Banking the Green Dividend

In recent years, many organisations have reduced their costs and improved their effectiveness by rationalising their IT infrastructure:

  • Reducing the number of servers
  • Implementing load balancing
  • Deploying storage area networks and using storage more effectively
  • Reducing the number of software licences Improving resilience
  • Reducing maintenance costs.

This is, of course, to be applauded. Return on capital employed is a critical success factor for any modern data centre. Yet, these organisations often feel to realise another major achievement – gained as a result of their efficiency drive.

  • Data centre energy consumption is reduced significantly.
  • Less heat is generated.
  • Less energy is required to cool the server room.
  • The IT Carbon footprint is substantially reduced.

More and more organisations find that adopting a sustainability policy not only reduces costs, it actually increases sales! The British consumer is actively supporting those businesses that can demonstrate real and tangible Green initiatives.

The sad thing is that, for the most part, data centres don’t measure their carbon footprint. This means that they aren’t able to claim their full share of the credit when their efficiency programmes return a Green dividend.

The carbon footprint of the IT Industry is now greater than that of the global airline industry. Some 40% of the energy consumption within a typical administration complex is due to that used by the IT infrastructure.

We need to become Green aware. We need to be able to measure our carbon footprint. We need to be able to predict the improvement in greenhouse gas emissions and to justifiably claim credit for the improvements we have made.

The ISEB Foundation Certificate in Green IT is a good first step towards helping an organisation to achieve its sustainability goals.

Stuart Sawle

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