Four projects from around the world were selected for the IBC2023 Social Impact Awards, in the Environment and Sustainability category.

The IBC2023 Social Impact Awards recognise an initiative or campaign that is making a positive impact, socially, ethically or environmentally, in the wider world. They celebrate the industry’s willingness to engage with today’s big issues, like sustainability, diversity and wellbeing.


A look back on IBC2022: Enviroment and Sustainability Award

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With climate change an increasingly urgent issue, the Awards entries for Environment and Sustainability show companies leading the charge in the Media and Entertainment world. The finalists all show-cased inspiring and scalable actions which could be integrated across the industry, by everyone from content makers and broadcasters, to the designers, engineers and users of hardware or software. With rapidly growing amounts of data being processed and stored, there was also a focus on clean power.

The finalists are: Iron Mountain Data Centers’ carbon free initiative, Seagate’s circularity programme for sustainable data storage, 4MOD’s life cycle assessment and Love Island and eBay’s partnership towards sustainable fashion choices.

Iron Mountain Data Centers: Carbon-free compute by 2040

Iron Mountain Data Centers is on the path to using 100% locally sourced clean electricity 100% of the time with the aim of making its operations carbon free.

Data centers consume vast amounts of power and the sector and its workloads are growing fast. Netherlands-based Iron Mountain Data Centers (IMDC) is a global provider of colocation data centre services, providing the building, cooling, power and bandwidth for storage. The company provides over 370,000 square metres of space to a wide mix of customers in over 21 facilities on three continents.

Since 2017, Iron Mountain has been the only global data center provider with renewable power agreements that more than offset 100%. In 2021, it pledged to use 100% clean electricity, 100% of the time by 2040. This would make all of its, and its customers’ operations, truly carbon-free.

This initiative is a first in the colocation industry. In 2021, there was only one other global company – Google – that had made the same commitment. So, Iron Mountain decided to model its approach on Google’s own.

Aiming for more completely decarbonised electricity procurement required a new methodology for matching site-by-site electricity use with local clean power generation, every hour, every day.

Iron Mountain has also begun to restructure much of its power purchasing to procure hourly renewable energy supply and to track this supply.

Iron Mountain is working with customers, partners and other users, and organisations such as RE100 and the 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact to develop the metrics and reporting tools needed. The process it is following is entirely open source.

Collectively the sites now under hourly clean energy tracking represent over 75% of the Iron Mountain Centers annual electricity consumption. Monitoring has been extended across the whole Iron Mountain Group.

Seagate: Extending the life of a million disk drives

Seagate has extended the life of over one million hard disk drives and solid state drives through its refurbishment and circularity programme in 2022, preventing over 540 metric tons of e-waste from going to landfill.

Based in the US, data storage company Seagate has recognised the unsustainable nature of the current linear or take-make-waste consumption model and worked on prolonging the life of products through repair, refurbishment, components extraction, or material recovery.

The company implements multiple standards for data purge and sanitisation. The adherence to these standards, along with evidence from Ontrack, ensures that the data processed by Seagate becomes unrecoverable on hard disk drives. Moreover, Seagate’s self-encrypting drives and instant secure erase (ISE) capabilities allow for data to be digitally wiped, so the drives can be redeployed in the market, instead of being shredded and contributing to e-waste.

Seagate also makes significant investments into R&D of breakthrough technologies, which contribute to extending product lifecycles, and provide better data durability and security.

In 2022, Seagate helped found the Circular Drive Initiative (CDI). This collaboration with global leaders in digital storage, sustainability, and blockchain focuses on reducing e-waste by promoting and enabling the secure reuse of storage hardware.

Media and Entertainment is one of the most data hungry industries. According to the IDC 2022 Global StorageSphere Report, the M&E industry represents over a Zettabyte (1,000 Exabytes) of all types of data combined. All this data, at some point, needs to be stored and archived. Hence, it is important now, more than ever, for the industry players to rethink their data management infrastructure and take responsible measures for a more sustainable data economy.

4MOD: Life Cycle Assessment delivers ecologically responsible products

4MOD’s Life Cycle Assessment process integrates LCA data-driven decisions into its operations, ensuring continual improvement in the environmental impacts of products and services.

The French-based company that specialises in the design and engineering of remote control units and Internet of Things devices, incorporates Life Cycle Assessment into its daily operations and developmental processes to deliver ecologically responsible products and solutions to customers. No decision is made without a comprehensive evaluation of its environmental impact.

The method goes beyond a singular focus on CO2 emissions. 4MOD has adopted a holistic approach, considering several indicators such as climate change, resource use, and acidification to give us a rounded view of the environmental footprint.

Over the past five years, it has refined its LCA process, incorporating research findings and implementing an array of tools using ISO 14040/44 as a foundation.

Since 2022 it has produced 16 LCAs covering its complete Radio Control Unit line up and 90% of the Internet of Things products that it produces. It provides all clients with an LCA for their products, irrespective of whether they are in production or in the early stages of development.

The 4MOD Ultra Green Remote Control is a battery-free remote control, powered solely by an organic photovoltaic panel and an optimised power consumption system. The housing is fabricated from recycled plastic and the printed circuit board (PCB) uses a flexible substrate, foregoing the use of the environmentally detrimental FR4 material. The result is a 41% less environmental impact than a traditional remote.

For clients with existing products, the initial step is to quantify the total environmental impact of the product, following which 4MOD explores opportunities for improvement.

The company also dedicates 90% of its research initiatives towards sustainability.

Love Island: Shining a light on second-hand clothing with eBay

Love Island’s partnership with eBay has inspired sustainable shopping among a huge audience.

The ITV show reframed desirable fashion by partnering with eBay to spotlight pre-loved clothing. The campaign brought second hand fashion into the mainstream, helping inspire sustainable shopping choices among a huge audience.

By activating across every possible touchpoint, including in-show product placement, social media/digital activations, auctioning the Islander’s outfits and eBay homepage take-overs, the pioneering partnership inspired millions to move towards pre-loved fashion, with 3.1 million people more likely to shop sustainably as a direct result of watching the show, according to a YouGov survey of 1,500 UK adults.

The partnership changed perceptions of eBay around sustainability. eBay saw a 7,000% increase in searches for ‘pre-loved clothes’ on site, and a 359% increase in Google searches. One item of clothing was sold on eBay every minute that the partnership was live.

ITV, Britain’s biggest commercial broadcaster, reaches over 40 million viewers every week. The company recognises that it is in an unmatched position to make a positive difference to its audiences and the wider world. It has ambitious 2030 climate action targets and in 2022, ITV updated its Climate Content Pledge commitments, including a promise to “embed climate and nature-positive content across all genres, for all audiences.”

The IBC2023 Social Impact Awards

This year, the Social Impact Awards are a part of IBC’s Changemakers programme, on Sunday 17th September, which focuses on initiatives aimed at making the industry more equitable, inclusive, accessible and green. The winners will be announced at a presentation at the end of the programme.

You’ll find more information about the awards, the finalists and the judging panel on our IBC2023 Awards page.