievements with an even bigger impact, together.