The adoption of Green IT practices not only helps the environment but can also increase your company’s bottom line, with new clients and an increase in marketplace value. Green IT solutions may involve more efficient use of existing technology, or an investment in new tech and hardware, which are more energy efficient.
What are Green IT Practices?
Green IT, also known as green computing, is the use and disposal of IT technology including computers, server equipment, along with other hardware in ways that are environmentally sustainable. When it comes to Green IT practices, this includes the use of energy-saving equipment or other methods to lower the environmental effects of a business.
There are several things a company can do to save and protect the environment, while keeping systems fast and efficient, and increase revenue.
1). Develop Environmental Sustainability Goals
Organizations can develop environmental sustainability goals to help establish Green IT technology and Green practices. A few examples of such goals include:
- Zero waste (landfill)
- Reduction of carbon footprint
- Zero emissions
- Pollution prevention
- Conservation of resources (going paperless, for instance)
- Waste reduction
- Use of alternative energy sources
- Reuse and recycling
Sustainability goals will help your company focus on specific goals, which leads to the determination of which tech solutions and practices will help meet your goals.
2). Use of Alternative Energy Resources
Is it feasible for your business to use an alternative power source? Or maybe it’s more feasible to reduce the amount of energy the company uses. Green power sources are becoming more cost-effective as the technology continues to develop. Power can be generated from solar sources, wind turbines, hydroelectric sources, etc.
If it’s not possible to use an alternative power source, then it might be feasible to search for Internet and other service providers that either completely or partially rely on alternative energy sources.
3). Waste Reduction & Recycling Initiatives
E-waste is an enormous problem for companies of all sizes; much of our e-waste is not recycled, but ends up in landfills, where it harms the environment. Other unsustainable waste methods of technology include incineration or even exportation (usually illegally) to other countries.
Rather than throwing computers and other technology away, consider recycling of everything possible. Everything from computers and smartphones to tablets can be reused by schools and charities. Other options include looking for manufacturers that have equipment donation programs, trade-in programs for recycling of old tech, etc.
Not only do recycling and donation keep your company’s older technology out of landfills, you’ll also be helping charities and schools that need computers and other devices.
4). Conservation and Better Use of Resources
The conservation and better use of resources can also help your business become more sustainable, while lowering harmful environmental effects. Better use of resources can mean:
- Going paperless (as much as possible)
- Use of energy efficient lighting, such as light bulbs and other types of lighting
- Reduction of water use (in landscaping, use of low-flow toilets, low-flow faucets, etc.)
When it comes to greener IT technology, making a move to the cloud can also help make a company more sustainable. Services such as Office 365, Google Drive, etc. keep all data in the cloud. Not only that, but these solutions also offer ways to collaborate online, rather than traveling, reduce document printing, and more.
Using any or all of these conservation solutions can make your company greener, while also saving money.
5). Reduction of Carbon Footprint
Green IT technology can also reduce your company’s carbon footprint. Responsible building emissions is a growing industry, which includes construction options such as geothermal windows, geothermal systems, and solar heating and power, and more.
If your company’s not looking for a new building, it’s still possible to reduce its carbon footprint with the use of technology:
- Buy only energy efficient hardware: look for the Energy Star logo or items registered with EPEAT.
- Reduce overall energy usage: tech may include: energy efficient lighting, cooling/heating systems that can be automatically set, switching off all office equipment when not in use, etc.
- Use virtual meetings: rather than business travel, arrange virtual meetings using green audio/video conferencing technology.
- Remote work: consider allowing staff to work remotely, rather than traveling to the office each day. This not only cuts the company’s use of energy, but also limits emissions from cars and other travel methods that employees use to travel to the office.
- Video Conferencing: avoid driving to your next meeting and join your team or clients on Skype or
Find a combination of sustainable methods that work for your company. It may be necessary to conduct evaluations to determine what makes the most sense but use of green technology has many benefits for your company.
Benefits of Going Green
Going green has some important benefits for your business—let’s take a look:
1). Going green saves money: not only does the company save money on utilities such as power and water, the reuse and recycling of items can also save money.
2). Attract new clients/increase sales: sustainability is important to everyone these days, including clients; the use of green IT tech and methods will attract new clients who look for ways to save the environment. As a result, your business may become more marketable and see an increase in sales. Not only that, but environmentally conscious clients will promote your company across social media platforms, giving the business free PR.
3). Meet environmental laws and requirements: environmental laws and requirements are coming into practice all around the world. Businesses that choose to go green will be in compliance, as long as they pay attention to the laws in their locations and countries. Your company may also be able to take advantage of incentives offered by governments to adapt green methods and technology.
4). Improve company morale: can help to improve company morale overall. Working in a green environment may ease employee concerns about health, worries about the effects of their work on the environment, and more. Employees will feel proud to be working at a company that care for the environment. Adapting green and sustainable practices may even increase employee productivity as a result.
Use of green IT technology not only reduces your company’s effect on the environment, but may also include attracting new business and clients, an increase in employee morale and productivity, which can all lead to an increase in your business’s bottom line.
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