Going Green Extends Beyond Organization’s Products

By Kathy Gurchiek Nov 3, 2008

Organizations looking to make their business greener need to remember that best practices extend to the process as well as the products, according to speakers at an

Oct. 28, 2008, web seminar, How to Go Green Without Going into the Red.

The online presentation hosted by Everything Channel—a subsidiary of United Business Mediawas geared heavily toward information technology practices. The emphasis was on the offerings of panelists from Dell and Intel, but some of the seminar’s messages could apply to HR professionals looking to help their organizations strategize toward more environmentally friendly practices.

Organizations “don’t have to sacrifice to achieve this goal” of being environmentally friendly in the products they deliver and the processes they use, observed Eric Doyle, enterprise marketing manager for Dell.

At Dell, he said, “leadership by example is extremely important to our customers.”

For example, it met its goal to be carbon neutral—creating at least as much energy as you consume—five months ahead of schedule, according to Doyle.

“It’s a cost-savings measure,” Doyle said of the effort to green up America. “It’s sound business practice now.”

Among Dell’s practices is the ‘Plant a Tree for Me’ program unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2007. Dell plants trees for customers around the world to offset the carbon impact of electricity required to power their systems. The program is in partnership with The Conservation Fund and Carbonfund.org.

When talking about green initiatives inside your organization or when talking with customers, Doyle emphasized, it’s important to understand the lingo and the concerns of those in the facility department and information technology department. In addition, it’s important to find ways to deliver green products overall and to “arm yourself with all the resources that are available to you.”

His organization looks within to determine if it is delivering efficient platforms and if it is finding creative ways to deliver green products overall.

He and other panelists pointed to the savings that can be achieved at data centers through power management techniques, such as shutting off idle computers after the close of business.

They suggest that organizations turn to more efficient IT platforms; consider virtualization of data centers; re-evaluate the temperature at which their IT infrastructures operate; and use vendors that can offer green resources, tools and practices.

“Green technology,” noted panel host Craig Zarley, Industry Editor for Computer Reseller News, “means quick return on investment, cost savings, energy savings.”

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