Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Unleashing Your Inner Green Hero, Part 1

There are green "intrapreneurs" everywhere in your company. Whether you tap into their creativity - and your own - is up to you.

We tend to think of our heroes as greater than ourselves - representing feats, achievements and ideals we ourselves aspire to. But many of the best ideas start with us. Regular people, inspired to extraordinary achievements. In your organization, do all of the best ideas come from the CEO? Or do they originate all across the organization?

I thought so.

Take my company, for example. Verdiem tackles the problem of IT energy waste, and has developed technology to cut PC-related power bills by up to 60%, saving some companies millions of dollars on their power bill each year. The idea came not from an MBA, or a venture capital-backed think tank, but from an individual employee of Washington County, Ore.

She left work one night and noticed that all of the computers in her office were still on, fully powered. They would likely stay on all night, she thought, for the next 14 hours or so, until everyone came back into work.

She knew that this happened every night, at offices across the country (and the globe), and it bothered her. She shared her concern with her husband that night, and it bothered him too. As a software engineer, he knew that software could likely be applied to this problem to ensure that power wasn’t wasted when computers were inactive, in a way that didn’t add any additional burden or productivity loss for users.

That’s how SURVEYOR was born. Seven years later, SURVEYOR has saved organizations more than $35 million dollars on their energy bills (and growing), and has been responsible for cutting hundreds of thousands of tons of PC-related CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere.

That employee from Washington County is a hero. Her spark is responsible for an incredible amount of cost and carbon savings worldwide.

No comments: