How VDI supports ESG goals

With architecture, engineering and construction businesses facing mounting pressure to reduce their environmental impact, this article explains how virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) advancements are enabling AEC firms to unlock a host of ESG benefits.  


What is ESG?

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards are used to evaluate a company’s performance and impact in three areas.


ENVIRONMENTAL criteria focus on how a company manages its impact on the world around it in areas like carbon footprint, energy efficiency, waste management and natural resource conservation.


SOCIAL criteria focus on relationships with employees, supply chain partnerships, customers and the communities a business serves.


GOVERNANCE criteria deal with aspects including corporate management, transparency, ethics and integrity, compliance and risk management.


Stakeholders, customers and suppliers now expect firms to provide hard evidence of the benefits of their ESG policies. There’s a clear drive to accelerate change and act for a tangible difference. The message is clear – what’s needed is fundamental behavioural change. And CIOs and their IT teams hold one of the keys.


Why ESG is important for AEC firms

The construction sector has a vital role to play as we aim to create a lower carbon future. Buildings account for 40% of energy consumption worldwide and a third of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Furthermore, the last 20 years have seen emissions from cement and concrete production double, currently amounting to 8% of global CO₂ generation.


There’s renewed industry-wide focus on tackling these issues. But while there has been significant industry-wide change to adopt more sustainable design and build practices, AEC firms have been slower to adopt green IT practices. Many still design sustainable buildings using power-hungry workstations that fail to take advantage of renewable energy sources and run on outdated IT infrastructures, a huge generator of CO₂.


Enterprise technology accounts for about 1% of total GHG emissions globally. That might not sound like much; yet it equals about half of all global emissions from shipping and aviation and is the equivalent of

the total carbon emitted by the UK.


The figures make it clear that IT teams have the potential to make a tangible difference to their company’s environmental impact. Tackling climate change means adopting new attitudes, more efficient working methods and smarter solutions.


Fortunately, there are a number of practical steps IT teams can take to accelerate the journey to net zero. Adoption of VDI and managed Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solutions is one way to contribute to ESG targets, as well as unlocking fresh business benefits from more productive collaboration and remote working.


VDIPOD, for example, is a purpose-built VDI platform tailored for AEC applications that is hosted from data centres operating on 100% renewable energy. Construction companies using this solution use significantly less energy, with improved use of renewable power at source and  reduce CO₂eq compared to traditional CAD workstations. It also provides firms with metrics and an audit trail to simplify ESG reporting.


How VDI supports ESG goals


VDIPOD positively impacts ESG scorecards for AEC firms in a number of ways:



  1. Significantly lowers power usage and carbon emissions, compared to traditional PCs.
  2. Operates on 100% clean renewable energy at source and optimises power usage effectiveness.
  3. Replaces inefficient legacy IT infrastructure.
  4. Enables reduction in data centre footprint, lowering power consumption and carbon emissions.
  5. Requires less processing power per machine, prolonging life and reducing electronic waste.



  1. Supports workforce diversity with people working from anywhere, any time.
  2. Promotes digital inclusion, ensuring all staff can access resources on any device.
  3. Enhances personal wellbeing through flexible working and reduced commuting.
  4. Maintains business continuity and employee health where infection control is required.
  5. Facilitates responsible supply chain partnerships using sustainable IT infrastructure.



  1. Optimises use of resources tailored to meet users’ needs.
  2. Improves business scalability and disaster recovery, adding financial value.
  3. Centralises data storage, access and security updates, reducing risk of data loss.
  4. Ensures secure collaboration with partner and joint venture organisations.
  5. Complies with data sovereignty and protection requirements
  6. Provides plus metrics and an audit trail to simplify ESG reporting.


Why is Creative ITC the ideal choice for AEC companies?

Creative ITC is proud to have a long and growing list of AEC clients. They include many of the top UK architecture practices and some of the world’s largest construction and engineering companies.


We’ve been designing, implementing, managing and optimising game-changing technology within the industry for 20 years. Our leadership team and technical specialists have vast experience gained both at leading AEC companies in senior roles and client-side as buyers of IT services.


Leveraging deep understanding of virtualisation and how AEC applications behave, we purpose-built our own VDI platform entirely in-house to deliver industry-leading performance for even the most demanding AEC applications. Today, our VDIPOD platform is enabling thousands of AEC professionals worldwide to easily access tools and data – onsite, on the move, or at home – and work just as productively as if they were in the office.


Success is built on delivering outstanding customer experiences. And we never forget that. We believe our technical support is market-leading. Creative’s first, second and third-line support engineers are ready to respond around-the-clock and know how to handle any IT ticket that comes their way – from VDI and AEC-specific design and visualisation applications to network and infrastructure issues.


Along with Cisco Gold and NetApp Platinum partner status, Creative was the first cloud service provider in the UK to be awarded all seven VMware Master Service Competencies, joining only a handful of elite partners worldwide to earn that distinction. Plus, we also conform to numerous quality standards, including ISO 9001, 14001 and IEC 27001 for Information Security Management.


We believe these strengths set Creative apart from other managed service providers when it comes to understanding the unique challenges of AEC customers.