Network as a Service (NaaS), Sustainability, and the Circular Economy

Jun 10, 2022

NaaS is enabling organizations to reduce their environmental impact and achieve their sustainability goals.

Credit: iStock

By: Amrita Shergill, Account Manager, NaaS and Ecosystem Sales

Organizations have struggled to develop innovative technologies that are environmentally friendly and reduce the impact on the world. Sustainability is another challenge that leaders have strived to meet. Since the pandemic, NaaS solutions are growing quickly due to the need for a hybrid workforce, the demand for CapEx during off-budget cycles, and the shortage of employees with a networking skill set. 

Experienced NaaS vendors draw upon their depth and breadth of product and solution knowledge to provide the ideal network configuration. This in turn can reduce a company’s carbon footprint by optimizing energy consumption. To further reduce that carbon footprint, these vendors are sourcing electricity from renewables and utilizing artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML)-based models to optimize power consumption. 

According to IDC1, 82 percent of organizations recognize the importance of IT asset disposition (ITAD), e-waste Management services, and sustainability, while 77 percent agree ITAD services are an essential element of a NaaS offering. Secure asset decommissioning reduces the risk of financial penalties and data breaches and helps meet sustainability goals. Beyond regulatory and financial penalty concerns, disposal efforts are also a burden for IT staff. Deploying a NaaS offering can also help reduce these issues. 

ITAD is a fundamental element of NaaS. By removing this burden from the IT staff, it provides significant benefits compared to a purchase or lease. Additionally, as sustainability requirements increase, including the need to quantify environmental, social and governance (ESG) programs, IT organizations will rely on vendor partners to provide them with key metrics for sustainability and environmental reporting such as power usage, carbon emissions, and end-of-life disposal metrics (e.g., recycle, refurbish, or disposal).

The importance of sustainability can be observed in the rise of hiring chief sustainability officers (CSO) primarily among Fortune 500 companies. According to the latest report from CSO recruitment firm Weinreb Group2, the demand for CSOs grew 228 percent in corporate America between 2011 and 2021. 

NaaS, Sustainability, and the Circular Economy

The circular economy remains a primary focus for organizations wanting to accelerate sustainability efforts. The circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible. In this way, the life cycle of products is extended. In practice, it implies reducing waste to a minimum. There are benefits that go beyond just “doing the right thing” for the environment. Examples include a positive influence on corporate brand and reputation. 

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Moreover, with innovation pressures rising, IT budgets barely expanding, and a reduction in technology lifecycles, IT organizations can add value back to the business through the circular economy. For example, upcycling and remarketing idle equipment can give functional assets a second useful life, and in turn, provide money back to the business. Choosing pre-owned equipment where appropriate can help expand budget for innovation projects where new technology is absolutely required. These are a few examples of how IT organizations can act in line with the circular economy to gain both environmental and economic benefits. HPE GreenLake for Aruba NaaS, powered by HPE Financial Services, helps customers take advantage of both upcycle and recycle benefits.

Learn more about HPE GreenLake for Aruba. For more on the circular economy, visit.

This is the first of a three-part series on NaaS. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks from Aruba.


  1. The IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by HPE GreenLake for Aruba, Network as a Service: State of the Market, Doc #US48894322, March 2022
  2. The Chief Sustainability Officer 10 Years Later, Weinreb Group, 2021