Go Efficient to Go Green

Go green! It is a phrase heard again and again in nearly every field—including that of information technology. However, when you start looking at what is involved in going green, it can seem daunting. What is an environmental footprint anyway? What do IT employees know about reducing greenhouse-gas emissions? The huge goal of going green can be so daunting that many companies fail to make changes, because they think that these changes must be huge. No matter how large or small your company or even your department, you can do your part to go green without these huge, sweeping changes. Going green can be as simple as improving your workplace’s energy efficiency. In fact, in the field of IT, energy efficiency will not only improve your company’s contribution to sustainability, it will make the department run more smoothly and save money too.

Labor

Allowing IT employees to work from home part of the time is a very passive way to reduce your company’s carbon footprint. In many cases, working with less employees in the office makes the office run smoother, and yes more efficient, as well. The energy saved by your employees not commuting adds up. It saves money for the office because you are not using company resources and office space. Sharing office space is another way that you can go green and at the same time save money. Shared office space is a relatively new phenomenon; essentially, you rent out unused space on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. If you are using the utilities involved to keep the space going, there is no reason the space should not be used.

Virtualization

Have you looked into the current server virtualization options? In the past, it seemed as though you had to give up some security if you wanted to adopt virtualization. However, today there are more options than ever—many of which are just as secure as dedicated servers. Virtualization is one of the first ways companies think of to “go green”; luckily, it adds to the overall idea of becoming more energy efficient too. This is because virtual servers are operating a much larger number of systems than an on-site server ever could. Virtual servers take less of your staff’s time to keep operational,. With recent improvements, there is really no reason not to go this route. Spend some time looking at the new options and remember that virtualization today is a vastly different thing that it was even three years ago.

Products

Have you looked into the options available today as far as green products for your company? EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) electronics are one of the fastest growing segments in the market. Practically every product you think of adding to your office may be available in an EPEAT-friendly model. Most of these have features built in that control energy usage and reduce the electric waste in your office. While you may pay a bit more up front for an EPEAT computer, for instance, the electricity saving options could make a big difference in the long-term cost.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ways to make your company more energy efficient. If you are willing to make these small changes, your big effects will occur eventually. Going green is more than just a trend; it is an important way for your company to be environmentally responsable.


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