Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Have a Green Halloween

Thanks to EcoGeek for a nice round-up of environmental-themed Halloween stories.

Although, the blood-powered car doesn't strike me as what we had in mind with the term "renewable resource".

The IT Energy Vampire: Top Five Tips to Avoid Getting Sucked Dry

When night falls, the IT vampire comes out to suck idle, unused energy from your PC network, needlessly wasting money and hurting the environment.

According to the Gartner Group, PCs and monitors account for 40% of global business IT device carbon emissions, nearly double that of data and server centers. And about two-thirds of energy used by computers is wasted by machines that aren't in use, according to a report for the Department of Energy.

To help end this nightmare, and in honor of today’s domestic holiday, we’ve mixed up this ghoulicious list of tips for saving on PC energy bills:

1. Stop the bloodletting - check out PC and monitor power managemen solutions like Verdiem to cut your energy bill and your carbon footprint. Verdiem's Surveyor software can cut PC energy costs by as much as 40%, and carbon emissions by as much as 60%

2. Step out of the desktop casket - add laptops to your bag of tricks (they consume far less energy compared to desktop computers)

3. Drive a spike in power vampires - mix up an energy-efficient elixir of fewer desktop printers in your workplace, and recycling of energy-hogging devices that are no longer needed

4. Sink your fangs into better hardware - try PCs that repel energy vampires, such as HP Compaq dc7800 and dc5700 business desktop series with energy-conscious features

5. Make your CIO the vampire slayer - they will get rid of the energy-sucking demons (and help save the environment in the process)

MSN Goes Green

Microsoft today launched MSN Green, a new consumer-focused site with environmental news, advice and tips. MSN joins Yahoo, who launched a green site back in May.

The noise level for environment and green/sustainability stories continues to rise.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How IT Professionals can help slow Climate Change

A recent article from the UK’s National Computing Centre details the role IT professionals can play in slowing climate change. While new research by Version One shows that climate change is a hot issue and IT professionals are beginning to think seriously about their effects on the environment, not everyone is aware of the immediate steps they personally can take within their organization to reduce climate change. The recent Stern report is partially to thank for bringing this topic to the front of the public’s mind.

While 98% of IT professionals that Version One interviewed agreed that they are concerned about the effects of IT on the environment, “not a single respondent suggested measures that IT professionals themselves could implement to combat this problem.” This proves a need for education on the issue.

Several initiatives are suggested:

  • Implement low impact, high-efficiency technologies – Make smart purchasing decisions for technologies which help reduce CO2 emissions without being detrimental to business efficiency, such as electronic document management systems.
  • Educate staff on environmental best practices – Educate employees as to how technology can be used to minimize waste and maximize efficiency, such as making sure that PCs and monitors are shut down at the end of the day.
  • Ensuring low energy consumption – Ensure the entire IT infrastructure, from the data center to the PC network is not using more energy than necessary.
  • Considering hardware from cradle to grave – Don’t just purchase low energy consumption technologies, take into account where they were made, how they were made, how they were packaged and how they will be disposed of.

The article explains that not only is going green necessary, several benefits can be reaped as well. Beyond the obvious benefit of helping the environment, costs can be cut, efficiency can increase and staff morale can increase.

To read more click here.

Creating a Green IT Action Plan

A new Forrester report, “Creating a Green IT Action Plan,” outlines strategies for companies looking to green up their IT organizations. Ted Samson compiles Forrester’s high-level advice for companies looking to go green via IT in an article for InfoWorld.

Forrester recommends that companies first identify and prioritize their goals. Is it to reduce electricity consumption? Make better use of existing IT equipment? Become more of an environmental steward? Once you’ve assessed your company’s goals, you can begin the next phase, assessment. A critical part of assessment is specifying IT’s organizational role, and ensuring that Green IT is aligned with other green initiatives. The report specifically states that “green IT efforts must fit with the organization’s anticipated budget and trajectory as dictated by growth-of-business requirements.”

The third step Forrester recommends is creating a blueprint for your green IT action plan. Forrester recommends going after the low-hanging fruit, and reaping the immediate benefits from projects like PC power management, reducing print waste and improving datacenter cooling and airflow. Not only do these projects offer immediate savings that add up, they also “set an organization-wide tone for a green evolution.”

Once a blueprint has been created, you can move to the more difficult step four, “craft and communicate your action plan.” As this is a crucial and complex step, “Forrester recommends breaking it down into four components: revising processes and metrics, optimizing efficiency of existing IT assets, revamping architecture and infrastructure, and positioning IT to enable green business practices.”

While the buzz on Green IT is in the air, many IT professionals are unsure of specific steps they can take to do their part. By reading the Forrester report IT executives should be able to identify several projects and initiatives they can implement within their own organization in order to reap the rewards of going green.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Do you know your IT energy bills?

If you're an IT manager or executive, there's almost a 50-50 chance you don't!

Forty-two percent of IT executives say their firm does not monitor its IT-related energy spending — and a further 9% aren't sure if they do, according a new survey from the Economist magazine's Economist Intelligence Unit.

More than half of executives (54%) polled agree that their firm does not measure the environmental impact of its IT systems and policies — and just one-third (33%) say they do. In part, this is due to the lack of visibility about the issue, according to the report: 64% agree that an industry standard on energy efficiency on IT equipment would cause them to change their procurement policies.

Read more from this study at Sustainable Life Media here.