What is Green IT?
Compiling from some sources, here are the definition of Green IT:
According to Murugesan (2008):
“Green IT is the study and practice of designing, manufacturing, using, and disposing of computers, servers, and associated subsystems […] efficiently and effectively with minimal or no impact on the environment. Green IT also strives to achieve economic viability and improved system performance and use, while abiding by our social and ethical responsibilities. Thus, green IT includes the dimensions of environmental sustainability, the economics of energy efficiency, and the total cost of ownership, which includes the cost of disposal and recycling. It is the study and practice of using computing resources efficiently.”
According to Melanie Pinola, About.com Guide:
“Green IT or green computing, refers to initiatives to use technology in a more environmentally friendly way. The growing green IT movement includes initiatives within companies to use power more efficiently, reduce waste, and create more eco-friendly computing products.”
According to Laurie McCabe, SMB Group:
“Green IT refers to the study and practice of using computers and IT resources in a more efficient and environmentally responsible way”
So basically, Green IT is about using IT resources efficiently and with minimal impact on the environment.
What is Green IT Strategy?
Green IT Strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve green IT environment.
How Green IT Strategy may help corporation to strengthen the corp?
Although first measure of Green IT is for the good of earth, corporation still can get a profit from Green IT Strategy. Murugesan (2008) identifies several benefits:
- Companies will reach a competitive edge as increasing number of customers start to value and take in consideration service providers green reports & initiative
- They can be help through government levies for facilitating the implementation of Green IT initiativ
- Reducing operational costs by optimizing the actual system, through better use of actual equipment
Adjugo, a consulting firm that provide Green IT Services, has a formula for the first approach on creating Green IT Strategy or Green IT Framework.
Based on above framework, we can see that Adjugo divided the approach in three categories (process, performance, people) and four levels (assess, plan, implement, sustain).
First, company has to assess their process to know how “green” their company at this moment. Next, they have to define a roadmap so the activity will be structured and more easily when it goes to implementation. In the implementation level, company is not dealing with just process anymore. They already have to deal with performance and people to make it succeed. Reaching the implementation level is not the end. Company has to make sure that what they have done from the beginning is sustainable and not just give a short term effects.
Sample of Green IT Strategy:
- Targeting a 20% reduction in its carbon footprint
- Design new data center that can reduce power consumption and cutting operating costs
- Initiate a “green teams”, grass-roots groups that have formed in 53 offices
They make small companywide changes, such as rolling out multifunction printers configured with two-sided printing as the default, using longer-lasting print cartridges, promoting videoconference over in-person meetings and providing a carbon calculator that employees can use to see how their offices stack up against those of their peers.
On the other side, PwC design new data center in Georgia by virtualizing 2,500 servers, using more-efficient equipment and moving to an optimized hot-aisle/cold-aisle design. PwC also distributes power at 575 volts AC instead of the industry standard, which saved on copper and eliminated some uninterruptible power supply equipment.
The new design allowed PwC to raise the temperature of chilled-water feeds into the air conditioning system by 10 degrees, which has translated into an immediate energy savings of 15%. In addition, air-side and water-side economizers drop the mechanical energy consumption of computer-room air conditioning systems by 75% when active.
They also have volunteers called “green teams” that will be volunteering to turning off the lights, shutting off laptops and monitors, and teaching others how to use videoconferencing. They scheduled for a meeting every six weeks.
By implementing an aggressive Green IT Strategy, here are the benefits that PwC’s got:
- With providing a carbon calculator for their employees, it has helped them to reduce 18% of office energy.
- New design of data center has made significant contribution by reducing 20 million-hours of power consumption and cutting operating cost by $2 million or 40% savings.
- Savings 100,000 kwh by running the chillers just 6% of the time.
- Decrease 30% in travel since they implement videoconference.
Wow-factors projects mixed with smart changes to everyday tasks make this Big Four accounting firm, ranked no. 1, a leader in Green IT initiatives for 2010. They manage to chopped carbon footprint by 20% in two years.
Nowadays, Green IT Strategy is a must for every company to implement in their daily activity. Although the ideas of Green IT have been going for several years, spotlighted on 2006, still many companies only use Green IT at the operational level. Though that’s good, Green IT should be level up into the value of the business. Companies can start at the operational level and on the other side they have to think how to sustain it.
– Adjugo’s slide presentation, http://www.slideshare.net
– Damien Choizit, ‘IT Strategy Implication of Green IT’, RMIT School of Business Information Technology, Nov 2009
– Murugesan, S 2008, ‘Harnessing Green IT: Principles and Practices’, IT Professional, vol. 10