Making the Case for Green IT!

Green IT is so easy, even a caveman can do it!

Every time someone asks me what I do, I tell them, “I’m the Green IT Guy and I help companies and organizations become energy efficient from the desktop to the data center, from hardware to software, from the network to the virtual cloud.”  It took me a while to articulate that.  For some reason energy efficient computing was not hitting the mark.  Sometimes you have to repeat yourself over and over again.  IT professionals would snicker and say stuff like, “Isn’t the Internet already Green because it is paperless, and online?”  This illustrates how far the industry has gone from the last couple of years.  Now Green IT is a little more digestible.  Others would say, “That’s just Green Washing, Marketing Hype!”  If I can walk into any organization and cut their energy usage, carbon output, and IT expense in half, I don’t see how that could be considered green washing or marketing hype.

I’m going to try to make a case for Green IT to dispel any lingering myths.  Industry changes have occurred resulting in Green Regulations such as: Federal mandates (E.O. 13415 , GSA Green Products Compilation), corporate standards (Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Wal-Mart Sustainability Index), state legislation (City of Riverside), and future carbon accounting regulations.  Companies have gone from voluntary to mandatory regulations.  Investors were a minority, now they have a few sustainability indexes.  IT departments once considered Green IT a niche, and now see it as a core part of their business, as they rapidly consolidate their data centers.  Finally, upper management is tying the electric bill to the performance evaluation of the CIO, and that’s a good thing.

 

 

UPS’s package software eliminated left-hand turns to save $8.4M in gas and 32K tons of CO2 emissions, according to Forrester Research.  Sprint ($40B US Telco) achieved dramatic results in just 1 year:

  • They retired 127 applications
  • Decommissioned 2,200 servers
  • Reclaimed 290,000 GB of storage
  • Eliminated 75% of printer output
  • Saved $20M in annual IT operating expense
  • And cut 10,000mt of GHG emissions

It’s no secret that main stream America is virtualizing their data centers.  There are some very big companies and federal organizations consolidating data centers. In fact, the federal government illustrates their goals online.  They plan to consolidate 800 data centers worldwide, both physical and virtual.  The GSA saved $50/PC/year by shutting down PCs during non-business hours.  The City of Palo Alto cut carbon footprint by 5% in one year.  Here are some companies that have joined the ranks of data center consolidation:

  • Amway Global
  • Boise
  • Charlotte County
  • Children’s Hospital Central California
  • Chino Unified School District
  • City of Boston
  • City of Chicago
  • City of Pittsburgh
  • Defense Contract Management Agency
  • Department of Energy
  • FICO
  • Florida Department of Transportation

I could go on and on about data center consolidation, but there are too many examples. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, data center consolidation has gone main stream. But just in case you have, go to VMware’s case studies.  What about Sun’s Openwork program saves 100 hours/year for each of 18,000 employees?  This openwork program is a telework program.  Employees working from home so they do not pollute the highways.  What about handheld devices?  UPS avoids $12M per year in capital expenses using handheld devices for package tracking.  Can Green IT strengthen the supply chain? I think so.  Tablet devices are moving into hospitals.  No more wall mounted PC’s.

What I really wanted to say is this: Green IT is a good deal. You should consider it and make your company look good, efficient, and socially responsible.  It only takes four simple steps:

  1. Assess your situation from top to bottom. (Enterprise, Printers, Desktops, Data Centers)
  2. Execute a Green IT Action Plan
  3. Realize a greater than 50% reduction in cost, energy consumption, and carbon output.
  4. Brag about it through press releases, blogs, and social media. (Ask me how.)

The next thing you know, your company will be listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.  You came, you conquered, and you lived to tell about it.

 

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About thegreenitguy

The Green IT Guy focuses on energy efficient computing from the desktop to the data center, from hardware to software, and from the network to the cloud.

Posted on July 7, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hi Green IT Guy,

    I really appreciate the efforts you are making to educate on the importance of Green IT. This is a very important topic where we can make a massive difference in carbon output.

    I want to pass along some interesting information that we have learned on this topic. For nearly two years my company RackForce.com and ten other organizations have been part of a $2.2 million dollar project (www.greenstarnetwork.com) to figure out how to measure ICT carbon and then how to minimize carbon by the IT workload.

    What we have learned is the greatest carbon reduction comes from running IT gear on low carbon electricity sources. The difference on this point alone can easily be 30x reduction and 100x reduction is actually very common. Add this multiplier to the points you make above and the results are almost beyond belief.

    The IT industry has all the technology now. Lossless networks, virtualization, cloud service providers etc. We can now move and aggregate IT workloads into secure multi-tenant cloud environments with service providers running on low carbon power (hydro is best at this point) and highly efficient data centers. RackForce is doing this for small business right up to Fortune 500 today so we know it works.

    How do we know this isn’t just more green-washing? By the end of this year greenstarnetwork.com will have the protocol based on ISO14064 available. From there calculators will be built and credible organizations will actually be able to show the carbon produced by an IT workload based on the electricity source and the data center’s efficiency with supporting that workload.

    Keep up your efforts to get the message out there. We in the trenches appreciate it. 🙂

    Brian Fry
    VP Marketing
    RackForce.

  2. This is actually my first time here, really nice looking blog. I found so many interesting things in your blog especially about green it. I favor this website given and it has given me some sort of dedication achievement for a few purpose, so thanks

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