Bechtle: Pursuing a Multi-Faceted Sustainability Strategy

“Our sustainability goals and key performance indicators are important to us. We’re committed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in areas we can influence by 2030 with a three-pronged approach that includes avoidance, reduction and compensation.” — Arthur Schneider, Head of Sustainability Management

One of Europe’s largest IT services providers, Bechtle offers a full IT portfolio to more than 70,000 enterprises and public sector customers in 14 countries throughout Europe. Providing hardware, software, and IT solutions and services, the company also delivers an extensive array of cloud offerings from dedicated private clouds to deployments with the world’s largest hyperscalers, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

Bechtle also offers the Google Cloud VMware Engine, an offering that empowers enterprises to quickly realize the power of Google Cloud while using the VMware technologies they know and trust. Notably, Bechtle also achieved the VMware Cloud Verified distinction.

We recently connected with Arthur Schneider, Head of Sustainability Management at Bechtle to learn more about the company’s sustainability initiatives, what it means to be part of the VMware Zero Committed Initiative and what he sees in his work with customers. We also took the opportunity to learn where he sees the greatest opportunities to make a difference.

“Bechtle is unique for a number of reasons, among them the fact that we offer a unique blend of IT services, from systems integration to running our customers’ full IT infrastructure if desired,” says Schneider. “We offer this through more than 80 facilities we refer to as IT system houses, and also provide IT leaders with IT E-commerce throughout Europe, a one-stop source of the supplies they need, from printer cartridges and laptops to full infrastructure-as-a-service or a custom-designed server farm.”

Schneider notes that because Bechtle business extends far beyond the company’s data center operations its sustainability efforts also encompass a much wider array of business functions. This includes a large effort not only to achieve a core tenet of the VMware Zero Carbon Committed initiative – to power the VMware operations and datacenters with 100% renewable energy by 2030 – but also to radically reduce the carbon footprint of Bechtle’s logistics and fulfillment operations.

“On the most basic level, in our Sustainable Strategy 2030 effort we’ve defined four main areas of action we will focus on, including Ethical Business, Environment, People, and Digital Future,” adds Schneider. “Some of our goals include achieving net-zero status by 2030, extending our portfolio of sustainable products, increasing diversity across management levels, and achieving sustainability goals in our procurement and supply chain operations.”

This multi-faceted approach can be seen in the scale and scope of Bechtle’s sustainability efforts. For example, the company’s headquarters at Neckarsulm achieved the noteworthy achievement of being powered by 100% green energy since 2021. Furthermore, the facility that serves more than 2,000 people, uses geothermal, photovoltaic, and solar thermal systems. Datacenters are also built with sustainability in mind. The company’s Pfalzkom datacenter in Mutterstadt, for example, is entirely powered by green electricity.

Additional investments extend Bechtle’s efforts further. Examples include the purchase of 50 Volkswagen ID.3 all-electric cars and the installation of numerous electric vehicle charging stations across the company’s operations. Bechtle even unveiled the Bechtle box, a special shipping container made out of 80% recyclable materials that can be reused many times and folded for return to Bechtle during subsequent deliveries.

“We are consistently looking at sustainability efforts from a three-pronged approach that includes avoidance, reduction, and compensation and that means looking at our entire operation,” says Schneider. “We’ve defined a sustainable portfolio: sustainable product consulting, green logistics and packaging services, repair services, product end-of-life services, and perhaps most importantly energy efficient cloud hosting.”

Schneider stresses that the cloud by its very nature offers perhaps the greatest potential, both because it consolidates power consumption into far more efficient facilities, and because it empowers others to likewise reduce their carbon footprint, whether it’s enabling remote work or replacing inefficient legacy hardware.

“Enabling enterprises to move from on premises locations to the co-locations that are powered by sustainable sources of course offers the opportunity to dramatically reduce emissions,” he says. “Sustainability has become a responsibility for all of society. Our customers have their own goals and they want to see similar actions on behalf of their vendors. VMware’s Zero Carbon Committed initiative is a great way to help demonstrate and act on that shared vision.”

Learn more about Bechtle and its partnership with VMware here.  

Cloud Management, Green IT