by February 1, 2008 0 comments



Environment friendly corporate actions are gaining momentum across businesses
around the globe. Alternative fuel and power sources are becoming more available
and more affordable, even as organizations are committed to minimize their
environmental impact whenever and wherever possible.

In such an atmosphere, CIOs have a unique opportunity to strengthen their
companies’ green efforts through a variety of measures. After all, one of the
biggest expenditures for a company is IT assets, and those IT assets consume a
great deal of power.

Direct Hit!

Applies To: CIOs
USP: Building an environment friendly IT setup
Primary Link: None
Google Keyword: Green IT

What’s more, disposing off these assets requires careful consideration to
ensure that they do not poison landfills. The IT industry is one of the biggest
producers of carbon, emissions, and waste, so good corporate responsibility
calls for CIOs and their organizations to take steps to minimize their
environmental footprint.

Where to start
The good news is that there are many paths to becoming a more earth-friendly
company. CIOs can start by putting pressure on vendors to use less toxic
substances in their PCs, storage, servers, and other devices in order to dispose
the devices properly. Clearly, vendors respond to their customers and customer
requests, one quarter can make their way onto a vendor’s product roadmap not
long thereafter.

Similarly, organizations can leverage third-party reclamation firms to aid in
the company’s disposal strategy. In many cases, the reclamation company does not
even charge for such a service because it is able to make a profit on the
silver, gold, and other valuable elements it recovers before disposing off
batteries, monitors, and other IT components.

Computer recycling in the form of donations can also be very beneficial, not
just for the company and the environment but for communities as well. Many
school systems have computer and peripheral equipment donation programs to which
businesses can give their surplus laptops, desktop systems, and associated
components and accessories. These devices, in turn, are placed in area schools
for the benefit of elementary education. Donating surplus equipment is a
mutually beneficial activity that can increase, improve, and enhance education
while shrinking an organization’s environmental footprint.

Another potential piece of low-hanging fruit in a corporation’s strategy to
reduce its environmental impact involves IT asset management. End user systems
can be configured to use settings that reduce the power consumption of that
device by default-perhaps the hard drive shuts down after a period of inactivity
or the monitor goes dark. These settings can become part of the standard image
that is placed on all desktops and laptops throughout the company. And, of
course, the user can always opt to override the systems when necessary, but many
users will actually choose green practices when they understand their positive
impact on the environment.

Be cool
Data center is another potential area for proactive energy conservation. In
the data center, it’s all about staying cool. A growing number of hardware
providers are now offering energy-saving products that use far less power than
more traditional devices. Some consume less power, others utilize power more
efficiently. Either way, reducing power requirements is an environmentally
responsible thing to do. Then there’s the actual air in the data center.
Everyone knows that data centers run best when they’re cool. But cool doesn’t
always mean air conditioning. When the outside air is cooler than the air
inside, organizations can bring in that cooler air and turn the air conditioners
off.

What’s more, a growing number of organizations are focusing a portion of
their green efforts on data center power itself. Some are opting for leveraging
DC power for a portion of their infrastructure since DC or battery power
generates less heat than traditional AC power.

That’s not all. Firms that buy a significant amount of power can evaluate the
option of purchasing power from a renewable energy source such as hydroelectric
providers. Where possible, organizations can also look for cleaner sources of
power, such as nuclear power, to drive their data centers.

Final say
The bottomline is, good corporate responsibility must include environmental
strategies and initiatives aimed at doing as much as possible to protect and
save the planet for future generation.
Environmental responsibility also makes good business sense, since reducing
power demands results in concrete savings. What’s more, customers demand it,
which makes taking the green path an effective tactic for retaining customer
loyalty and trust.

Vishal Dhupar, Managing Director, Symantec India & SAARC

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