Friday, February 4, 2011 myBiz Blog
MarketWatch 02.06.11 by Tena Madison

Did you say GreenIT? Information Computing and Technology (ICT) companies are upping the stakes in the sustainability game. These companies are working to become better environmental citizens by reducing their carbon foot prints, managing energy and water resources, and minimizing waste and pollution. Why? You expect them to.

Consumers are driving this change. They want to know that a particular company is being a good global citizen. GreenIT or GreenTech also known as Cleantech venture investment was $7.8 billion in 2010 up by about 22 percent compared to $6.1 billion in 2009. Of the clean technologies solar was the forerunner for venture capitalists in 2010, 24% of the total, followed by Transportation at 17%, and then Energy Efficiency at 14%.

The North County Transit District (NCTD) a government agency in San Diego, Calif., turned to solar panels to power its relatively small data center. The agency processes all ticketing systems and security video the city’s transit stations through the data center as well as servicing 12 million users per year. The green data center reduces the energy demand of the agency by 30%. Sunny California, definitely the place to do it and its people will receive ample ROI in the coming years.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reduced their carbon foot print by 20% over the past two years. The company has made sustainability apart of its organizational culture. They revamped their office infrastructure providing multifunction printers set with two-sided printing as the default. PwC encourages its employees to use videoconferences instead of travel for meetings. The company also provided carbon calculators to employees to help them actively reduce office energy use. In addition, PwC cut operating costs by $2 million at its new data center in Georgia, by reducing power consumption by 20 million kilowatt-hours. Changes to the centers infrastructure, server virtualization, and optimizing power usage helped the company achieve their goal.

Green IT is not just for large corporations. Earth Rangers, a small company whose mission, "Is to partner with children to bring back the wild”, researched extensively to develop their data center. Using advancements in technology, server virtualization that uses less hardware and therefore less energy, they’ve developed an efficient operation. Add that to their LEED Gold-certified building and they are definitely leading by example.

Green Supply chains? IT and equipment manufacturers are collaborating on cleantech - building organizations like the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition(EICC), whose membership includes 40+ organizations, companies such as Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, HTC and LG. Its purpose is to promote a common code of conduct for the electronic and information and communications technology (ICT) industry. They are working to improve global environmental and worker conditions. Member corporations must not only commit to honor the code they must get their supply chain to honor it as well.

According to eWeek, IBM asked 20,000 of its first tier suppliers to do the following:

  • define and deploy an environmental management system
  • Measure existing environmental impacts and establish goals to improve them
  • Publicly disclose their metrics and results
  • And ask the same of any of their suppliers who provide items that are used in their IBM products.
The combination of modernization, efficient energy infrastructure, greenhouse gas reduction imperatives, as well as long-term energy supply needs are driving sustainability. Egging them on are the consumer as well as mandates and incentives from the Whitehouse. Keep up the good work guys! Thinking about your future? How important is Green IT, Green Tech, or Cleantech to you when weighing companies to start a career at?

Source(s): Infoworld, Cleantech group LLC, Computerworld, eWeek, EICC