Green IT is Smart Business

Being ‘green’ is a smart business decision as well as the right thing to do for the planet. That was the overriding message taken from the green IT event we hosted with industry analyst firm Ovum yesterday in London.

I was joined at the conference by Ovum analyst Sarah Burnett, WWF’s sustainable business lead Oliver Greenfield, Dell strategic technologist Vic Smith and about 25 sustainability and IT decision makers from the UK’s public and private sector. The discussion focused on practical ways of driving sustainability into our organizations, with a focus on the real business benefits green IT can deliver. 

Sarah Burnett summarized findings from a new Dell-commissioned whitepaper she’s authored on green IT adoption in the European Public Sector. Priority, she says, is taking a strategic approach to sustainability and building a business case for sustainability focused on driving efficiency and business results. She stressed that “a strategic approach to green IT can multiply the benefits beyond cost reduction.” Read more on Sarah’s perspectives here

Oliver’s presentation showed attendees ‘the big picture,’ what broad adoption of green IT can mean for our planet. Similar to Dell’s three C approach to packaging, Oliver outlined his own three C’s for achieving carbon reduction: “Consume better, Consume differently, Consume less.” He emphasized that businesses and governments must aggressively adopt sustainability measures today to achieve climate change goals, echoing Dell’s belief that everyone has an individual responsibility for making this happen.

Vic and I spoke about the efficiency measures that are intrinsically linked to sustainability. By introducing mobility solutions for working remotely, aggressively adopting virtualisation and ensuring they’re always using more energy-efficient systems, organizations in both the public and private sector can streamline their operations, improve productivity and help reduce their power consumption and related environmental impacts. Not only that, they can build a strong business case for sustainability, proving that a move to greener operations makes financial sense, encourages efficiency and cuts costs.

I was really encouraged by the enthusiasm in the room and to see so many people with such a wide variety of business titles, looking to better integrate environmental sustainability into their organizations. I couldn’t have put it better myself when Oliver said, “It’s essential that Dell and the entire industry continue to make being green a convenience for customers and partners. Only then will real transformational change be achieved.”

Here’s a video where Oliver shared his thoughts:

Have you integrated green IT into your organization, either in your data center or through remote work solutions? We’d love to hear about the success you’re having with it.

About the Author: Mark Newton