Business News and Trends » Blogs » Whatever happened to GREEN IT?

  • Whatever happened to GREEN IT?

    Posted by Jacqui Rand November 21, 2018 - Category: News/Updates 577 views - 0 comments - 1 like - #Green  #Sustainability  #GREEN IT  #eco friendly 

    As consumers we should all take responsibility and do our small part towards a sustainable planet by buying responsibly, to which end I have bought my Christmas crackers from Eco crackers and done the majority of my Christmas Shopping via Friends of the Earth  and so much so, that my girls are expecting bumble bee knitted beanie hats made from recycled wool – well I’d hate to disappoint them!  

    Meanwhile, companies also have to take a stance and the recent high-level report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) The Guardian Article has brought the issue of climate change back into sharp focus yet again, with its strident warning to offset global warming by reducing carbon emissions in the near, rather than medium or long term. Carbon emissions affect virtually every aspect of our lives, not least the cars we drive and the ways in which we power our homes and workplaces. But whatever happened to green IT? After a lot of hype about environmentally sustainable IT the concept had seemed to go quiet for a while, but now the topic is correctly centre stage once more.

    With concern and awareness growing, green IT can form an important part of the carbon reduction equation – and that’s something customers and the public increasingly want to see. Today, green IT is about more than just your carbon footprint, it’s also about helping to preserve resources and extending lifecycles. So, what’s the opportunity in the channel?

    In general, green computing works at all levels, from development through to manufacturing, use and disposal, to minimise technology's impact on the environment – and it can act as a point of distinction for resellers.

    In a nutshell, green IT, or green computing, is about the manufacture, use and disposal of PCs, servers, peripherals and other hardware in ways that are environmentally friendly. In practice, that tends to mean reducing energy consumption and disposing of equipment responsibly. That can include initiatives like:

    • Using resources more efficiently; being paperless and more efficient use of energy
    • Reducing waste so that technology components don’t end up in landfill, or better yet, are recycled to form a part of a circular IT economy
    • More energy-efficient hardware, correct use of sleep mode and power efficiency settings  
    • Stronger environmental controls to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals used in manufacturing

    With Moore’s law Wikipedia ensuring that computers were virtually out of date within a year or two, and with prices dropping, it seemed to make economic sense to simply discard old computers and replace them with new ones.

    However, this is not sustainable, and the more pervasive use of the cloud is changing that. The clever stuff is happening in remote servers in sealed locations around the world, or even under the oceans as demonstrated by Microsoft New York Times Article. While the equipment such as computers, monitors and printers (previously the bread and butter of the reseller world) are all enjoying a longer length of life. Although, tell that to my printer! 

    Trusted advisors can now offer more eco-friendly thin clients with robust internet connections, rather than providing local processing power in desktops and laptops, or by promoting public cloud solutions rather than on-site options or offering recycling options along with the hardware – all of these components can help to give you that green distinction.

    People’s attitudes are changing; the recent documentary of Prince Charles showed pundits sniggering at his claims back in the 1970’s that plastics were an ecological problem in the making. Turns out he was right. The more accustomed and conditioned we all become towards sustainability – recycling at home, buying environmentally friendly goods – the more we come to expect this concept replicated in the workplace. This is leading to a change in buyer expectations and behaviour in the channel. Many larger corporations have already adopted sustainability policies and are feeling the pressure, from legislation, from shareholders and from customers, to enforce them. Companies of all sizes are now looking for suppliers with green credentials and although SME businesses may have different financial pressures, they are also increasingly looking to follow the green lead.  For those unsure where to start there are a plethora of companies poised to help them on their Green journey such as  Carbon Credentials

    In the channel, adopting green credentials both in practice and in offering can help you to differentiate yourself from other resellers.  And when partnering with other companies, look to select those with a green IT policy as they can help you acquire the skills as well as build more reputable green credentials.