Enterprise IT Goes Green

Published by: Srini Chari

“The oblivious capitalist's days are numbered” is the subhead of “Business 3.0,” a recent article in Fast Company by futurist Andrew Zoli. Mr. Zoli describes both some of the disastrous effects our civilization has unleashed on the global environment as well as some of the bold new approaches business leaders are initiating to convert this situation into an economic opportunity. He calls for an “Eco-Innovation Revolution” supported by a new practice of “ecologically conscious capitalism.” (To read the article, see www.fastcompany.com/magazine/113/open_fast50-essay_Printer_Friendly.html)

“Ecologically conscious capitalism” is an emerging growth strategy for businesses in many industries. Major IT companies are among the early adopters. Why? Because they can do well by doing good. They can do something tangible about stressed out natural resources and, at the same time, they can grow their businesses. They see growth opportunities in terms of costs savings, customer satisfaction, and new revenue streams as well as corporate image perceptions worth millions.

Three Examples

  1. IBM Reinvents the Data CenterIBM will invest $1 billion per year to develop products and services that reduce corporate data center energy consumption – and related data center operating costs. The company’s new BladeCenter "S," previewed on June 13th, can help reduce the 25 to 45 servers used by an average mid-size company by up to 80 percent and is also designed to minimize IT administration. (Read the full announcement at http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/21704.wss)

  3. Apple Removes Toxic Chemicals from Electronic Product‘Apple is already a leader in innovation and engineering, and we are applying these same talents to become an environmental leader,” says Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple Computer, in his “Greener Apple” statement, a response to criticisms by environmental groups that could hurt the Apple brand. The focus of the statement is what is already being done to remove toxic chemicals from the company’s products and recycle products to reduce e-waste, and it concludes with a commitment to address other environmental issues as well, such as the energy efficiency and carbon “footprint” of the company’s products. (For the full “Greener Apple” statement, see www.apple.com/hotnews/agreenerapple)

  5. Intel Reduces Energy Costs and Greenhouse Gas EmissionsIntel, the world leader in silicon innovation, and Google Inc., the search technology innovator, joined with Dell, EDS, HP, IBM, Microsoft and others earlier this month to launch the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. By setting aggressive targets for energy-efficient computers and components, these companies hope to save $5.5 billion in energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons per year. (Read the news release at www.intel.com/pressroom/archive/releases/20070612corp.htm?iid=pr1_releasepri_20070612r

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