How to Launch a Green Computing Initiative That Really Makes a Difference

Green computing initiatives are widely viewed as IT can help build a cleaner and healthier global environment.

In North America, green initiatives are usually not significantly different from other business initiatives. Vice President at Capgemini Invent, a unit of business consulting firm Capgemini; Sustainability and Business Technology; Sheila Patel said. “They have to start with a vision, or definition, in a way that takes a commitment to reduce the environmental impacts of doing business in sustainable places.”

Start with the basics.

Patel recommends starting a green computing initiative with a deep analysis of an organization’s current IT infrastructure and practices. With adequate structure and rigor – processes; If practices and infrastructure work across the lifespan. This baseline activity should identify hotspots that disproportionately increase the enterprise’s compute footprint. “These hotspots become targets for future operations,” she said.

The next step should be to evaluate and identify the most important issues. “Recognize that the issues for your business and employees may be different,” said Vice President, NTT Data Services. warns Corie Pierce, vice president of external communications and sustainability. “for example, Organizations can prioritize risk reduction related to climate change and their employees may become more concerned about safe working conditions,” he explained. “With this understanding, you can identify near- and long-term goals for your green computing initiative and how they will be measured and reported to stakeholders to gain buy-in and support.”

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the environment Businesses that have already created a social and governance (ESG) program may wish to review their current goals to determine how IT can best support them with green initiatives. “If your organization doesn’t already have a program in place to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; We can start thinking about where IT can start a program to reduce waste and recycle,” said Kathy Rudy, head of data and analytics. Officer at ISG, a global technology research and consulting firm.

Garbage measurement.

energy consumption; Cold stores and e-waste are areas often targeted by IT green initiatives. An important first step is measuring the baseline. “There are many software tools and templates to define areas to measure,” says Rudy. for example, with a data center; In addition to the amount of energy required to cool the center, coal, gas nuclear air, You need to decide what type of energy to provide, either solar or hybrid. Many resources. “If you are working with a supplier to provide data center services; Ask for an overview of emissions produced to support your organization,” she advises.

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IT leaders should consider how they handle e-waste disposal to determine if they need to create a policy or modify an existing one. “The list should be extended to office devices and their power consumption,” notes Rudy.

After completing the research and understanding the current environment of the business; The organization prepares to define its goals and develop action plans designed to implement the change. But be careful. “Stateing that we will reduce GHG emissions by 50% in X years or reduce e-waste by ‘x’ percent without knowing the baseline can lead to creating unachievable goals. ” Rudy warned.

Building Support for Green Computing

The best way to get management support for a green computing initiative is to meet current and future government mandates; enhancing the reputation of the business; By defining the program’s potential benefits, such as improving the organization’s internal culture and attracting new business. “In most instances, a green IT initiative will not directly reduce costs, so unless an organization has a top-down mandate for green IT, the benefits must be clearly stated and agreed upon,” says Rudy.

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Patel says IT leaders can strengthen their case for pursuing green computing initiatives by managing quantification models of the business value such projects deliver. Leaders can point to real-world evidence of market trends favoring organizations with high ESG ratings and Western government trends to enforce stricter environmental regulations. “The push and pull factors of sustainability initiatives have shown that they can open the door to management support, strengthened over time by the sustainable value provided by a successful sustainability initiative,” she said.

Create partnerships.

As they develop their green computing plans; Businesses should also consider the environmental impact created by outsourcing IT and business services to third-party service providers. “It is increasingly important for businesses to insist that their service providers meet GHG reduction requirements and commit to further reducing their impact on the environment,” Rudy explains. “It is a mistake to believe that the burden of environmental impact on your organization is somehow transferred to others.”

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